Netflix’s latest hit is “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” wherein Marie Kondo – organizing consultant, author and creator of the KonMari™ method – helps clients declutter their homes. Using her trademarked process, Kondo encourages clients to get rid of items that fail to “spark joy.”
While disposing of documents, files and other assets that don’t inspire happiness is definitely NOT advisable for businesses, knowing exactly what you have – and what you need to keep – is, in fact, highly recommended.
Whether your office is filled with filing cabinets and boxes bulging with records – or if you’re storing them offsite but aren’t sure what you have – now is the perfect time to get organized.
Take stock of what you have – and what you’ll gain with document storage
Organizing and storing your company records can be more challenging than organizing your home, as there’s obviously more at stake. For instance, your business could be holding onto files that you no longer need or improperly storing ones that you are legally required to keep – and the latter could get you into serious trouble. On the other hand, the federal government isn’t going to fine you if you mistakenly throw away your old home utility bills or the warranty for your TV.
That’s where an experienced document storage company comes in: They’ll come out to your office and assess your company’s files, do all the heavy lifting and smoothly transfer your records to a secure offsite storage facility. They may also provide you with a convenient online portal to request the delivery and pickup of records, so you’ll have the files you need, when you need them.
And, whether you’re at the stage where you’re thinking about storing records offsite, or if you already have your company’s files stored in a secure facility, it’s worth considering index-level filing to ensure the highest level of organization. With index-level filing, each file is individually barcoded and a general description of the file contents is included. That way you can be sure the file you request is the one you actually need.
By organizing your records and moving them offsite, you’ll not only reclaim valuable work space in your office, your business will also be able to operate more efficiently with faster, easier access to necessary records. You can further optimize your company’s business operations by choosing a document storage company that offers powerful records management software.
Organizing is just the beginning: the benefits of a records management plan
Freeing up space in your office and having easy and efficient access to files are just some of the benefits that come from organizing your company’s records. A much more significant benefit: protecting your business from unnecessary risk. When you know what records you have and how long you’re required to maintain those records – and in what manner – it helps ensure you are compliant with government and industry regulations.
And, while Marie Kondo’s method involves her clients holding each object in their hands to determine if it “sparks joy,” there’s a much more effective strategy for businesses: records management.
A vital part of document management, records management focuses specifically on compliance. Depending on the type of record and the industry you’re in, there are specific federal, state and local regulations in place regarding how a record is created, who has access to it, where and how the record is stored, the length of time it must be kept, and how it must be destroyed. Policies are updated routinely and noncompliance can expose your company to serious risk and penalties. In addition to steep fines, your business could be left open to costly lawsuits and suffer damage to its reputation.
A successful records management plan ensures that your company creates, shares, retains and destroys records in accordance with current government policies and industry standards. It is updated frequently to ensure you do not miss any changes to regulations and, if followed correctly, the importance of a records management plan’s role in mitigating risk cannot be overstated.