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Inside TDV - The Data Vault Blog

Ten Reasons to Have a Records Management Program

Ever find yourself frustrated with how your tax dollars are being spent? For instance, the U.S. Government spent $325,000 last year to develop a “robo-squirrel” to study how squirrels and rattlesnakes interact.

robo-squirrel

Hmmm.

Well, at least here’s something from the government you can use: The Environmental Protection Agency’s list of 10 good reasons why every business should have a records management program in place.

Here’s an abbreviated version, with our comments:

1. To Control the Creation and Growth of Records. We’ve been using paper less and less in the computer age, but it hasn’t gone away. Control it before it controls you.

2. To Reduce Operating Costs. The EPA figures it costs $22 less per linear foot to store its records off-site rather than in the EPA offices. Maybe they should give us a call?

3. To Improve Efficiency and Productivity. You know, as in the time wasted searching for the files that didn’t get managed properly.

4. To Assimilate New Records Management Technologies. Scan those files. They take up less space and are easier to manage on a data tape, hard drive or in the cloud.

5. To Ensure Regulatory Compliance. In terms of record-keeping requirements, the United States is the most heavily regulated country in the world. Do you really want to take that on without a records management program in place?

6. To Minimize Litigation Risks. Certain files must be destroyed rather than simply discarded. You should consider shredding everything, and a records management program can put that mandate in place.

7. To Safeguard Vital Information. Every organization is vulnerable to data loss. Losing critical records because they are stored in your backyard shed rather than a professional storage facility isn’t something you can take back.

8. To Support Better Management Decision Making. In today’s business environment, the manager that has the relevant data first typically wins. You can be that winner.

9. To Preserve the Corporate Memory. No, we aren’t saying your CEO is forgetful. The fact is that every business day, you create the records which could become background data for future management decisions and planning. That’s where your records management program comes in.

10. To Foster Professionalism in Running the Business. A business office with files askew, stacked on top of file cabinets and in boxes everywhere, creates a poor working environment and a poor image to your customers. (Check out this post for a bit of governmental irony. Maybe that branch of the Department of Veterans Affairs should have read this list.)

And there you have it: 10 good reasons your business should have a records management program in place. True, it isn’t exactly cool or flashy, but it’s also true that a robo-squirrel won’t be able to help you in a lost-data disaster.

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