Maintaining compliance is like eating your greens. You know you should, you’d be better for it. But it’s not something you’re excited about, and you’re not exactly writing home about the salad on the side of your steak. Think of your spinach, your kale and your chewy leafy lettuces. It’s not exciting. But, hey, the goodness cannot possibly be overstated. Think of your heart! Your gut! And overall greater inner health!
Compliance keeps your organisation’s operations and processes running smoothly and staying healthy, especially when it comes to maintaining regulatory standards and keeping a competitive edge. Compliance is a practical safeguard, a streamlining tool and is essential in achieving your organisation’s legal obligations. Just like spinach.
A survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers uncovered the frightening truth about lost and misfiled documents. A typical company spends $120 in labour searching for a misfiled document and approximately $250 reproducing a lost document. In roughly seven percent of cases, documents are lost permanently. These numbers become especially disconcerting, alarming even, if you consider how much paper your organisation works with. Consider how much money your organisation stands to lose knowing how easy it is to lose or to misfile a single piece of paper. How much could you lose in a day? A month? A year?
Combatting loss and the inevitability of human error, it’s important to prioritise compliance through a strong records management program. Following a stringent records management program allows your organisation’s set-up to run with efficiency, keeps everything organised and keeps records protected and safely monitored. Ensuring these basics saves your organisation time and money.
How Compliance Helps You
It will lower your cholesterol, it’s packed full of protein and fibre and helps you maintain vigorous brain function, memory and mental clarity. Well, that’s spinach. But, compliance packs a punch too, when it comes to your organisation’s function and clarity especially. When your records management program is compliant you stand on safer ground. When information is lost or misfiled, not only will you lose time and energy looking for misfiled documents but you could make yourself vulnerable to lose money and suffer reputational damage. If a sensitive or private piece of information falls in to the wrong hands or cannot be recovered, the results could be devastating.
Maintaining compliance keeps you abreast of all the latest legislation and rules. It’s imperative your organisation maintains itself at the highest standard and recognises that regulations vary from industry to industry. Know your industry and know the relevant standards.
The benefits of achieving compliance in your day to day operations cannot be overstated. But what does it look like in action? Incorporating compliance within your records management program is an essential for your organisation. Most of your business’s operations flow from the focal point of your records management program. A stringent program keeps your business healthy.
Your Records Management Program
For your program to be compliant and efficient, it’s important to identify the particular requirements of any functional program and tailor them to your organisation’s needs. Most businesses will need to digitise at least a portion of hard-copy records and then manage and organise them in an easily accessible manner. As a list of goals, you should aim to:
- Scan and image all records
- Create an index of all records that you’re keeping
- Discern active records from inactive records
- Create space by clearing out inactive records through either safe document destruction or relocation
- Clean up your inventory
- Audit your records
- Securely destroy and recycle all outdated records
All that? About as fun as being forced to eat cold, wet spinach, fresh from the freezer. Certainly still good for you! But not the way you want to do it. Wouldn’t it easier if someone else did it? When it comes to something as important as your records management, which is integral, yet, undeniably time consuming, it’s worth considering outsourcing to experts.
Knowing Your Outsourcing
It’s a practical move (and a huge weight off your shoulders) to outsource. When looking for a competent records management partner to outsource to, there are a few key things to look for:
- Check for accreditations and certificates that prove the credibility of the company – Usually this will guarantee that their own compliance is maintained.
- Ensure that the company will tailor their plan to meet your organisation’s specific needs.
When it comes to document storage and the management of physical records, there should be warehouses and vaults available where your records will be maintained and protected. For physical storage, the key characteristics you should look for are:
- Around-the-clock data security measures and tracking along every step of the handling process
- Security and police clearance of all personnel with access to your records
- Convenient access to your documentation and set SLA’s for retrieval
- Trustworthy safeguards to protect you records against environmental hazards, such as, controlled lighting, humidity, temperature and smoke detectors
- Safe transportation of records between your site and all storage facilities
There are innumerable benefits to outsourcing your records management program. In addition to handling your data and making your business more efficient, it will also help you ensure compliance in all your operations. So, why not make life easier for yourself?