Many people underestimate the importance of records within a business. Document management is often taken for granted. It is, however, important to understand how many stages are involved in the creation and maintenance of agreements, files, forms and instructions to personnel. So let’s take a peek at the phases a document can go through – from its formation, to its eventual demise.
This is obviously the start of a document’s lifespan – whether it’s in an analogue or digital format.
Capturing usually entails the conversion of a hard copy document into a digital format.
Indexing refers to the cataloguing or classification of a file. It’s the creation of both automatic and manual metadata which makes the retrieval of documents possible.
Here we’re talking about the administration and storage of documents for easy accessibility. This includes the implementation of electronic document and file management systems (EDMS).
Access is all about the efficient search processes that are engaged to find relevant documents. It will often include classification, meta-data, full text and other search formats and technologies.
This speaks to the speed and efficiency of your staff’s access to previously captured and stored documents.
The administration phase is particularly important in order to secure documents so that only authorised users can obtain access to confidential information. It involves the management of users to different types of content.
The sharing, collaboration and modification of existing files need to be controlled. Often updated content will be added as addenda or attachments, with a copy of the original record being maintained. The sharing and collaboration functions can be accessed by authorised personnel either through real-time or non-real time methods.
This is where the file is transmitted, exported or distributed to relevant or authorised staff in a secure manner. Distribution can include the printing, encryption and creation of other file formats for storage.
In this phase, low usage or inactive texts are allocated a predetermined retention period before it goes into a vault or confidential storage.
Records that have reached the end of the predetermined retention period are listed for secure destruction.
Records with enduring value are archived to ensure long-term accessibility.
If document management is neglected it can have severe consequences on a business. This is the reason why many companies hire records management professionals to help them streamline their systems. A seasoned and skilled, third party document management company such as The Document Warehouse specialises in the creation of seamless solutions which they will tailor-make to your needs. Think of it this way, it’s one way to secure your company’s future, today!