A document management system is implemented when an organization has outgrown the ability to effectively manage their paper documents. At some point in the growth of a business, its paper files will become so dispersed and voluminous that they will no longer be manageable in a way that ensures efficiency, productivity and accuracy. A key component of a document management system is physical record management software, which enables you to track your records as they move in and out of your company’s physical space.
In this guide, we review the aspects of Physical Record Management Software, types of record management system, what type of software is used for managing records, and what is records management software.
Physical Record Management Software
When it comes to managing your documents, you have two options: a physical record management system or a digital one. While both offer benefits for your organization, there are some key differences between them that may make one more suitable than the other.
Instead of having to pay for storage space, physical record management software allows companies to keep track of documents on-site and off-site.
Physical record management software allows you to keep track of all your documents and files, regardless of whether they’re on-site or off-site. This saves you money by reducing the cost of storage space, while also reducing risk.
Instead of having to pay for physical records management systems, like file cabinets and filing rooms, companies can use digital tools that provide the same benefits—and more. In addition to keeping track of documents on-site and off-site, these tools reduce liability as well as ensure that records are available when needed.
This reduces their building costs, minimizes liability and ensures that records are available when needed.
People are often surprised to learn that a traditional physical record management solution can be significantly more expensive than an electronic one. This is because the overhead costs associated with storing, retrieving and managing paper records are enormous. These costs include purchasing filing cabinets, furniture and hardware, as well as paying for staff time spent filing and retrieving documents.
When you digitize your records you reduce these expenses by up to 90%, making it much easier for businesses to stay within their budget.
Another benefit of electronic record management software is that it helps companies minimize their liability risk by reducing any potential fines or penalties they may incur due to regulations around document retention or legal discovery requests.
Additionally, when employees have access to all company information in real-time through an integrated system rather than having it stored physically onsite, this ensures that everyone has access whenever needed – even if they’re not in the office at the time!
A document management system is implemented when an organization has outgrown the ability to effectively manage their paper documents.
A document management system is implemented when an organization has outgrown the ability to effectively manage their paper documents. The system can be used to store, retrieve, share and track the status of documents. A good document management system allows users to track the location of files so that they are easily found when needed.
At some point in the growth of a business, its paper files will become so dispersed and voluminous that they will no longer be manageable in a way that ensures efficiency, productivity and accuracy.
At some point in the growth of a business, its paper files will become so dispersed and voluminous that they will no longer be manageable in a way that ensures efficiency, productivity and accuracy. This is why companies need physical record management software to help them declutter their records.
Physical Record Management Software: Benefits
The benefits of using physical record management software are numerous:
- You can save time by having all your records in one place. Instead of having to search through various file cabinets or other storage areas to find what you need, everything is right at your fingertips with an online database (and backup copies are also available).
- You reduce the risk of losing information during an office fire or natural disaster because it’s safely stored offsite somewhere else besides the building itself where it could potentially be destroyed if something were to happen there too – such as another fire!
A key component of a document management system is physical record management software, which enables you to track your records as they move in and out of your company’s physical space.
A key component of a document management system is physical record management software, which enables you to track your records as they move in and out of your company’s physical space.
The software provides a central location for all records. It allows you to create, store and retrieve records. It also allows users to track the location of their files through an electronic tracking system that can be accessed from any Internet-connected computer or mobile device.
In addition, the software allows users to track who has accessed which files so that you know who has seen what information—and when they saw it—to prevent unauthorized access or misuse of sensitive information by unauthorized personnel.
There are many benefits to implementing a document management system with physical record management software
Implementing a document management system with physical record management software has numerous benefits.
- It reduces the risk of losing important documents. You can ensure that your records will be available when needed by implementing a physical record management system, which allows you to find the information you need quickly and easily, regardless of where it is stored. This also minimizes liability, as it limits exposure to legal action if someone loses or misplaces an important document.
- It improves efficiency and productivity by reducing time spent searching for files and accessing information from different systems and locations. Documents are more readily available when they are in one centralized location rather than being dispersed across multiple sources. This allows employees to complete tasks more efficiently because they don’t have to go looking for files or try contacting other departments/offices for assistance with finding documents necessary for completing their assignments on time or within budget requirements.
types of record management system
Whether you have a small company or a large corporation, it’s important to properly store and manage the documents created in the course of business. These can include anything from digital files and tax returns to contracts and project reports. That’s where document and records management comes in. Its main goals are to process recorded information, improve general work processes and provide faster retrieval of data. Several types of record management systems exist, and each has distinctive characteristics.
What Is a Records Management System?
Missing business receipts or invoices, misfiled documents and corrupt files are all common complaints among business owners. Between 2005 and 2018, over 22 million records were exposed in the U.S. as a result of data breaches. Furthermore, employees spend half their time searching for information related to their company’s activity. More than 26 percent say that data management in their organizations is somewhat chaotic.
