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9 Steps to Improve Your Company’s Records and Information Management Part 1

Part 1: Assessing your organisations’ RIM needs

 

Few organisations if any have perfect Records and Information Management Programmes. RIM is a continual process and new challenges and technology present themselves all the time necessitating adjustments to your processes.

There are however ways to improve your Records and Information Management and create a smoother running, compliant and cost effective organisation.

RIM Planning

Before you can benefit from a Records and Information Management Programme, you will have to plan it carefully. Whether you are small company needing only a broad plan or large corporate needing individual plans for divisions and departments within your organisation you will still need to cover certain keys items.

In Part 1 we cover:

  1. Determining Responsibility
  2. Standardise Company Document Creation
  3. Implement Filing Systems
  4. Management of Physical Files
  5. Storage of Records

 

  1. Determine Responsibility

Before you can implement RIM Policy within your organisation there must be awareness and responsibility on the part of its people. All staff must be made aware that they are responsible for ensuring proper records management procedure is followed as they utilise the records and documents of the organisation. As part of this, they need to know how to create, handle, and store these records.

 

  1. Standardise Company Document Creation

Every organisation makes use of internal documents to record and control its activities. These documents should follow a consistent method of creation from the file type used for the document to labelling and colouring.

Among the benefits of standardising document creation is the ability to recognise documents that are out of place, improve document accessibility and better control archiving and destruction processes.

 

  1. Implement Filing Systems

Proper filing systems can aid any organisation in its ability to operate efficiently. Filing must be done for both paper and electronic documents. It is important to understand that some documents are more important than others, and thus you will need to introduce some level of filing classification.

For example, any document, be it paper or electronic, that relates to your activities and explains what happened, or provides evidence of orders issued, decisions made or advice given should be classified as an important document and given an appropriate name and filed in a secure location.

How you classify and denote importance will largely depend on your organisation.

 

  1. Management of Physical Files

Having created a classification system for your files, you will now have to manage them appropriately. Your physical files need to be easily accessed while also allowing access to be restricted to authorised persons only.

Correct filing methods can help ensure files do not get lost and damaged and can greatly improve staff efficiency as time is not unnecessarily wasted on accessing documents.

Using a file tracking system can greatly improve your ability to control your files and prevent them from being lost, stolen and damaged.

 

  1. Storage of Records

The location of your record storage area is an important part of good Records Management. Whether you choose to store your records on your own premises or use an offsite document storage company or a bit of both you need to be aware of certain factors.

Security and Access Control – your storage location must be able to restrict access to unauthorised persons only.

Protection – your storage location should be such that your files are protected from damp, extremes of temperature and pests that may damage them.

Paper or Electronic – your storage area/s must differentiate between paper and electronic records and be constructed appropriately.

 

Next: 9 Steps to Improve Your Company’s Records and Information Management Part 2

 

Iron Mountain is a leading Records Management company, with years of experience. For more information on how we can assist you with your Records and Information Management contact us today.

 

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