What if there was a known winning formula for implementing and executing records management? A recent report by Océ Business Services, who surveyed approximately 372 records managers and executives responsible for document management processes on how their organizations are using records management to drive success indicates there is one. Here's a look.

The report, A Winning Formula: Leveraging the Essential Components of Records Management, found that though a majority of the professionals surveyed claimed to have records management processes in place, the policies guiding them weren’t always well-defined.

A Basic Approach

While most companies indicate that they have some of the basics in place -- such as retention schedules (95%), dedicated staff (94%) and a repository for paper records (91%) -- when it came to electronic records, only 70% said that they have an electronic records repository in place. Though companies utilize document imaging, it’s not always clear what benefit they are knowingly deriving from the process.

Implement Digital Imaging

By converting paper to digital, companies can reap great cost savings, discovery efficiency and over all staff productivity, not to mention enhanced compliance. However, the report shows that only half of the survey participants say that their organization is benefiting from increased compliance as a result of document imaging. Even more, only 21% of organizations are using imaging to improve competition advantage or increase revenue.

Operational efficiency was listed as the primary benefit of document imaging processes.

Such insights provide a much broader view of how effective records management programs are within the enterprise and how much more effective they can be if organizations better understood the benefits they stood to gain.

Take a Holistic View

However, not all is lost. Companies are beginning to apply document imaging to more than just one department. Taking a company-wide approach to document imaging may help enhance abilities and awareness. The report shows that departments like payroll and customer services are also implementing document imaging processes to help them retain and access records more easily.

While records management is the top choice according to executives surveyed, organizations are targeting other functional areas.

Put the Pieces Together

While many organizations may see digital records management as a way to solve specific departmental problems, it’s not apparent that they are aware of the bigger issues that it can supplement and enhance.

Record managers and others involved in the process are behooved to take a step back and look at all the ways that electronic records management is affecting the way they work. Taken separately, it may not look like much, but when put together, it could add up to significant savings of time, money and risk.