AIIM Open Forum

Using Records Management to Restart

By Whitney Nelson posted 01-20-2021 13:26


How to Use a Records Management Program to Sustain Business Operations
We are living in unprecedented times. People and businesses worldwide are having to adjust their daily routines and navigate new ways to do business. Consumer spending has drastically declined. International travel is at a standstill. Both small businesses and multinational companies have temporarily shut down, instituted furloughs or layoffs, or quickly restructured to company-wide telecommuting to deal with the new and rapidly changing environment. Whatever position your business currently finds itself in, a records management program can help your business find a way to be productive again.

How to Use Your Current Records Management Program
If you are currently experiencing one of the business interruptions mentioned above, a records management program will be an initial step in resuming business operations. If you already have a records management program, you can utilize it to create or implement a business continuity plan. A business continuity plan is a “documented plan that defines the resources, actions, tasks, and data required to manage…disaster response and recovery, and business resumption process in the event of a business interruption.”

One key to a business continuity plan is vital records. As the name suggests, these records are essential to continue business operations. Examples of vital records include corporate organization and formation documents, contracts, intellectual property, blueprints, formulas, and so on. If you currently have a functioning records retention schedule, make use of it to identify and classify those records that will help you most in restarting business processes.

What to Do If You Do Not Have an Existing Records Management Program
If you are still in the beginning stages of developing a records management program, first identify vital records and back-up those files for safekeeping. Begin by gathering information from each department or area of your business to identify what each needs to continue operations. This information gathering should not only include the types of records involved but also where these records are kept and in what format and volume. This information will then help you develop a records retention schedule and records management program for your business. These in turn will make collection and retrieval of information easier; information such as secondary suppliers, client contacts, or service requests, that you can use to resume business.

After you have identified vital information, organize and classify the information that you will need day one of resuming business. In addition, documenting this process of identification, organization, and classification will help you implement your business continuity plan should a future need arise. This documentation should also include protection instructions for your identified vital records, as well as methods to access this information in times of interrupted business. When you are ready to resume your business to its full capacity, identified records and a functioning records management program will help you resume much more quickly and easily.

How We Can Help
We know times are hard. We are all worried about our lives and our livelihoods. If your business has slowed down, use this opportunity to develop or hone your records management program. A functioning records management program can help you control business production through organization of one of your greatest assets, your records.

Zasio has over 30 years of expertise in records management. Whether you are at the beginning stages of a records management program or looking for ways to leverage your current records management program to stay in touch with vendors and clients, we can help. We can help you assess those areas where your records management program might be lacking and can help you build a functioning records retention schedule. A records management program will not just help with disposition and organization, it can help you get that jump-start and sustainability your business needs today.  Contact Zasio


Disclaimer: The purpose of this post is to provide general education on Information Governance topics. The statements are informational only and do not constitute legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the application of the law to your business activities, you should seek the advice of your legal counsel.