Documents and data reflect an organization's collective activity and progress. Business documents can be of various types and the status of these documents in the company’s storage systems changes constantly. There are project blueprints, plans, work-in-progress files, project completion reports and employee records. It is important to protect these documents from unauthorized access, save them from accidental deletion and preserve them from damage due to system failures and disasters.
It is a good business practice to create an efficient and secure paper records management system. Such a system is critical for the organization to function smoothly and productively. Organizations must capture the information contained in these records to gain valuable business insights. This enhances the ability to make data-driven decisions that impact business growth and performance.
Paper records management through the document lifecycle
Business documents go through a lifecycle: a document is created, stored, updated, modified and finally, archived or destroyed. Paper records management strategies track and manage documents throughout this lifecycle.
Systematic categorization, filing and storage make document search and retrieval faster—this saves time and allows employees to use their time productively on role-specific activities. Well-organized information boosts productivity and helps employees to make data-driven decisions. It ensures information is not lost and employees have access to the information they need, when they need it.
It is important to improve your paper records management to increase the efficiency of your business. Consider working with a professional records management company that can get it right and save time and money for your business.
Let’s look at some changes you can implement to improve your company’s paper records management:
1. Identify paper records you want to preserve
The world is moving fast toward digitized information processing and storage systems. But organizations are not completely paperless yet. Paper documents are still relevant and needed. Start by identifying which records need to be stored in paper format and which records need digitization. Next, categorize the records according to the lifecycle of the information and retention requirements.
Consider the retention requirements of different types of documents. Define a schedule for how long information must be stored, the reason for retention, and set guidelines on how to dispose of records that are no longer in use.
2. Analyze your organization’s unique requirements
Records management issues are fairly standard across the board—poor organization, high volumes of paper files, need for safe disposal of expired records, etc. Solutions to these problems differ based on the particular needs of your business.
Modern record management systems are geared towards information governance. They provide a holistic, lifecycle view of the creation, use, and protection of digital information. However, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to records management.
You must identify the unique needs of your business and employees to frame the best paper records management solution. The idea is to avoid document overload, and implement a strategy that streamlines and controls records.
To achieve this, employees should be open to collaboration and work cross-functionally with business users to develop their road-map for new systems for corporate records management.
3. Invest in a system that addresses your records management needs
There are various solutions available in the market that can improve your paper records management. This could involve media conversion (paper documents to digital images), implementing a paperless office solution, or even something as simple as installing a desktop scanner. It may also extend to encompass integrated electronic document management systems, setting up workflow software, and more.
You may want to focus on hybrid document management systems that recognize the need for both paper and digital record storage. Digital storage protects business information from loss due to disasters. It facilitates information search and eases document sharing.
Office devices like scanners, printers and copiers are convenient ways to transform paper records into digital formats. The software provided with each device integrates with other office systems. You can quickly transfer the digital documents to various people or departments within the organization. Or send digital copies to partners and vendors via email.
Digital copies can be shared easily via Cloud-based document sharing tools such as Google Docs. For larger organizations, consider a document management software that promotes efficient collaboration and provides a high level of data access security.
The global document management systems market is poised for growth. It was valued at USD 3.44 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach a value of USD 7.07 billion by 2023 with a CAGR of 12.78% for 2018-2023. You can click here to read more key market trends for document management systems.
The importance of improving your paper records management is often undervalued by organizations. It’s an opportunity to improve your teams’ performance and productivity. Through improved records management, your business will run more efficiently and produce higher quality outputs—an outcome that is indeed valuable.
When you decide to implement a records management system, be sure to choose an experienced vendor like MES Hybrid Document Systems. We support you in the transition and provide the expertise to make your paper records management project successful. Get a free quote from us today!