Breaking a Document Retention Marriage is Rough
It is also expensive.
I find this funny. The other day, I was talking to my friend about job function and the amount of storage his ex-company paid for. He told me that his company was spending a fortune on outsourcing this service to someone else. I don’t remember who, but it was something like Iron Mountain. When I asked him why he said it was because his boss was married to paper. He actually used the word “married”.
I hope to never be labeled as “married” to legacy technology. My goal is to stay as agile as possible. Digital transformation is the realignment of, and pivoting in every business to improve as technology evolves. – Froy Perez
Splitting up a relationship between boss and paper could turn into a shit show. The resistance to change in the digital world is real-real. I see it every day. But it gets worse. Digital transformation is not just about going paperless; it’s about helping everyone around you understand how digital information flows through an organization. You also have to make sure that it moves quickly and easily from one workflow endpoint to the other. Simply put, automation is using technology to perform tasks that would otherwise be done manually. This can include anything from sending out automated emails to complex financial transactions.
Document Retention Policy to the Rescue
By law, there are certain documents you might have to keep physically or digitally stored. Chief Technology Officers and Data executives have a process management problem that’s compounded by data indexing, global search, and having to keep track of countless versions of the same document.
A well-designed document storage policy can help you avoid these problems. It typically includes processes for handling different types of documents, how long to keep them, and what to do with them when it’s time to let them go. When deciding which documents to keep and for how long, there are a few things to consider:
- The type of document
- The sensitivity of the information
- The legal requirements
- The business value
Some companies are legally required to keep certain documents for a minimum of seven years. For example, if you’re in the healthcare industry, you might have to keep patient records for 10 years. There are also certain types of documents that must be kept indefinitely, such as tax returns and stockholder minutes.
Or, maybe you inherited a basement full of documents from the past. Maybe they are all residing in the “G:” drive. A retention policy will dictate how long you get to keep them. The general population is typically mandated to keep certain docs for 7-10 years. Some industries may have longer periods depending on the type of business.
But why is it important, and why now?
I can see how this topic could be important for companies. After all, paper storage is expensive. But now companies can manage resources and keep track of what they need and for how long. And if you’re still holding onto physical documents, I get it. But there are digital options that can help you stay organized and compliant. In fact, digital document management can be more secure and efficient. Document retention policies are in place to make sure that companies keep the right documents for the right amount of time. But it’s also important to understand that these policies can change. For example, if there’s a new regulation or law that goes into effect, your company’s internal processes might need to be updated. This is MUCH easier done with a document management solution.
Benefits of Content Management:
- Saves Time
- Keeps You Organized
- Reduces Costs
- Improves Customer Service
- Makes Compliance Easier
- Creates a More Efficient Workflow for paper storage
- Builds a Knowledge Base
Even though we are seeing a move towards digital documents, paper records are still being created and stored every day. This is why having a good document retention policy in place is so important for companies. By understanding what needs to be kept and for how long, businesses can save time and money by not keeping documents that are no longer needed.
Impact on the environment
If a company is looking to go paperless, or at least reduce the amount of paper they use, having a good document management system is key. By understanding what documents need to be kept and for how long, businesses can make the switch to a paperless office environment more easily.
There are many benefits to going paperless, but one of the most important is that it can help reduce a company’s impact on the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. If a company has 1,000 employees, that’s 10 million sheets of paper! And, if each sheet of paper weighs just half an ounce, that’s 5,000 tons of paper being used every year.
That’s a lot of trees!
Impact on the Customer
When a company knows what needs to be kept and for how long, it can ensure that documents are easy to find and retrieve when they are needed. This makes it easier for employees to do their jobs and helps improve customer service. Easy access to documents also makes it easier to comply with regulations. Digital document management can help companies keep their documents organized and accessible. By digitalizing paper documents, businesses can create a more efficient workflow and reduce the need for physical storage space. This can lead to lower costs and a smaller environmental footprint.
When it comes to customer service, digital document management can help improve response times. Customers today expect speedy responses to their inquiries. If a company is still relying on paper records, it can take days or even weeks to find the information that is needed. But with digital document management, all of the company’s documents are stored in one central location and are easy to search and retrieve. This means that employees can quickly find the information they need and provide fast responses to customers.
Scientists have found that going digital can help reduce stress levels. In one study, scientists found that people who use digital devices are less likely to experience “cognitive overload.” This is the feeling of being overloaded with information. When we are overloaded, it can be hard to focus and concentrate. This can lead to mistakes being made. By digitalizing paper documents, businesses can help reduce the amount of information their employees have to process. This can lead to improved accuracy and fewer mistakes being made.
The Importance of Reviewing Your Document Retention Policy
Companies should review their document retention policy on a regular basis to ensure that it meets their current needs. As business needs change, documents may need to be updated. Regular reviews will help ensure that the process is up-to-date and still relevant. Having a good understanding of paper storage and how long documents need to be kept is important for any business. Companies can save time and money, improve customer service, and make compliance easier.
Reviewing the policy on a regular basis will help ensure that it meets the company’s current needs. It’s important to stay up-to-date on these changes so that you can ensure compliance. And, digital document management can help with that, too. By automating retention policies, you can make sure that your documents are always compliant. No fuss, no muss.
A study conducted at the University of Arizona found that the average person spends 3-5 hours looking for a lost document. And we’ve all been there. We’ve all had that moment where we can’t find something and we spend way too much time looking for it. But what if there was a way to avoid this?
Is Document Management Right for Me?
Most of the time, yes. This depends on the specific business and its work process. On the whole, if a company is handling a lot of paper documents, it might be time to start thinking about digital document management. The benefits are clear: it can help save time and money, improve customer service, and make compliance easier. The biggest challenge is making the switch from paper to digital. But, once you’ve made the switch, you’ll never look back.
There are a few things to keep in mind when considering document management. The first is that digitizing documents is not a one-time process. Once you’ve digitized your paper documents, you’ll need to have a process in place for managing them going forward. This process should include indexing, global search, and process management. Indexing is important because it will help you find your documents later on. Global search is important so that you can search all of your documents at once, regardless of where they’re stored. And process management is important so that you can automate tasks like retention policy enforcement.
As we evolve and digitalize, it is crucial for businesses to do the same with their paper documents in order to save time and money while promoting a more efficient workflow. Document retention policies are key in this digital transformation as they help to organize papers and digitalize them for easy accessibility. This way, when a customer needs something, businesses can easily find and provide the requested documents – all while promoting a greener business model. “Going digital” not only provides many benefits for businesses, but it can also help reduce stress levels for employees. Automating policies helps to keep everything compliant and up-to-date. Reviewing the policy regularly will help maintain relevancy so that it meets the company’s current needs.