Companies large and small are required to keep their records for a certain period. Bank and credit card statements, for instance, should be stored in a secure location for at least seven years. The same goes for tax return preparation documents. Investment account statements, canceled checks and pay stubs must be kept for at least one year.
What if these documents are lost or damaged? Imagine turning on your computer to realize it has been hacked. If your office building catches fire, all your files could be lost forever. Sure, you can always keep copies in a different location, but this would involve more space and higher costs.
A records management system, also known as an RMS system, can make everything a lot easier. This kind of software allows you to store, find and use official records as evidence of transactions, payments and other business operations. The latest document and records management programs have advanced features like search tools, scanning capabilities, retention and classification tools, compliance tracking functions and more.
Records management not only ensures that your files will be readily available whenever you need them, but it can also improve workflow and productivity within your organization. Employees will be able to quickly retrieve data, process information, identify the owner of each series of records and eliminate redundant data.
Cloud-Based Records Management Software
With a cloud-based records management system, you have all your documents in one place. This digital storage solution acts as a warehouse for the files within your organization, allowing you to access them anytime, anywhere. It’s particularly useful for companies with remote teams as well as those with offices in multiple locations.
This type of RMS software keeps your files secure and eliminates the need for additional programs to perform routine backups. Furthermore, it enables users to assign specific files to other team members and send notifications in real-time rather than sending emails back and forth. Since the data is stored on the host’s servers, it’s less vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Enterprise Records Management Software
Large organizations typically opt for enterprise records management software. These programs have advanced capabilities and can store, organize and process large amounts of data. With an enterprise RMS system, you’ll find it easier to manage physical and digital records, track the status and location of each file and transfer your data from legacy systems to the latest software.
For best results, choose a program with secure user access controls, real-time data indexing and disposal management mechanisms. A reliable enterprise RMS system allows you to place records on hold, conduct full-text searches and import physical and digital records in any format from any source. These features can streamline your business operations and lead to better decision-making.
These types of records management software can be further broken down into several other categories. Content management systems, document management systems and digital imaging systems are just a few to mention. Which one to choose depends on your company’s needs and budget.
what type of software is used for managing records
Modern records management software is designed to control records within an organization systematically and to offer key personnel an easy and quick access to any piece of information needed. Such software will help manage records in any format.
But evaluating, selecting, and buying records management software depends on several factors. Not every system is right for all users. This is why googling “the best records management software” is not the right way to go.
The system you choose should fit the complexity and size of your organization. To make the right choice, you will need to know what you need specifically:
These are just some of the factors you must consider when buying records management software.
Manual records management may have been effective in the past, but this hardly meets the requirements of today’s fast-moving technological environment. Manual systems are time-consuming, inflexible, prone to error, and very costly.
An automated system will provide faster access to data due to its robust searching capabilities, and is easier to learn. Also, an automated system will help you organize your records, allowing you to capture, store, manipulate, and manage the data the records contain. These systems also help your organization to be data storage compliant because the companies behind the systems keep track of compliance requirements.
If you choose right records management software, it will provide many benefits to your organization such as:
So to determine what your organization needs (and does not need) of records management software, let’s take a look at several key issues when picking a new records management system.
Conducting A Records Inventory
As a user, first, you must determine what items and activities the records management software will manage. For example, active records, inactive records, historical records, vital records, records retention scheduling, and so on.
Many organizations evaluate their records management needs by conducting a records inventory. Such inventory will determine what and how many records you have, their environmental and physical condition, their current location, and how often you refer to them.
Also, an inventory will provide a survey of your current records situation, determine storage needs, identify archival and vital records, and provide a foundation for a good records management plan. Once you have collected this important information via an inventory, you can start to investigate what type of software will work best for your organization.
Evaluating Your Records Management Needs
Evaluating your records management needs will help you determine precisely what the software must do. But before that, you first need to evaluate what records management functions you really need and what are the performance criteria of the software.
Records management software can provide many specific features that you may want to consider such as:
Questions To Consider When Selecting Records Management Software
While you search for records management software, it will benefit you to ask these questions about what the software can and cannot do:
What records do I need to manage? You should know precisely what records you want to manage and what problems you want to solve. Consult with others in your organization about their records management needs to help choose the best software solution.
What kind of software will meet my needs? There are many types of software that support records management. Make sure you are looking at the right kind of product for your specific needs.
What software do other organizations use? Contact other organizations to learn what software they use and why, so you will determine what to avoid and what will work for you.
Is the manual clear and easy to understand? Vendors should provide you with a copy of the software’s manual before buying. The manual should outline how to use the software. It should also include information on troubleshooting and contacts for questions. Examine the table of contents and index for detail, clarity, and comprehensiveness. Make sure you can understand the software’s manual and can use it without difficulty.
