Records management is a specialized branch of document management that deals with information serving as evidence of an organization's business activities. Records management includes a set of recognized practices related to the life cycle of that information, such as identifying, classifying, archiving, preserving and destroying records.
Paper is multiplying at a rapid rate. Coopers & Lybrand estimates that there are over 4 trillion paper documents in the United States alone, and that they are growing at a rate of 22% annually. With 250 million documents created daily, not to mention the addition of 3.4 billion copies and printouts created each day, paper storage is filling all available space.
If you work in the financial services industry, you know that paper accumulates quickly. Not only does your firm generate a significant amount of paper, but you must also sort, file and store an incredible amount of incoming paper. Even a small investment firm with only 450 to 500 clients could be looking at a minimum of 75,000 new sheets of paper each year. Increase that 100 or even 100,000 times for a large firm or bank, and you have a massive archive of paper that cannot be destroyed. As the amount of paper grows, your business pays the price. Paper files are hard to find, easy to lose and costly to reproduce or distribute.
When deciding if a Document Management System is the right decision for your organization, it is important to understand the five basic components of a successful system along with how it will help increase your efficiency and productivity. A digital document management systems is a software application that captures paper and electronic documents and provides for the storage, retrieval, security and archiving of these documents. The document management process begins with the conversion of paper documents and records to electronic files. Converting these files eliminates many of the obstacles created by paper: labor-intensive duplication procedures, slow distribution, misplaced originals and the inconvenience of retrieving files from off-site storage. Because paper files are also costly to process, duplicate, distribute and store, digitizing paper archives ultimately reduces operating expenses and overhead.
Your organization generates large numbers of paper and electronic documents. Traditional methods of storing paper and electronic records require a great deal of effort to manage, distribute and find those documents. As your book of business grows, so do your files, and so does the time and effort required to manage them.