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How To Avoid Common Document Management Mistakes

Written by Beatrix Potter on 9 October 2020

Efficient and secure document management is essential for businesses to avoid common mistakes. Failing to have a comprehensive document management plan in place can prove to be time-consuming, costly and can even lead to legal problems. Avoid these common document management mistakes in your DMS implementations, to ensure that your business and its growth continue to thrive.

Failing To Create A Centralized Document Management System

It is essential that your digital documents are all organized and tracked in a standardized manner, for disaster recovery and protection of sensitive information, which is why creating a centralized document management system is important. The most effective way to do this is to use automated document management systems, perhaps using a file server from a document management company.

It’s also important to ensure that everyone is clear about how and where documents are being stored and tracked in order to prevent documents being processed multiple times. Additionally, it also allows you to create automatic requests and reminders, saving you time while also helping you avoid this mistake.

Failing To Create A Retention Schedule

“Although you might expect it to be obvious, many organizations are actually unaware which documents they should be storing, how long they should store them for and even how they need to destroy them,” says Tony Rogers, a journalist at Assignment Help and Essayroo. “Creating a retention schedule allows for all these procedures to be formalized and ensures your business is complying with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements.”

You can create your own retention schedule or update an existing schedule to avoid this common mistake. However, seeking guidance from a qualified specialist document management company can help to ensure that you meet all necessary requirements. Along with other business processes, it is also important to ensure that you keep records of document expiration dates. Using an automated system can be especially helpful for this.

Lack Of Digitized Files

The use of automated systems like document imaging and file servers are on the rise, not least because they help to ensure that documents are kept safe, thus reducing the likelihood of them being lost. Among other document management best practices, digitized documents should be scanned and transferred onto a hard drive, file server or enterprise content management (ECM) system, so that they can be easily and securely accessed. Digitizing active files has the added benefit of allowing you to access the information much more quickly and easily, as well as allowing you to store and manage documents more safely.

Failing To Store Archival Files Off-Site

Documents which have expired or are no longer required need to be archived in a secure system.

“Although it may seem more costly, as a management solution, off-site file storage is actually safer,” explains Stephen Lusk, a tech writer at TopCanadianWriters and Studydemic. “Usually, these are purpose-built centres, designed by a document management comp for long-term storage, meaning they have higher security. Normally, these file servers have facilities such as 24-hour staffing, monitoring systems and entry access controls, as well as fire detections and suppression technology. Identifying records are typically kept in secure boxes which have a barcode which is then entered into a tracking database. Record management professionals will then be the ones managing the database. Off-site archives, even for sensitive information, are much safer from both internal and external risks.”

Lack Of Digital Backup Protection

You should have a document management plan in place to help you cope with unexpected or emergency situations, such as disaster recovery. Crucially, you need to ensure that you safeguard your backup data. One way to do this can be to use data tape rotation services. This involves regularly transferring your backup media to a data vault. Barcode technology and specialized tape management are used to track your media in a document management company, as well as for management and safekeeping purposes. If you suffer a data loss emergency, you can quickly have your data tapes delivered to your designated site.

Failing To Dispose Of Records Correctly

Failing to destroy records correctly, securely and in a timely manner can lead to legal liability and privacy protection risks. Avoid common mistakes like this by shredding. Shredding services can deliver destruction sacks, free of charge, to offices. A screened shredding technician will then collect the sacks containing all the documents and will shred them in an industrial-grade shredding machine. A Certificate of Destruction is provided to you at the end of the process, providing you with evidence for future records.   

Conclusion

Ensure that documents are digitized, kept in a centralized document management system and that all archived files and sensitive information are kept in a secure location. Make sure that records are properly disposed of and that you have a reliable and secure backup protection plan in place. In this way, you will be able to avoid making common document management mistakes that could negatively impact your business.

Author's bio: Beatrix Potter is a professional writer at the Australian Reviewer and Top Australian Writing Services. She writes regularly about document management and IT services. Bea also tutors students at all stages of education at Student Writing Services website.

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