What is Records Management software?
Records Management software helps a company to make sure that they meet all the legal and regulatory requirements imposed by the government. Furthermore, such system is there simplify the processes behind the creation, distribution and maintenance of all records necessary to stay within legal compliance. In this way it works a lot like Document Management solutions, but with a more specific purpose.
There are different trends you need to understand when evaluating what Records Management software to use:
Dealing with periodic compliance
Certain industries will require compliance documents to be presented at regular time intervals. Some industries such as the food industry might require records to be shown quarterly or even yearly; depending on international, national and local regulations
Dealing with liability compliance
For other industries, it is not necessary to show compliance records until after a specific incident has happened. Those documents should still be maintained and show that safety guidelines were indeed followed; but the documents and records will not need to be shown unless such incident were to happen. In either case, not showing the appropriate records can lead to a business being liable for any damage as a consequence of such incident.
Differentiating between records and documents
Some companies can get confused between the need for document management versus the need for record management. It is best to evaluate each system and determine which best fits an organization’s needs before deciding which one to purchase.
Here are the common features involved in Records Management software:
This is the main feature of a good Records Management system, and it allows for scanning records as well as duplicating, saving and sending them. Some automation will take place depending on an enterprise’s policies for retention and classification of those records.
Records search tools
Such tools allow employees to search and find the records they need. A user can search for a specific record by entering the right data into a text field; or alternatively use a diversity of search operators.
Document compliance tracking
This can issue alerts and warnings to ensure certain documents are maintained within compliance; so that records can be updated or even replaced.
Different versions of records
This system deals with different versions of the same record. It allows administrators to track the changes in a record; ensuring that the master copy has all the changes made to previous versions.
Tools to retain and classify documents
Those tools allow to retain documents and records for as long as they are legally required to be there. This will be based on existing law, but also on a company’s document and records policy.
Why Use Records Management software
here are many benefits to purchasing and using Records Management software:
- Simplifies the workflow needed to create, maintain and distribute records; saving many working hours a reducing errors.
- Ensures that a company is always in compliance with government laws and with their own rules.
- Reduce fines, lawsuits and other penalties incurred by poor record management.
- More secure records, less prone to being lost or damaged.
Your use of Records Management software will vary depending on your needs and the needs of your business:
- Enterprises looking to digitize a large amount of paper records should look for records management software with scanning capabilities. This is the best way to get those records off the paper format onto the safer and easier to access digital format. Without those scanning abilities, the process of digitalizing those documents and records will be archaic and disorganized.
- Some businesses have such an extensive trail of records that the process of digitalizing them will simply take too long and is therefore almost unfeasible. If paper records are to be kept, using RFID (Radio-frequency Identification) tags will be of great help to allow the tracking of those paper records. This is an ideal compromise between an old paper based system and a fully digital one.
- Whatever the business is, it is important to make the difference between the need for record management and document management. Some companies have been know to confuse the two of them; as after all they are similar concepts. Managing documents doesn’t always mean managing compliance records, so it is essential for any company to figure out if their compliance needs justify purchasing a system for that very own purpose.