(866) 736-2191 support@westint.com

Records Management Is Insurance

by | Apr 22, 2024

What do fire insurance and records management have in common? They protect your business!

You may hate to pay the insurance premiums, but you’re glad you did when a fire occurs, or your information systems are hacked! Similarly, as a decision maker or an organization, you may hate to pay for a well-run and comprehensive imaging and document management program, but when information is needed, a document needs to be found or when you need to respond to “right to be forgotten” requests, audits or litigation, it is a relief to know the program is established, repeatable, functioning and reliable.

Like you, many business leaders experience the following document management challenges:

  • Consistent problems with lost or misfiled information or documents kept in a personal “silo” such as a personal computer drive or file cabinet
  • High volumes of duplicate files with resultant space and version tracking along with volume problems
  • Lower productivity due to employees’ inability to access complete and accurate information in a timely manner (Managers spend 25% of their time looking for information!)
  • Litigation or audits and the resulting document production required to meet their requests for review
  • Maintaining certifications from ISO, SOC, FedRamp, NIST

2010: “The sheer volume of data from e-mail, voice mail, the Internet, fax, news feeds, commercial on-line services and so on appears to be growing faster than the human brain can assimilate the information provided.” These findings were published in a Reuters Report called “Dying for Information? An investigation into the effects of information overload.”

2024: Social media, virtual meeting recordings, transcripts, Slack, Jira, DMs, texts, have added to the sheer daily information overload businesspeople must handle and assimilate at ever-greater speeds. Information overload increasingly influences our ability to make decisions.

Transforming all these inputs into actionable information is possible IF you have curated them through a robust Records and Information Management Program with coherent, practical policies, procedures and processes.

Well-managed repositories of company information will feed your generative Artificial Intelligence tool that delivers information in a form that enables good decisions. This type of solution shows its value, meaning and perspective so you can grow and stay competitive.

Today, your business depends on your employee’s sharing knowledge and making good decisions. The main carrier for knowledge is the document. Documents carry knowledge that people want to share now and into the future.

Circling back to insurance – are your paper documents, such as original research, “in perpetuity” contract clauses, real property plats or “right of way” digitized into a searchable format? If not, contact Western Integrated Systems to work with you to deploy existing, real world (not vapor ware!) technology to convert them so you can use what you’ve already invested in over the years!

The original research in a drug or sustainable energy process that wasn’t practical to manufacture in 1960 or 1970 may be doable now with advances in the past few years.  Make it easy for your teams to find and use that research now and “insure” your company’s future by making those sunk cost archives actionable!

Finally, there is a Utah-based food manufacturer who kept insurance contracts from its inception in 1941. The insurer had only sent premium updates to that original contract.  The records manager had identified the contract as historical and had scanned it so the paper original wouldn’t get damaged. When there was a recall over tainted product, he went to the CEO. The insurance company ended up paying for all incurred costs. (The RM got a raise, too!)  (ARMA InfoCon 2008)

Written by Cheryl Young

Cheryl Young (Senior Project Manager, CSM, CSPO, IGP, CTT+, ermM, ecmP) has been active in the records and information management field for over 30 years as a business process consultant, trainer, records manager, information analyst, contracts manager and project manager with specific expertise in RIM projects trusted systems and Lean process analysis. Cheryl is a frequent speaker with AIIM and ARMA.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *