For years we have heard of the coming “paperless society” due to advances in technology. Yet, the world is cutting down four billion trees to produce 300 million tons of paper. So, in spite of sophisticated software, electronic storage and computer back-ups, paper is not going away any time soon, and certainly not in my lifetime. So that brings us to five very important questions when it comes to company records: (1) What records do we have (2) Where are they located? (3) How do we find them? (4) Who is responsible for them? and (5) When do we destroy them?
These sound like very fundamental questions, yet some companies don’t pay much attention to these questions until an issue develops, and then it’s all hands on deck. One pharmaceutical company, for example, did not pay attention until it was hit with a fine of over two million dollars because it did not dispose records properly. A records retention schedule could have easily prevented their records problem nightmare. The point is that we need systems and processes to manage our paper. It is estimated by DataPro/Gartner Group that 25% of enterprise paper documents that are misplaced will never be located. That’s a problem. Imagine going to court and telling the judge your company cannot find a really important document.
There are many software programs out there to manage records. At IST, we developed a software program called DocStor Records. The software is not designed to migrate a company’s records from paper to digital format. Instead, it manages a company’s paper records that are either located in the file room, in someone’s office or off-site. With a system like this records don’t get lost, and people don’t spend valuable time searching for records.
When analyzing solutions for records management, there are several differentiators to keep in mind regarding DocStor Records. Here are a few:
- The system enables the user to mark an item as missing so when it is found and scanned in the future, an alert can be sent.
- The system has built-in automated retention and final disposition tracking.
- It has a user-friendly interface.
IST has always been a technology-driven company from day one. This is why we developed our own web-based software to manage our facilities management accounts including mail, copy and records. We even have software to manage conference rooms and use voice-recognition to sort mail. Jerry Mande once said, “All technologies should be assumed guilty until proven innocent.” This is so true and it’s why some software programs become shelf-ware. DocStor Records is a practical tool that gets the job done. It is another example of the innovation we bring to our customers in the form of technology solutions. Technology is in our future and IST will continue to create and harness it for our client’s needs. As we move forward into the second half of the year, let’s continue to do a great job for our clients! Thank you for all that you do!