February 9, 2021

Don't Forget About Physical Records Management

4 minute read
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The Myth Behind Physical Records

Many believe that with the ongoing efforts to modernize how businesses operate and a continued push for digitization, eventually physical records and the need to manage these records will become extinct. However, this is not the case. In an AIIM survey, 66% of people reported that paper use in their organization wasn't declining - in fact, 42% said that paper use was increasing. For some industries, the need for paper records is not only preferred; it is essential. Many legal and financial services still require paper records in certain situations—real ink signatures on contracts over digital signatures.

Regardless of the industry, your company may very well have some amount of physical records. Without proper management of these records, you are exposing your company to significant risks.

What is Physical Records Management?

Physical records management is much more than stuffing your company’s paper into a file box and hoping there will never be a need to relocate it amid the unorganized file closet where it sits.

Gimmal describes a record as any information subject to corporate, legal, or regulatory retention requirements. The need to keep the information may be required to comply with regulations, proof a transaction occurred, or to reference historical management. Physical Records are the hard-copy records that we can touch. They take up physical space.

Physical records management is managing the assets that you can touch throughout the information lifecycle.

Why is Physical Records Management Important?

There is nothing worse than realizing you needed to locate a document that you misplaced two years ago. Just like the need to organize your OneDrive is essential to having easy on-demand access to electronic files, the need for physical records management is the same. Keeping your physical records tagged and categorized in a dedicated system will give you control over your information and classify it according to your organization’s retention schedule. You will have peace of mind knowing that you can locate what you need when you need it and that the information is regulated appropriately, decreasing your company's liability significantly.

Top 4 Ways to Optimize Your Physical Records with Processes and Tools

1. Standardize

Once you have discovered all of your company’s physical records that need to be managed, it is best to standardize the organization of your information based on what works best for your company. Standardized, off-the-shelf software tools, configurable to your organization’s requirements, yield physical records that are easy to find and difficult to misplace.

2. Systematize

Apply retention policies across all physical records according to your organization’s records schedule and policies. Choosing an appropriate records series will not only eliminate the time and money wasted with manual spreadsheets, but you will also ensure a defensible audit trail with approved disposition.

3. Space Management

Space costs money, and it is best to optimize where you are placing your information. Too often, physical records pile up and increase the number of files in your file closet. Take control of your space by reducing the volume of materials maintained to only the necessary information. Identify the available space in storage facilities and allocate space for incoming boxes ensuring continued organization.

4. Barcoding/RFID

Generate a barcode, RFID and/or color label system for your organization. This expedites movement of hard-copy records, provide inventory reconciliation capabilities, and increases efficiency in locating important information .

Gimmal makes it easy for you to achieve your physical records management goals. With Gimmal Physical, you can organize and manage your physical information's life cycle with effective and efficient ease.

To learn more about how to take control of your physical records management, schedule a demo with one of our experts.

On-demand webinar How to ensure physical records compliance

 

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