Every company may have a document management system but not every system is effective. Some companies, that started long before the introduction of the technological marvel called a computer, actually have a multitude of manual systems. There are the documents that were created after the computer arrived, meaning that these are on a hard drive somewhere. Then there are documents that are still important but that were created long before the arrival of the computer, meaning that they’re in a filing cabinet somewhere. Then there are documents, like contracts, which need to be stored in hard copy and are likely scattered throughout offices on the premise. And last but not least, there is that storage room that is filled to the ceiling with sensitive documentation that should have been destroyed a long time ago. Sound familiar?
Granted the above is a bit of an exaggeration but, the fact remains, most companies’ document management systems aren’t nearly as effective as they can or should be.
So how does yours shape up?
Here are three questions to ask yourself and the answers will tell you if your company’s document management system is up to scratch. If not, here are some solutions to help get you on track.
- Do you have a document manager?
If the answer is no then chances are good that you either don’t have a system, or that you had a system but because nobody was managing it, it fell apart. There is no need to hire someone full-time though, if that’s what you’re worried about. There are companies that’ll do this sort of thing for you. They’re called Document Management Solutions Providers.
- How long does it take for obsolete but sensitive documentation to be destroyed?
If you have one of those storage rooms that are filled to the brim with documents that should have been destroyed a long time ago, get the experts in now. Doing it yourself won’t guarantee proper destruction, meaning that sensitive information may still be retrieved. Who are the experts? Well, the companies who specialise in offsite document storage usually also specialise in document destruction. So, make enquiries. If there are hard drives that need to be destroyed it’s also a good idea to have these destroyed by the pros. Again, if not completely destroyed sensitive information can still be retrieved from these devices.
- How long does it take for a hard copy document to be retrieved?
If it takes anything more than two hours to find a document, then you’ve got a problem. Consider this: there are offsite document storage solutions companies that can have a document on your desk in four hours. They can also have it scanned and mailed to you within two hours. If retrieving a document takes too much time, then you probably don’t have an effective indexing system and should at least hire a Record Management Consultant to help you create one.
At the end of the day offsite document storage will save you space and manpower, so it’s definitely something to consider. If offsite storage sounds too risky, at least you will have a proper records management implemented after hiring a Record Management Consultant.