Cataloguing for Best Practice in Records Management
Every business accumulates archives and for many of us, that includes paper documents – lots of them, very often stored in archive boxes. A vast majority of these physical records will never need to be viewed again but need to be retained for compliance with statutory legislation, or in-line with internal retention policies. However, that doesn’t mean that just because files are out of sight, they should be out of mind. Far from it, in actual fact! That is why cataloguing is so important for best practice in records management, and in turn, why cataloguing should be viewed as ‘an investment’ rather than ‘a cost’.
You need to know which documents are being stored in which boxes for efficient lifecycle management (especially taking into account the Data Protection Act), and of course, for efficient retrieval should you need to access a particular record. That record might be needed as legal evidence, and either losing it (or not being able to locate it in a timely manner) could be a costly situation for any organisation. Think of all that wasted time too spent searching for elusive records. That well-used expression ‘time is money’ springs to mind and certainly rings true.
If you outsource your document storage, you may also be storing boxes unnecessarily simply because they haven’t got review dates attached to them. That of course costs money too, not to mention the risk of breaching legislation which could result in significant fines and damaged reputation.
A well catalogued archive can help reduce all these risks and help your business run more efficiently and cost-effectively. That is why an increasing number of companies are investing in cataloguing their archives. Having your archives catalogued, also supports the efficiencies of ‘scan on demand’ and ‘scan from archive’, and can be a useful stepping stone to digitising parts of, or your entire physical archive content.
Omnidox Records Manager: an archive management system like no other
If you store your archives with Box-it Central, you also have access to Omnidox Records Manager, allowing you to manage your physical archive content online. It’s a powerful tool for search and retrieval, and cataloguing archive content further enhances its capabilities. For example, one of the many, many features of ORM is that you can add files to existing boxes in storage. ORM also restricts data entry so your archive is logged in a consistent manner. A professionally, consistently catalogued archive makes this procedure so accurate and efficient. ORM has been adopted as an archive management system by many of our clients.
Flexible cataloguing services helping you take control of your archive
Box-it Central offers a range of cataloguing services to suit your archiving objectives, however large or small. We can either take on your entire cataloguing project, or offer consultancy services. We can transfer your archive offsite for cataloguing (we use an advanced barcode system for track and trace purposes so we know exactly where your boxes are), or come to your premises and prepare your archive onsite.
So what happens? We assign an account management team and pre-agree the information you want cataloguing. It is worth noting, that we always recommend that you apply review dates to boxes and files. We then run a test in the early phases to ensure that everything meets your requirements, and make any adjustments that might be necessary. A spreadsheet is prepared containing all the information you want recording. If you use ORM, then this information is uploaded to the system, or you may use your own archive management system. It is also worth noting that we can supply any archive boxes and materials that you may need to carry out the cataloguing project.
We have produced a handy infographic explaining our cataloguing process entitled ’10 Steps to Cataloguing Your Archives with Box-it Central’. It gives an insight into the key steps of our cataloguing service but if you would like to know more, then please get in touch with our records management team for further information.