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Why is Records Management Important to an Organisation?

How Records Management can benefit your business.

A question that is often asked is, “Why is Records Management Important to an Organisation?”

Before answering the above question it may be helpful to first understand what records management is, so if you are unsure or just want a little extra clarity then go read, “What is Records Management – A Simple Description”.

 

The Importance of Records for your Organisation

Records are the memory or proof of activities being carried out regarding your organisation. Records keep track of business transactions. They keep track of your agreements with suppliers and clients as in contracts. Records also record communications within and without your organisation as in emails both internal and with outside parties such as your clients.

New records of all types are created by organisations all the time. These records follow their own life cycle as they are created, distributed, used, stored and eventually disposed of at some point in the future.

Records can vary in importance and often contain sensitive information. The handling and eventual destruction of many records are regulated by legislation. Failure to comply, or the loss or destruction of these records can result in legal action that is detrimental to the organisation.

Since records often contain private information such as personally identifiable client, supplier or employee details they must also be maintained in a secure manner. Access to such records must be limited to only those that need access. Once again, records that contain privacy related information are subject to legislation as laid out in the Protection of Personal Information Act or PoPI Act for short.

 

The Use of Records in an Organisation

Like our own memory, records should be accessible swiftly when needed. Failure to locate records timeously naturally results in delays and loss of production.

In some organisations, records flow smoothly while in others they seem to move at random, here one minute and gone the next.

The use of records and their flow should be regulated by well thought out policy and procedures. Access to records should be limited to those who actually need access. As far as possible, records should also be tracked as they move within your organisation and it should be known who is using a particular record at any one time.

 

So Why is Records Management Important to an Organisation?

The fact is, where records are not controlled or properly administered negative consequences arise. These consequences include loss of production time due to lost or missing records. They can also include regulatory and legal consequences. The public exposure of private information may give rise to both legal consequences and loss of trust in your organisation and its people.

Thus, the importance of Records Management is the ability to fully control and administer the records of your organisation. By allowing records to flow within your organisation, vital information can be accessed. By limiting access to information records are kept secure. Compliance and risk mitigation are also increased.

In short, Records Management can help your organisation be more productive, more secure and can even help you reduce operational costs.

For more information about Records Management, get in touch with us now.