Records Information Management (RIM)

Records Management Compliance

Managing documents, records and other content is no easy task. How do you best capture, share, manage, store and retrieve documents and records within the organization? Does the approach you use meet the various compliance requirements, rules, regulations and standards? What is the best strategy or method to use for managing electronic documents and records such as web pages and emails?

Records management compliance is about meeting certain benchmarks, standards and best practices that all records managers and record management systems are required to follow. While compliance ensures that the company’s records management policy and the respective government laws are followed, it is also a balancing act. Your employees and customers need fast access to information as well as a high productivity platform for coaction and content creation that is not weighed down by compliance processes.

 

Achieving Records Management Compliance

Solid record keeping practices are crucial in maintaining an accomplished, accurate and up-to-date history of all business transactions and knowledge. In the current world of social networks, mobile computing platforms as well as big data, business records are playing an even greater role. They are the lifeblood of organizations. Whether your company is public or privately owned, fully or partly regulated by the government, you should be familiar with the increasing pressure to meet the various regulatory requirements for enterprise records management.

Therefore, you may have to upgrade your records management processes to comply with the law. At this juncture, it is important to understand that compliance should not be viewed as a bottleneck. On the contrary, it helps the organization to reap greater benefits by providing an overall boost.

Here is a checklist to ensure that your organization achieves compliance in records management:

Aspect 1: Policies and procedures

What information is important to the operation of your organization? Ask this question to all employees across the departments and you will be surprised at the varied answers that you will get.

Does your company have both paper and electronic records? If the answer is yes, you may have to develop a hybrid records management framework for both forms of records.

When is the last time you updated your records management policy to ensure it meets the revised compliance regulations? If not, do it urgently and take into account the newest record formats

Does your policy also cover email and social networks? Social media is now a business tool so pay attention to it.

How often do you back up your data? Do you have disaster recovery plans in place?

 

Aspect 2: Audit and Accountability

As a record manager, do you have jurisdiction over all business processes and data types?

Are your records very safe?

Are the employees fully conversant with your records management policy?

Aspect 3: Privacy and Disposal

Does your data meet the records management compliance regulations of your industry?

Do you have a sound document destruction plan for disposing data?

 

Aspect 4: Best Practices and Retention?

Are you capturing only what you need? Are you storing duplicates?

How easy is it to access your records?

Maintaining Compliance

Records management compliance requires continuous attention to enforce legislation and industry regulations. This means:

– Continuous monitoring to ascertain the quality of records

– Auditing: it should focus on records creation, capture and description (metadata).

– Reporting: making official reports to the senior management concerning the effectiveness of the system. The reports should have information gathered from the monitoring and auditing activities.

All the three tasks are interrelated. It is vital that is carried out regularly to maintain the integrity of the information being stored and the capacity of the systems to support your core functions.

Event Update :  As mentioned in my recent event at the Baby Grand Opera House in Belfast.  For those looking for a professional and trusted Records Management Partner in the Northern Ireland, Oasis Group Records Management have locations. Thanks for the emails guys, hope to see you at the next event!

 

Lets talk Electronic Scanning Solutions

Electronic scanning offers an easy way for organizations to store data. Organizations can select from various electronic scanning solutions. This makes it necessary to know exactly what they need to look for in the options. Some of the factors to consider include the following:

Cost

This is a significant consideration factor when selecting electronic scanning solutions. A company has to think about cost in the long term. You are supposed to determine the solution’s cost over its lifetime. Prices tend to vary depending on the vendor you choose to purchase the solution from.

It is very important to note that the initial purchase cost only represents a small fraction of total cost. There may be several hidden costs. You need to consider implementation, training, maintenance, and support over the solution’s lifetime.

Potential Returns

Organizations also need to consider potential returns on the investment they make in electronic scanning solutions. These solutions can offer huge cost savings because they reduce expenses related to hard copy delivery. The documents can be faxed or mailed to concerned parties instead of using human messengers. It also costs less to manage scanned documents as opposed to hard copies. The solution you select for your business should be able to offer returns in months not years. But you should focus on the long term returns. It is advisable to perform a return on investment (ROI) analysis before purchasing a solution.

Scanning solutions will be an important component of your company’s IT infrastructure and this exposes them to the same risks that desktops and serves face. Compare the components and benefits of every solution and then base your decision on the ownership cost.

Company Requirements

Another important consideration to keep in mind is your company’s requirements. You need to assess your existing and future scanning requirements before you purchase a solution. Determine how the scanning solution will integrate with your company’s business application and network. Eliminate any solution that does not fulfill your requirements.

Electronic scanning solutions should offer certain basic features including:

  • Security authentication
  • Activity logging
  • Custom workflow
  • Scan and email
  • Scan to shared folder
  • Scan to personal folder
  • Scan to Fax

You should also consider advanced features especially if you have a busy working environment.

Scalability

Effective electronic scanning solutions should be scalable. Organizations are dynamic and this means that your requirements are likely to change in a few years. This makes it necessary to identify solutions that allow you to upgrade. If a solution is scalable, it means that you will still be able to use it when your needs change. Select solutions that will accommodate changes in your company. This is the best way to ensure you get good returns on your investment.

Workflow Integration

Select a solution that is compatible with your current business operations. Evaluate each solution to determine how well each one of them integrates with your current workflow. The product you select should offer opportunities for you to streamline your present practices. It should have the capacity to expand and accommodate your dynamic needs.

If there was one thing to pass on about Document Scanning, this would be it

Document scanning simplifies record management and enhances productivity and efficiency. Record management is often ignored in spite of its relevance in an organization. Most organizations stack up several paper files and employees have to spend several hours trying to trace a document when it is required. This can lead to huge delays especially in situations where the documents are required for decision making.

Organizations should consider scanning all their relevant documents and make their operations paperless. But document scanning can be an expensive and time consuming process. Several organizations only scan documents when they consider it necessary while others lack resources to manage the scanning project. Here are some approaches to use to simplify the switch to paperless record management and make the process cost effective.

Scan on Demand

This is a popular approach to document scanning. It involves scanning documents that are required frequently for various operations within an organization. Some documents will not be required in the near future and this makes scanning them somewhat unnecessary. The scan on demand approach requires you to only scan documents that you intend to use. This is a great way to cut on costs but it is difficult to determine the specific documents that you should scan. The best approach is to scan documents once an employee makes a request to access a particular file in storage. Any document that is requested should be added to an electronic archive. This means that all the documents that have been used over a specific period will have been scanned and the other files can either be destroyed or archived.

Scan Every Document

Another document scanning strategy is to scan every document. This is an extensive process but it ensures that all documents are stored in a single location for easy access. It can work well for small businesses that are yet to accumulate large amounts of documents. Older or large organizations may find it quite costly because they may have several old files in paper form that need to be scanned. It can also take a lot of time to scan every document in storage.

Scan Based on Date

This document scanning approach can be applied by large or established organizations that have accumulated large amounts of paper documents over the years. To use this approach, organizations have to select a particular date and scan all documents that were created after that date. This is based on the view that a document is less likely to be required after a certain period. Scanning documents based on date can help companies save a lot of money and it will take less time. But there is a possibility that some important documents will be destroyed because they were created before a specific date. It may be necessary to review all the older documents to determine if they may be required in future before shredding them.

 

Document scanning is vital in an organization and these strategies can make things easier. If you are unsure about the technique that will work in your organization, you can consult a professional document management service for assistance.

Resources on Document Imaging:

wikipedia pagehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Document_imaging