Safeguarding documents with thoughtful records management policies
While it may seem convenient to haphazardly store documents in a storage unit or closet with minimal organization and no filing system, this approach can lead to confusion and insecurity. If you have a room with disorganized dusty records, the whereabouts of secure documents become uncertain, hindering timely retrieval when the information is needed most.
You are keeping your records for a reason so what happens when that reason becomes a priority?
Consider the following risks when discussing and delegating the organization of your records:
- Vulnerability to loss and misplacement – If you do not have thoughtful procedures in place to organize your documents, the chances of losing or misplacing files increases. Think of the time wasted in looking for that vital piece of information and the stress it will cause when you are responsible for locating it.
- Security – Storage units can be unsecure and messy. Filing cabinets and closets in your office are a convenient place to keep information but if it is not organized or if you do not consider who has access to the areas where the records are kept, they may be exposed to loss or theft. The threat isn’t solely external; an employee may be looking for one record and accidentally find confidential information they should not have access to or intentionally seek out sensitive information. You may be comprising the integrity of your business if you are not a good steward of your data.
- Productivity – Mentioned above for time sensitive requests, there is also the day-to-day document requests that can consume significant time and resources. The effort spent sifting through numerous boxes or stacks of paper to locate a specific file needed for addressing present issues is wasteful. Investing time in establishing meaningful organizational systems now will create efficiencies for years to come.
- Compliance – There are some legal requirements when businesses handle personal identifying information. Data protection regulations should be taken seriously, and it is hard to meet regulatory requirements when your files are haphazardly stored in a storage unit or around your office. Depending on your industry and the information you are responsible for, there could be severe penalties for not meeting the requirements. It is essential to have a records management program that mitigates risks and will help ensure your reputation is not in danger.
If you need help determining the best way to keep your records secure, contact us today to discuss options. We have multiple secure records management facilities and the expertise to help you organize your business data.