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Do SMEs really need a RIM Programme?

A case for SMEs to consider implementing an RIM Programme.

 

If you own or work for a small business, you should have an idea of the stresses and obstacles you have to face daily. Imagine the kind of stress you would face should something happen to your records or client information.

The loss of valuable records or documents used on a daily basis is a serious disruption for any business, large or small. Larger companies however, may be able to weather the loss of their documents better than their smaller counterparts. This is because their size often means that their records and files are held in more than one document storage room and they may have at the very least a file archive.

Smaller companies may be more efficient with their document storage and retrieval processes as their files will likely be in one place. Herein lies the danger.

Take the case of a small homerun business. Let us say it is an accounting firm comprising the owner and three employees. You might think that this business is too small to think about having an Information Management Programme and yet, as you will soon see it is in fact a necessity.

Now being an accounting firm this business naturally has client accounting documents, financial records, SARS payment information and more in their possession. The owner has taken precautions to keep the documents safe by building a filing room on to the outbuilding that he uses for his businesses offices. Most files are kept in steel cabinets and the room has a security door that is locked when no one is in the office.

So, it seems this accountant has little need for a Records Management Programme, right?

Unfortunately, as it turns out a RIM Programme, that include offsite document storage, would have kept this accountant in business. While efforts were made to keep client document and records safe this accountant and his employees did not foresee the storm that tore off the roof of his offices including his document storage room. Without a roof rain, poured into the building destroying his computers and flooding his filing room and destroying more than half his clients’ financial records.

While his clients had copies of their financial records and were therefore largely unaffected, many of the documents were being worked on and all that work that was done on them was lost. Due to the size of his business, this accountant was simply unable to redo all the work for his clients on time and still cover bills and had to shut up shop.

Now this is of course a fictional scenario and it is not often that a storm will do this kind of damage to a business, yet it does happen and there are many other types of disaster that may occur. The point is if this accountant had put a Records Management Programme in place, even just a simple one he would have ensured that the disaster was not a catastrophic one.

Had the accountant put a simple RIM Programme in place he might have made provision for key records and documents to be scanned. These records would still have been easily available through a browser window and an internet connection. While his hard drives could have had offsite backed-ups made once a week. These backups could have been used to replace the ones that were destroyed by the storm as soon as his insurance paid out and he was able to purchase new computers.

In conclusion, businesses of all sizes use, create, and store records and documents that are important and needed to keep the business operational. No one knows what the future may hold and a company may go decades without incident. What you need to remember is it is better to have a disaster recovery plan in place and not need it than need it and not have one.

Even a basic inexpensive Records Management Programme could save your business when disaster strikes. So, what are you waiting for. Contact Iron Mountain today and find out how we can tailor a solution to fit your particular needs.

 

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