Paper is one of the largest mass-produced products in the world, and companies go through thousands of reams of paper in very short amounts of time. So how can you be sure that all of your documents are accounted for and have been filed, stored, or disposed of correctly? Some estimates indicate that close to 8% of all documents are lost on a yearly basis. That may seem like a pretty good record, but when you are dealing with secure data, the percentage needs to be zero. Just one misplaced document that leaks private information could potentially lead to thousands of dollars in fines. If you don’t already have a document management plan, now is the time to put one in place.
What is a Document Management Plan?
A document management plan puts in place set guidelines for the handling, storage, and organization of documents. This means that any employee who handles documents at all must be trained and compliant with your document management plan. Any documents that contain private information such as names, addresses, account numbers, billing amounts, medical records, legal information, and the like must be a part of the document management plan put in place at your office. Even electronic documents must be part of your document management strategy and plan. These documents are just as susceptible to theft and mishandling.
How to Start a Document Management Plan
- Choose a specific program for creating documents and require the use of this program or software by all employees.
- Enforce a precise method for distributing and sharing documentation, be it paper or electronic.
- Ensure organizing stored documents is efficient and all employees are trained in the correct organization system.
- Make certain storage of documents is consistent throughout the office, and if physical paper, it is stored in locked storage containers.
- Make sure disposal and destruction of documents is conducted by a professional shredding service such as Shred With Us to keep all records confidential and to obtain an official Certificate of Destruction.
Keeping your documents organized doesn’t have to feel like an impossible task. Implementing a document management plan is key to secured data and private documents.