Decades of technological advances have transformed organizational operations, while creating challenges related to record keeping. Greater reliance on electronic records has exponentially increased the volume and diversity of information that organizations must manage. Poorly managed record keeping leads to decreased operational efficiency, increased costs and decreased knowledge transfer and collaboration. The purpose of modernizing records management is to improve decision making, performance and accountability while minimizing costs and increasing operational efficiency.With proper planning, technology can make the management of records less resource intensive and easier to use and share. Well managed records can be use to improve business processes, share knowledge, assess initiatives and programs, and lower legal risks.
Developing an electronic record keeping road map is the first step in adopt the right policies and identifying the right systems. Here are the top 15 things to consider when developing an electronic record keeping roadmap and searching for the right records management system.
- What is a Record
- Volume: How many records of each kind does the organization process and waht format does it come in? Contracts, invoices, HR records, purchase orders, professional certifications, maintenance records, blueprints, shipping receipts
- Paper versus Electronic Records: At the first point of entry into the organization what is the format of the records? Are your records stored in their native file format for use as legal originals?
- Process: What is the process by which each type of record gets routed through the organization? What is the earliest point of entry for each document in your organization? Where do people inside your organization need to access documents? Do third parties need to access your documents?
- Retention and Destruction: What state and federal regulations and legal obligations govern the retention of the organizations records?
- Accuracy: Does your organizations have challenges related to the accuracy of information that it processes? Can an electronic record keeping system improve the accuracy of the information?
- Organizational Alignment: Organizations need to promote records management policies and practices that enhance the organizations and each departments ability to fulfill their primary missions. What are the key process and departments where a more efficient and cost effective records management policy and system will have the most impact. Start there.
- Resource Allocation and Employee Productivity: Managing records is every employee’s job but some departments handle more records than others. How much is record management costing your organization now.? What resource efficiencies will you gain by implementing an electronic record keeping system? Can you reallocate your current resources to revenue generating activities. Without proper staffing, a record intensive department, may take longer than necessary to process records, will fall behind in filing and archiving records making retrieval difficult if not impossible, and may overlooking security risks related to records.
- Do you have enough staff to efficiently manage your records using your current processes? If not, is lack of proper staffing eroding your bottom line and negatively impacting employee productivity? Ask the following questions: On average how much time per day is spent copying, filing, searching for information and recreating lost information?
- Change Management: Change is hard for everyone. Implementing new policies and procedures that change how your employees operate can take time. To successfully implement new policies, even those that are mandated by regulations, organizations need to have executive support and employee buy-in. Involving the people behind the processes in identifying the challenges as well as the requirements can help ease the transition to new processes.
- Accountability: Having a plan in place and executive and department-level support for your initiative is not enough. Establishing clear and easy to identify milestones in the implementation of the plan as well as establishing individual and department level accountability to meet the goals is critical to the success. Milestones can be measured, employees and department goals can be monitored.
- Expenses: How much is your organization spending on copying costs, courier and delivery services, on-site and off-site storage space, filing cabinets and fire-proof safes? If you add up all of the time your staff spends searching for, filing and recreating records how much does that cost your organization per year. Could your employees be involved in other revenue generating activities if they were not spending time on manual record management.
- Risk Mitigation: Who much risk is acceptable to your organizaiton? What would a data breach cost your organization? If a natural disaster or fire impacted the area where your records are stored would they be safe and retrievable. Can you easily and quickly retrieve the records that you need to respond to business critical audits that can impact your bottom line or result in cash-flow crippling fines.
- Core Business System Integration: What are the core business applications you use on a day to day basis? What doccuments do you need to access inside your core business applications. Do you need to extract data from your documents for input into another core business application.
With so many different regulations related to record keeping at the state and federal level it is often difficult for organizations to even get a grip on record retention and destruction schedules. Hundreds of electronic record keeping and document management systems have flooded the market making it harder for organizations to sort through the noise and find a system that will work for them. Finding out which features are critical to your organization often requires an expert.
With nearly two decades of experience, PiF Technologies can help you determine which document management and record retention features you must have to make your project successful . We have a solution that fits your needs. Contact us to find out more about these features:
- Intelligent Data Capture and OCR
- Real-time Search and Retrieval
- Automated Workflows for Routing, Notification and Approval.
- Storage in Native File Format
- Automated Record Retention Policies
- Integration with Core Business Applications
- 2 and 3-way matching for AP Automation
- User Access Management and Security
- Audit Trails
- Version Control
- Annotation and Redaction Features
- Business Intelligence and Reporting
- On-Premise vs Cloud Solutions
- Mobile Access
- Automated Back-up, Disaster Prevention and Disaster Recovery