For many industries, the seemingly growing volumes of paper are overwhelming despite attempts to minimize paper use within an office. The paperless office is still a dream. It may be tempting to convert your organization’s physical documents into electronic documents, seeing as how electronic documents are much easier to search for and locate. However, digitizing an organization’s entire records database is not required nor practical.
Despite its obvious benefits, digitizing physical records are extremely time consuming, expensive, and legally may not be an option as e-signatures aren’t legally binding in many states and nations. For security reasons, duplicating information for the purpose of digitizing also acts as a risk in regards to corporate or legal compliance and regulation policies.
However, understanding that physical records are not electronic documents but can work the same way, is important to realizing how your PRM should work for you the way your electronic content management works. Let’s adopt a few key steps from electronic document management to take advantage of your physical records strategy.
Taxonomy and metadata is extremely important to electronic document management and the same should be said for PRM. Build a taxonomy system that works with the type of information that your company handles in a way that is easy to understand and work with. Once you’ve set up a corporate taxonomy structure for your physical records, make sure to appropriately tag its data properties. Metadata tags are then applied acting as the key to search and locate functions that work with records management systems.
Search, Tracking & Locate:
For physical records, instead of digitizing physical documents, work with your provider to attach bar code or RFID search and tracking capabilities to record types and files. You’ll be able to search for, track, and locate records once the items are properly labeled and tagged, within the software.
Electronic document solutions offer web-based browser UI’s that allow users to log into, access, search for, and locate their files conveniently. With proper organization and the application of labeling and tracking, access to your physical records should be allowed the same convenience. Solutions offering a unified interface that displays both the physical records and electronic documents of an organization, will see an increase in work efficiency and a decrease in time spent hunting for necessary files.
An effective PRM doesn’t need records to be digital. Digitizing is usually out of the budget or simply out of reach in a realistic attempt whether it’s time consuming, legally impossible, or a security factor. However, there are still ways to enhance PRM. Take advantage of your physical records and optimize your records management with these 3 adopted features from electronic documents management, today.