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Companies are consolidating more than ever before to take advantage of “Joint Synergy” solutions.  As an Information Manager, you need to take a proactive approach to assure company records are properly assessed, secured, transferred and protected, before, during and after the transition.

Records Managers need to “step-up” and control the information process, starting with the due diligence phase.  What information does the company need to make an appropriate decision?  What records does the C-Suite need to address risks, liabilities and commitments?  What do Records Managers need to know to assist their company on making the right decisions?  Once the acquisition is green-lighted, what action needs to be taken to protect and transfer the information?

Records Management questions to ask when assessing the cost and risk of the merger or acquisition:

  • How many systems of record exist between the two companies? Is Outlook an ad hoc system of record?
  • How many of the systems start with “record 1” with sequential unique document id assignment?
  • What are the ERP systems?
  • Are there separate workflow applications that manage approvals/rejections/request for information around transactional documents like requisitions, invoices, employment applications?
  • What are the meeting applications?
  • What are the training applications?
  • Does a records management program exist?
  • Do employees use non-IT supported cloud-based storage for company records?
  • Are there boxed records in storage, either in commercial records centers, self-storage or the building’s parking garage?

These questions are often overlooked in assessing the risk but almost always lead to extended transition periods of years versus months if not addressed and planned for during the transition.

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