|Share: 1. Three Great Resources to Help You Meet 2013 RM Priorities
In our Year End Survey, you identified your top three challenges and priorities for 2013 as:
- Retention schedule development
To help you tackle these, we’ve pulled together some helpful resources that you can download and apply to your daily records management activities:
White Paper: Meeting Records Management Requirements in the Electronic World
Learn how to reap the benefits of electronic records management while mitigating the compliance and practical risks introduced by electronic records.
TAB Guide: Taking the Risk out of Records Retention
We’ve put together this guide to help you understand what we mean by records retention, how to get the benefits of records retention like space savings, how to implement a retention schedule, how to handle electronic records, and much more.
The Real Cost of Imaging: Do-It-Yourself vs. Outsourcing This great resource will help you understand the full cost of an imaging project using internal resources so your organization will be in a better position to decide whether the “do it yourself” approach makes sense.
2. Year End Survey Results: The Highlights
Our Year End Survey garnered the biggest response to date, so a sincere thank you to all who took the time to fill it out!
The data we gathered paints an interesting picture of a continually evolving records management landscape, and we’ve put together the highlights for you, including top challenges, the electronic records situation, as well as budget and staffing numbers.
5 Priorities For The Year Ahead
Here are the top five priorities and challenges identified by our readers, with corresponding response percentages:
- E-records (21.6%)
- Retention schedule development (18%)
- Imaging (13.3%)
- Enterprise content management systems (12.7%)
- Offsite records management (10.1%)
What was interesting about these results is the relatively tight grouping, in terms of response percentage, as compared to other years. In other words, in previous surveys, e-records and retention comprised a much higher percentage of responses, all but shutting out other priorities. This year, however, these perennial challenges shared top billing with other associated challenges, like imaging and offsite storage. What does it mean that e-records fell from being the number one priority for over half of respondents, while offsite storage cracked the top five with fully 10% of respondents? We’ll explore one possible interpretation of these results in the next section.
Electronic Records: A Changing Focus?
There are several possible explanations for the fact that e-records no longer has the dominant share of the focus when it comes to records management priorities, but one stands out as the most logical: as organizations master the initial, early stage challenges of managing e-records, other, more specific challenges associated with e-records demand more attention.
Imagine that an organization, overwhelmed by chaotic shared drives and emails (for example) a few short years ago, now has the proper records management practices and systems in place to handle these challenges. It stands to reason that their focus would now be on associated challenges.
So if you had mastered your e-records challenges with an ECM system and or RM software, for example, your organization might now be at the stage where it makes sense to consider imaging your entire physical file collection. Similarly, any organization far enough along the e-records management road to begin imaging their existing collections would more than likely find themselves with a sizable physical records volume that could be moved elsewhere, hence the prioritization of offsite storage. This is further emphasized by the fact that fully 60.5% of respondents indicated that they were using third-party facilities for records storage.
Whatever the case, it would seem that slowly but surely records managers are getting to grips with the e-records challenge, and that challenge will continue to dominate priorities for the foreseeable future.
The Fundamentals Are Still A Challenge
While it would be easy to focus on the e-records aspect, the fact is that the basics of good records management remain a perennial challenge. Once again, records retention schedules were the second most widely identified priority, narrowing the response percentage gap (year over year) considerably with the number one priority. It is also interesting to note that 83% of respondents said that they already had a records retention schedule in place.
Taken with the fact that records classification and physical collection management (9.0% and 8.8% of respondents respectively) missed the “top 5” by the narrowest of margins, the fact remains that records managers are still focusing on the fundamentals of a good system.
This would appear to be due in large part to the fact that the volume of information being managed continues to grow exponentially in an increasingly stringent regulatory and compliance environment. It is simply critical, whatever record medium you are dealing with, to continually develop, implement and hone good records management practices.
Records Management Holds Its Own
The survey data brought some positive news in terms of budget and employees, indicating a trend towards a stabilizing records management landscape. While 27.8% of respondents indicated decreasing budgets, which is in line with the current economic climate, 13% indicated a net increase, and 59% indicated their budgets were staying the same.
These figures were mirrored in terms of employee numbers, with respondents reporting as follows for 2012
- Increased the number of employees: 14.3%
- Kept the same number of employees: 63.5%
- Decreased the number of employees: 22.1%
Obviously the news isn’t all good, but given the huge budget pressures currently faced by many organizations, the fact that a significant number have maintained or increased both budget and employee numbers can be taken as a strong indication that the importance of records management continues to be recognized.
3. NEW Webinar Now Available: Managing Paper and Electronic Records Together
With over 500 attendees, our recent webinar on managing the hybrid environment was a big success. We talked about:
- considerations when choosing tools
- why classification is critical
- records management best practices
- real world learning from client engagements
The webinar is now available for on-demand listening, and you can get it here.
4. Best of the Blog: Creating a “Paperlite” Office
Our most popular blog to date looks at how you can reduce the amount of paper records your organization creates, uses and stores. Read the full post here.
5. How TAB Can Help With File Room Management
If you want a robust records management system that supports and protects your company, but don’t want to take resources away from your core business, the answer is file room outsourcing.
With TAB taking care of your records management functions, you will get expert people as well as proven methodologies, products and technologies.
Reduce your costs
Maintaining your records is probably costing you more than it should. TAB will help you reduce your organization’s total cost of ownership by:
- Organizing the information you need to run your business and reducing your system costs (such as space, labour and off-site storage)
- Integrating our records management services within your organization’s day-to-day functions for better access and productivity
- Using best practices including technologies and processes to enhance the management of business critical documents
Overall, outsourcing your records management function to TAB allows you to better manage cash flow and free up investment dollars for your core activities.
Reduce your risk
TAB’s industry-leading systems and processes will minimize your exposure to litigation and ensure that your vital records are protected and accessible. With TAB managing your records, you will be able to demonstrate due diligence and ensure legal compliance.
Increase your efficiency
The ability to retrieve the information you need when you need it improves operations and increases employee productivity, providing your organization with a significant competitive advantage.
TAB systems and practices will help you realize major efficiencies in time, space and accessibility – while improving overall information quality.
Partner for the future
As your records management partner, we will work to uncover value by eliminating redundancy, improving resource utilization and enhancing overall quality.
If you’d like to talk to someone about file room management, please get in touch.