TAMPA, Fla., March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Most businesses know that having a solid records management plan in place is essential to stay organized and in compliance with various laws, rules and regulations. But let's face it, some daily businesses tasks fall by the wayside and often record keeping is one of them. That could be a costly mistake.
"An organization's business is only as secure as its records management program," said Marshall Stevens, co-owner of Stevens & Stevens Business Records Management, Inc., a Florida-based, full-service records management center. "Losing or misplacing information costs you time, money and, in some cases, could even mean the loss of your business. Developing a plan to protect your data is crucial."
Here are three key areas to consider:
- Are you able to access information no matter the day or time? While key records should be in a locked building/room, make sure you have a key so you can still access the information during off-hours. For extra reassurance, consider a system that will convert hard copy files into an electronic format that can be accessed through a secure online "virtual" file room.
- Do you have back-ups of vital information? Typically, the more effort that a business owner puts into preparing and storing back-ups of both hard copy and electronic files, the easier it will be to recover from a disaster like a hurricane or flood. Be sure you're storing back-up files in multiple secure locations, so if a disaster affects your office, another copy of your information could still be accessed.
- Do enough people know about the plan and where it's stored? If only one person knows about the plan and where it's stored, your company could still be at great risk. Make sure information about your plan is communicated frequently with key personnel.
When handled properly, information and records management programs can improve the organization's operational efficiency, help contain costs and better enable the organization to meet its compliance and disaster recovery needs.