Depending on your industry or the size of your business, records management may not be a priority because you believe it’s cost prohibitive. Some industries require proper records management, such as healthcare and human resources, but that does not change the fact that it’s an expense. We’ve pulled together four points to consider that make it easier to justify the investment to upper level management or yourself.
1. Cost avoidance: complying with your industry’s regulatory, privacy or legal requirements means you avoid the potential of significant fines. Violating those requirements can quickly pile up fines exceeding $100,000. And for nearly every business that handles confidential information (like credit cards), a data breach due to a lack of policy has the potential to close a business down. Small businesses as well as large corporations are vulnerable to data breaches. Even a simplified data and document security plan can prevent loss and protect your business.
2. Productivity boost: Properly indexed and classified digital records make them easier and quicker to find. Scanning your paper records to convert them to digital and putting them into a centralized database allows you to control who gets access. Creating this database will also help your efforts to automate your internal processes. Your employees will be more productive, your business will be more efficient overall and the information you need will be readily accessible.
3. Reduce storage costs: As your business grows, so does the volume of documents and data that you produce. If you are like most businesses, you are probably storing more records than you need and paying too much for storage. A records management plan provides the opportunity to review your current methods and do a little housekeeping. Consolidating records in a central location and adhering to retention and destruction schedules means getting the most for your money. The investment you make to store records will transform into a highly efficient spend instead of that hole in your budget bucket.
4. Peace of mind: records management is not a top priority for most small or mid-sized businesses. As a matter of fact it’s typically pushed to the back burner or neglected completely. Document management is defined by most business owners as a nuisance. But we cannot know when fire, flood, tornado, malicious employee or some type of disaster will strike. A records management policy and plan can provide a sense of security in knowing that you have made your best efforts to protect your business.
Justifying your investment of time, resources and money will pay a return in the long run. And the sooner you get started, the better.