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The quantity of information that businesses must manage is rapidly increasing, and an effective records management program is now required to govern and preserve records throughout their lifecycle.
Records management ensures that important information is easily accessible for business requirements and compliance audits. It guarantees that critical historical and legal records are maintained, and that non-essential records are disposed in accordance with established rules and regulations.
Records management is an integral component of every organization’s document management strategy. If done correctly, information would be structured and carefully kept, allowing for quick access and compliance with various rules and regulations.
Keeping all the files up to date, such as personnel, invoices, tax receipts, insurance documents, fire certificates, health and safety certificates, all are essential for a company to run smoothly.
In this article, we will discuss the most significant advantages that records management can provide to any organization.
Why is Records Management Important?
An effective records management program is important for companies because it lowers the cost of storage and operations, saves employees time, saves physical storage, eliminates expenses associated with fines and penalties in the event of legal actions, and so on.
The most important aspect of managing records is to allow employees to easily locate information and make them accessible to those who need it at the right time. Records should not be stored indefinitely, they ultimately need to be either destroyed based on their retention policy or archived.
The most crucial part of record management is allowing employees to readily discover information and making it available to those who need it at the correct moment. NOT all records should be kept permanently; instead, they should be either deleted or archived in accordance with its retention policy.
Proper records management can also assist a corporation that finds itself in court. Records can be used to demonstrate compliance with regulatory obligations, give verification of transactions, and safeguard against unwanted access.
Aside from significant company losses, inadequate records management might result in costly compliance penalties, lost productivity, wasteful audits, data overload, and other consequences.
12 Records Management Benefits
Records management benefits organizations by increasing efficiency, improving traceability, regulatory compliance, increasing records security, and ensuring that their employees have comprehensive access to correct information in a timely and cost-effective way.
Let’s look into the top 12 records management benefits.
1- Reduces Storage & Operational Costs
When records are correctly handled, unnecessary records are deleted and others are archived, in addition to migrating to digitized records, all of these aspects will help organizations save money by decreasing physical storage expenses
In addition, employees will spend less time to discover information, increasing their productivity and allowing them to respond to business challenges faster and by making better informed decisions on time.
2- Improves Regulatory Compliance
Most organizations follow various laws and regulations enforced by the industry or/and governments.
For example, a government may require that employee records be stored in an organization’s data centers for no more than ten years. An excellent records management system would undoubtedly address retention policies based on the kind of records and handle their deletion on time.
3- Protects Essential Records
An efficient records management program ensures that authorized personnel only have access to records that they can examine, reducing data breaches and information getting into the wrong hands.
Furthermore, it should explicitly outline how physical records are preserved in order to eliminate or minimize data loss in the event of a flood, fire, or other natural disaster.
4- Effective Retrieval of Records
Information is only helpful when it can be retrieved. Employees waste substantial time if information is not quickly available and retrievable. RM assists in the regulation of information distribution and accessibility across enterprises across their lifecycle.
I strongly recommend reading the below article for more info about records lifecycle
5- Eliminates Accidental Records Destruction
The right records management strategy will guarantee that only records that need to be deleted are destroyed based on their predetermined retention plan, while others are retained and maintained because they are still important to the organization.
Prematurely destroying records may result in court cases, fines, and penalties for noncompliance with requirements.
6- Improves Traceability
This is one of the most significant advantages of records management. All records must be tracked during their entire existence. At any given moment, organizations must have a thorough audit report that illustrates the many stages in which the records or documents have functioned.
It is difficult to do this with physical records, but with the use of a records management system, it will offer all of the necessary facts in seconds, allowing management to see the state of the record, who viewed it, who edited it, and so on.
7- Improves Decision Making
Making important information widely accessible in a timely way enables management to respond faster to company developments with educated business decisions, resulting in greater business success.
Records contain all transactions, facts, statistics, and information that aid in determining the organization’s present situation. The organization’s management takes all decisions that benefit the firm based on all of this information. This develops the future prospects of the organization.
8- Improves Business Workflows
Documents and records are essential components of most corporate workflows. If these documents are not handled and kept appropriately, the time required to complete a workflow would increase.
Records management reduces the duration of internal organization workflows by minimizing time waste and making information available promptly.
9- Preserves Organization Knowledge
All records and documents include information that may be extremely valuable to businesses, and the primary purpose of records management is to ensure that these records are retained safely and maintained for as long as necessary.
The preservation of important records such as contracts, financial reports, customer surveys, etc will enable organizations to have