The Life Cycle of a Business Document

When it comes to effective records management, organisations are often left in the dark in terms of how their operations can be optimised through a few simple steps. These steps include the implementation of document management solutions, and educating staff on the life cycle of a business document. After all, the anxiety of thinking that your customer’s confidential information is floating around an overcrowded storeroom is enough to send anyone into fits of panic!

Employees and directors alike are often concerned about the whereabouts of dated confidential information. Whether they’re stacked in a rusty filing cabinet, serving as a coffee coaster on someone’s desk or are growing mouldy in a damp storeroom, there is certainly a solution to document management – one that guarantees less anxiety!  Effective document management, in essence, involves the secure storage of soft and hardcopy documentation, from the time of creation to that of secure document destruction. Part and parcel of effective document management is the education of what the process entails, and in an effort to offer peace of mind to organisations and employees, here is a breakdown of the life cycle of a business document:

Understanding Document Management

In order to understand the lifecycle of a business document, it is important to understand the purpose of an effective document management system. A document management system is a method of document storage, filing and destruction; and the process is often outsourced to specialists who assist in document management onsite or offsite. These service providers ensure that your confidential documents are stored in secure, element and theft-proof vaults or cabinets.


The business document begins its lifecycle within the organisation and will live within a localised filing system, namely lever arch files or within storage cabinets. At regular intervals, these documents will be sorted and archived. Upon creation, these documents are accessible to a number of different people, and are often not protected.


If an organisation has invested in records management services, the document will then be stored either on or offsite, and will be stored within specialised filing systems. These systems are secure and can only be accessed by authorised personnel while all documents are entered into a tracking system. Documents can be stored as hard or soft copies while digital records can be stored in weather and damage-resistant cases. Documentation that is stored offsite can also be stored in vaults, and can easily be retrieved upon request.


Business documentation, once it has reached the end of its lifecycle, is then destroyed upon request. Document destruction takes place in a secure environment and the destroyed documents are then disposed of accordingly to ensure that confidential information is not leaked. However, if businesses request the documentation to be recycled, the document management service provider will ensure that the items are recycled effectively.

Document management will also ensure a more streamlined business process as it will eliminate the need to spend valuable time sorting through and archiving confidential documentation. Other benefits include:

  • Monitored storage of confidential documentation.
  • Quick, reliable and hassle-free document destruction.
  • Efficient services i.e. Scanning, indexing, data capture and mailroom services.

For more information regarding effective records management, do not hesitate to contact the Document Warehouse.

Lifecycle of a business doc