The Don’t Do It Yourself Movement: Why You Should Outsource Certain Records Management Responsibilities

Melissa Cantarow

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Just for a moment, imagine the worst thing that could happen to your business. No, we’re not talking about your mother-in-law stopping by unannounced. We’re talking about a legitimate legal or financial problem that could jeopardize your future.

If you were hit with a lawsuit, would you be able to find the documents you needed fast enough? Could your company recover from having to pay a large fine because you couldn’t prove you are in compliance with rules and regulations in your industry? If your answer is “no,” you should consider adopting the Don’t Do It Yourself (DDIY) methodology to records management. After all, these types of worst-case scenarios highlight a few of the many reasons why businesses of all sizes need to have thorough records management processes and procedures in place.

The Don’t Do It Yourself (DDIY) Movement

Unfortunately, many small business owners practice the Do It Yourself (DIY) method to records management. Small business owners may assign all of their records-related tasks to their office managers or other staff members, who have their own unique set of other responsibilities to prioritize on a given day. Furthermore, these business owners may store their records in self storage units, their car trunks or their basements. In these scenarios, companies are putting themselves at risk both legally and financially.

As a small business owner, it’s important to remember that you have a responsibility to protect your customers and their personal information. If you do not have the necessary records management policies and procedures in place, you are putting your customers at risk. After all, these assets can contain important information and it’s your duty to ensure that this information doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.

By implementing DIY records storage practices, you may be leaving your sensitive assets vulnerable to everything from natural disasters, such as fires and floods, to theft and a slew of other, more unpredictable risks. Just picture this: One day, you open up the door to your storage unit to discover that some furry intruders have decided to make your file cabinet their new home. You never know what could happen when you don’t have the proper procedures in place!

You and your employees should be focusing your time and energy on fulfilling your customer’s needs and providing them with the best possible experience. Instead of having someone on your team wear multiple hats and manage different priorities in order to complete records-related tasks, you should outsource these duties to an experienced service provider, who will have a full understanding of how different rules and regulations apply to your business.

Why Should You Outsource Your Records Management Tasks?

Here are some additional reasons why you should join the DDIY movement:

Third-Party Providers Know How to Maximize Efficiencies, Giving You More Bang for Your Buck

Outsourcing records management tasks allows you to face more predictable costs. Instead of worrying about the potential of having to pay unpredictable fines due to compliance issues, you can pay a fixed annual or monthly fee to ensure that all of your processes are in check.

They Provide You With Increased Security

Security is critical, especially when your records contain sensitive or personal information. By outsourcing records management to an expert, you can ensure that your security measures are updated on a regular basis to meet any changing needs or risks. Third-party professionals can employ high levels of encryption and provide you with more control over who can access specific records.

Should You Outsource Everything?

There are many steps involved in developing and carrying out an effective records management strategy. While some actions require significant input from business owners themselves, others can be fully offloaded to a third-party provider. Here are some specific tasks that you should consider outsourcing:

Retention Schedules

While you are in a good position to understand which assets are most valuable, a records management professional should take on the task of determining the life cycle of each specific category of records. A knowledgeable partner will understand which types of records should be retained for specific periods of time based on current mandates and compliance regulations.

Records Disposition

Records management professionals will have a thorough understanding of which types of records should be destroyed and how you can dispose of them.

Overall, when it comes to records management, leave it to the experts and don’t do it yourself!

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