What are the benefits of a records management program?

Stefani Schmidt November 20th, 2018

In a world where phishing attacks and data breaches are constant threats, a steadfast hero of data privacy is a strong records management program. For this month’s blog, I sat down with Deluxe’s Records Management Program Manager to learn about Deluxe’s approach.

What is records management?

Records management is the control of all business records at the corporate level. This includes the maintenance, storage and disposition of all paper and electronic records housed within an organization.

At Deluxe, we have a long-standing records management program. Our current records retention schedule, where all record types and retention timeframes are organized, was created after a refresh of the program in 2015. The records retention schedule was created after the completion of a record profiling assessment with the designated representatives from each business area.

To keep the organization accountable, we conduct an annual destruction event to destroy any records that have met the retention guidelines of our records retention schedule.

Each business area has a designated representative trained on Deluxe’s process. These representatives then share information on the program with their team members. The representatives also have access to the management tool online to send and retrieve records from storage.

What can happen if you don’t follow a plan?

Not only is it important to create a plan for all records, but fully executing that plan is also key to preventing many business risks.

Data breaches are an example of one such risk. Bad actors can’t steal records that no longer exist within an organization.

What challenges exist for records management?

Like all initiatives, creating and implementing a records management program can have its challenges.

At Deluxe, one such challenge for business areas is the time and resources it takes for representatives to manage records while also doing their other day-to-day work. One representative summed it up perfectly by saying, “it just takes time, and we have to make it a priority.”

What are some positive experiences?

One big success the Deluxe records management program realized after the refresh of our program in 2015 was the destruction of eligible records in all media types – including thousands of boxes of records stored offsite. Utilizing the refresh in 2015, we were able to refine our criteria to further eliminate unnecessary records.

Another positive experience shared by the Deluxe Program Manager is working with the business area representatives. This includes the distribution of a newsletter to each of the business area representatives which lets the compliance team communicate items of interest to the representatives and engage them and their teams in the atmosphere of record ownership.

What is happening with the industry as a whole?

As technology continues to evolve, so does the records management industry as a whole. This allows for practices to be implemented that meet the changing demands for organizations. New personal information protection laws and regulations are also being created across the globe that impact records management.

Overall, a strong records management program is indispensable to an organization.

This content is accurate at the time of publication and may not be updated.