Is the software easy or difficult to master? The software can be too complicated for your needs. A vendor can tell you that the software can do anything you want – but it can also do more than you need. Additional features that you do not need will probably cost more. Test the software before purchasing. If it offers more features than your organization needs, search for other software packages.
Does the system do what it is supposed to do? You know what you need, so make sure the software supports those needs. Make a list of what you want the software to do, and check the list as you test the package.
Are the screens helpful? Screens provide access to operating procedures during use. These procedures should be brought up on a screen easily and should be easy to understand and follow.
Are tutorials available? Tutorials provide step-by-step directions on how to operate a system. Tutorials are a bounty in any software package. However, they must be logical, written in simple language, and able to answer your questions clearly and concisely.
Will error messages appear when making an error? Error messages should pop up on the screen when you hit the wrong button or try to enter unacceptable data. The message should be easily understood and provide a recommended solution to the problem.
Is the system menu-driven? A menu-driven system performs actions from a menu of options. The menus should lead the user smoothly throughout the system. Menu screens must be easy to understand and organized logically. They should also provide shortcuts for experienced users and a secure, but easy, sign-on.
How fast is the system? Make sure the software works fast and that your computer will run it without shutting down repeatedly.
Does the software remove the need for redundant data entry? You shouldn’t have to re-enter the same data into the system. You should only need to enter a specific data element once, in one location.
Can global changes be performed? You should have the ability to modify information in the whole system with a single change. With this options, you can, for example, change a department’s name and update every instance of it throughout the system.
Is switching between files allowed? The system should enable you to switch back and forth between files without having to save the current page. It should also allow you to exit to a menu and transfer to another file.
Are backup procedures provided? The system should provide procedures that backup all of your data on a regular basis, and the capability to restore backed-up data is essential. Determine whether the entire system will need backup or just the data, and decide who will set the schedule to execute regular backups.
Are there other conditions to examine before buying? There may be conditions that exist in your organization that should be reviewed before buying any software. Budgetary flexibility will determine both the price you spend on software, hardware, and staffing, and the price of entering your data into the system. Consult with your staff to determine their familiarity with computer use. Analyze what in-house support you may need. Also, engage the assistance of others in your organization and use their expertise as you plan your RM program.
Are there any special features I require? You may require some special features. Some special features include bar coding, networking capability, label printing, and advanced security. These features may be part of the system or may be enhancements to the basic application.
Is there an annual maintenance fee added to the software? Some companies that generate specialized records management software add an annual fee that covers any maintenance needed or upgrades. Since this will be a continuous fee, be sure that your organization is able and willing to pay it annually.
Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Records Management Software
If there are existing records management software products that meet your needs, it is more cost effective to buy a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software package instead of developing one in-house or hiring a consultant to write on for you. Maybe you will have to modify the way you work to accommodate the COTS software, but it offers advantages over custom-developed applications, such as:
Because of these advantages, the State Archives suggests that you buy off-the-shelf records management software if such products meet your needs – even if you have to modify your work processes slightly.
Choosing The Records Management Software
As you make decisions on what records management software to buy, keep the following in mind:
The quality of seller support can affect the value of the software package. To ensure that what you expect in seller support is what you get, make sure you understand how each of the followings will be managed:
Records management software can make a more productive and effective records management program for your organization. Evaluate the software packages carefully so that it will meet your needs. The time you spend in selecting and evaluating the right software will provide a long-term payoff for your organization. And remember:
In short, use common sense. Ask questions. Review your needs. Buy only what you need. Create your records management program one step at a time.
If you’re at a loss as to where to start, there are many companies that provide unbiased consulting services. Some of these companies have decades and decades of hands-on cumulative experience working with small businesses and government agencies alike. Their experience and expertise can prove invaluable when choosing your records management software. It will be an extra expense for your organization but on the long run it can be the best investment you can make.
what is records management software
Capture, identify, store, and dispose of business records according to policies with records management software.
Manage documents, email messages, and files according to your defined records management policies with records management software.
How records management software works
Records management software automates records policies and procedures. It allows you to define and build procedures that bring consistent business practices, secure information, and capture an audit-traceable log of activity.
Wherever quality standards and compliance are an issue, such as with regulatory requirements, ISO, FDA, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, Basel II, e-Discovery, and more, records management software works in tandem with security, logging, and electronic signatures to ensure files are managed in compliance.
Records management software controls information
Records management for e-discovery
Rules for e-discovery require that electronic documents, emails, and other files relating to legal requests be identified and made available within a short amount of time. Records management helps enable compliance by allowing you to accurately and quickly identify records and so they can be retrieved and made available when needed.
Include email in records management software
Managing email records and email attachments has become a significant concern at many organizations, where email now represents the single largest gap in compliance. By including email records within the records management system, risk is avoided in email compliance.