What Is Records Management and Why Is it Important?

What Is Records Management and Why Is it Important?

Maintaining a robust records management system can help avoid regulatory and organizational issues

In today's fast-paced world, managing information effectively is crucial for the success of any business or organization. Records management, a critical aspect of information governance, plays a vital role in maintaining, organizing, and streamlining access to important records. These elements are vital in modern business settings, where organizations must move quickly and efficiently to keep up with the mountains of information they process.

However, records management isn’t easy. It requires an entire company to implement and respect the core operating procedures surrounding it. So let’s answer the question “What is records management?”, cover the benefits it offers to businesses and organizations, and share some valuable tips for building a robust, clearly defined filing system.

Our ultimate guide covers the benefits of records management, how to develop processes for your organization, and services that can help. Learn more here.

New call-to-action

What is Records Management?

Records management is the systematic process of creating, maintaining, using, and disposing of records in a manner that supports the operational and legal requirements of an organization. It involves the identification, classification, storage, retrieval, preservation, and disposal of records, whether they are physical or electronic. By efficiently managing records, businesses and organizations can ensure that they are complying with legal and regulatory requirements, protecting sensitive information, and making the best use of available resources.

Tips for Building a Filing System

Developing a records management system isn’t necessarily difficult, though businesses should take steps to ensure that they’ve done so properly, further reducing the likelihood that records will be handled improperly. Here are some tips for designing a record management system that is secure and efficient.

Develop a Records Management Policy

Establishing a records management policy is the foundation of an effective filing system. This policy should outline the organization's objectives for records management, the roles and responsibilities of employees, and the procedures for creating, maintaining, accessing, and disposing of records.

Identify and Classify Records

To build a well-organized filing system, organizations need to identify and classify their records. This involves creating a comprehensive inventory of all records, categorizing them based on their content, purpose, and importance, and assigning retention periods based on legal, operational, and historical requirements.

Establish Access Controls

To protect sensitive information and maintain compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, organizations should implement access controls for their records. This can include password protection, user authentication, and role-based access restrictions, ensuring that only authorized employees can access specific records.

Did You Know?:The fi-8170 can scan up to 70 pages per minute and 10,000 pages per day. Click here to learn more.

Benefits of Prioritizing Records Management

Implementing records management protocols is one of the fastest ways for a business to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and break down organizational silos. Here are some of the benefits in greater detail.

Enhanced Efficiency and Productivity

The core benefit of a records management system is its ability to improve operational efficiency across the organization. While efficiency is a broad term, so are the benefits of a record management system, which can dramatically improve both business and client processes. For example, a records management system will make it significantly easier to pull client information during customer service calls, credit applications, or other transactions.

Workflow Acceleration

A more granular example of efficiency is workflow acceleration. By implementing a robust records management system, employees can quickly and easily access records, send inter-location communications, and generally operate more quickly. For example, rather than waiting for an important document to be mailed between two business locations, employees can simply recover a document from the record management system. This increases the overall speed of the typical employee workflow, and results in a stronger business.

Improved Decision-Making

Access to accurate, up-to-date, and complete records enables managers and decision-makers to make informed choices based on reliable data. Effective records management ensures that information is readily available, allowing organizations to respond to challenges and opportunities more effectively.

Compliance with Legal and Regulatory Requirements

Proper records management helps organizations meet legal and regulatory requirements, such as data protection laws, industry-specific regulations, and internal policies. By ensuring that records are stored, accessed, and disposed of correctly, organizations can minimize the risk of legal and financial penalties. This is especially important in industries like healthcare, where organizations run the risk of violating HIPAA regulations if records are mismanaged.

Risk Management and Security

A robust records management system helps protect sensitive information from unauthorized access, loss, or damage. By implementing security measures such as access controls, encryption, and regular backups, organizations can safeguard their records and reduce the risk of data being breached or lost.

Cost Savings

Efficient records management can lead to cost savings by reducing the amount of physical storage space required, minimizing the time spent searching for records, and streamlining the records disposal process. Additionally, organizations can avoid financial penalties by complying with legal and regulatory requirements.

Did You Know?:The fi-7300NX has Scanning speeds up to 60 pages per minute. Click here to learn more.

Our recommendation: Ricoh fi and SP Series Scanners

Those in the market for a high-speed document scanner have no shortage of options. We take great pride in having spent the last 50+ years researching, designing, and developing some of the most advanced and powerful electronics in the world, including our professional grade fi and SP Series of scanners.

Built to purpose for the most demanding document handling jobs, fi and SP Series scanners are capable of processing tens of thousands of pages per day at the highest levels of accuracy. Their intuitive integration capabilities with all existing work suites minimize time-to-value for businesses looking to invest in tools that will pay dividends for years to come.

The fi and SP Series scanners are perfect for organizations looking to implement or improve a records management initiative in their workflow. With a range of options suitable for organizations of all sizes, fi and SP Series scanners are capable of getting scanning jobs done at scale. Plus, they offer integrated software solutions that can assist with the classification and organization of your document library. Click here to learn more or shop the rest of our production scanner line.

Note: Information on this page is provided for educational purposes only, and shall not be construed, or relied upon, as legal advice. Please consult with a licensed attorney regarding your specific situation as regulations may be subject to change.