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Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

RIM For Lean Business Environments

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In these times of tightening budgets, it can be easy for support programs like information management to be overlooked amidst the more pressing concerns of revenue generation. But as a tool for addressing legal compliance requirements, it faces unprecedented opportunities to help organizations achieve their business objectives. Realizing that value and communicating the worth to leadership can be difficult, but will bring benefits in the long run.

Increased Accountability & Regulation

In practical terms, increased regulation will mean greater requirements for businesses to account for such activities as credit rating, asset valuation, and results reporting, to name a few. Such accountability may take the form of document submission requirements, executive sign-off on certain transactions, new avenues for litigation, and increased powers of audit for the regulators themselves. In all these instances, records play a critical role as both informational support for (and recorded evidence of) corporate activities.

Established tools like functional records classifications, electronic metadata indexing, and physical file labeling help provide fast access to the reliable information necessary to answer tough questions. The benefits of an effective program extend beyond just regulatory compliance, however. When discerning the best timeline for a retention schedule, having a good grasp on the amount of information present and the potential need for it can assist in making the necessary decisions. As requirements continue to evolve, the effective records manager will stay on top of legislative changes by mapping them out to affected records categories; ensuring consistent application to paper and electronic data across the organization.

Cost Savings

For the strategically minded company, the challenge of space costs is nothing new. As many organization’s physical file collections have grown in pace with expanding business activity and shrinking workspace availability, records managers have found themselves in the potentially awkward position of having to store more content in less space. This “doing more with less” mentality was certainly helpful during times of economic hardship in the past, and can play a central role in maintaining profitability in the future. Some key techniques to highlight include:

Developing policies that distinguish official records from “transitory” or “non-record” material; such as duplicate copies, minor drafts, and outdated reference material. Such material can account from 30 to 70% of records storage space used by an organization, even though there is no legal or business requirement to justify their costs. By securely disposing of such material as quickly as possible, you can help reduce direct costs for a records management program.

Consider offsite solutions to allow for a more efficient use of available floor space. Commercial real estate, especially in downtown areas, is leased at premium prices and needs to be utilized with maximum efficiency. When evaluating the space used for long term storage of records vs. office employees or work areas, it can be hard to justify the money being spent on seldom accessed information. Specialized firms can offer a more cost effective approach to maintaining archives with enhanced security and service levels. By combining disposal of non-records, records retention scheduling, and off-site storage, you can help your organization achieve cost cutting measures without cutting corners on legal compliance.

The Data Vault has been offering expert advice and consultation to businesses of all sizes since 1984. Our team of records management professionals can help evaluate your current plan, make recommendations, and propose solutions to help maximize efficiency while meeting organizational goals. Contact us today and we would be happy to see how our wide range of solutions can fit into your larger strategic vision!

 

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