Computerized Management of Paper Records

Computerized Management of Paper Records

In the early days of records management, old documents were stored exclusively on paper. Old records – sometimes sorted, sometimes not – were simply placed into cardboard boxes and stored in a warehouse or back room until…whenever. Much has changed over the years in regards to document management. Today, companies are required by law to retain many records for certain periods of time. Failure to do so can result in government sanctions, and even criminal charges. It becomes necessary then, for companies to store and maintain their records, as well as access them at the appropriate time in the future. Fortunately, modern records management firms have advanced computerized records management systems which are up to the task. In this article, we will take a look at how these systems work, and how they help to ensure speedy, hassle-free access to your documents.

First, modern records management facilities make use of bar-codes to track boxes, and sometimes even individual files contained within these boxes. Each box or file that comes into the records management facility receives a bar-code sticker. Ideally these bar-codes will be attached immediately upon arrival at the facility. This sticker is then scanned, and all of the information about the item – such as the item’s owner, contents, status, and retention schedule - is placed into a central computer database. This ensures that each and every record is indeed filed in the correct box. Security measures are strictly enforced in any good records management facility, and only those with authorization from you, the client, will be allowed to move or open any of your stored items.

When files or boxes are moved, or delivered back to their respective owners, they are scanned again, and their location (as well as their status information) is updated in the central computer database. Security measures are strictly enforced in any good records management facility, and only those with authorization from you, the client, will be allowed to move or open any of your stored items.

Using these techniques, all deposited items are accounted for at all times. The owners and locations of each item can be tracked for easy access to files. Clients of the records management facility are typically given a computer print-out, a list of all items stored in the records management facility, and their locations. Some records management firms go a step further by offering clients access to their warehouse inventory database via the Internet. Some of these systems even allow the client to schedule a delivery from anywhere, at any time. By employing a records management firm using such a system, you can rest assured knowing you may never lose another important document again.

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