Kaizen Infosource LLC

How long do I keep electronic records?

The legal retention period for records is not determined by their format. Instead, retention depends on the function of the record and their legal, administrative, and fiscal value. Defined retention periods for a record, means all formats are to be destroyed/deleted.

Records in all formats subject to an audit or legal discovery must be retained until released by the organization.  Once released, normal retention requirements are to be followed.

Why do I need a Retention Schedule?

As your business grows and ages, you’ll find it less efficient and more costly to keep outdated records and information. That sifting takes time and costs valuable resources—namely, your time and salary, and your company’s valuable floor or server space. The more outdated information you keep also becomes a burden if you’re ever sued or must go through an audit. A Retention Schedule is a classification table that defines the categories of records in your organization, how long to keep them, and can be used as the basis for a folder structure in electronic environments.  Without the folder structure, history is likely to repeat itself with the comingling of records and non-records within the system.

Are electronic Records legal in Court?

Yes, they are! Most records today start in electronic form.  If a Record starts in electronic form, there is no need to maintain a duplicate paper file as long as you can prove that the system that maintains the records is secure and maintains accurate, authentic records.  Records that come into an organization can be scanned and input into an electronic system; however, this electronic system can only manage the records if they are in a folder structure based on the Retention Schedule and rules applied.

Should we train our employees on Records and Information Management program requirements?

Yes, you should train staff.  Records and Information Management rules and practices within an organization are usually not common knowledge and many employees do not understand that there are legal requirements mandated of companies.

Kaizen can help prepare appropriate training for all levels in your organization, from executives to entry level employees. We can deliver training either onsite or through webinars. Each of our training classes is customized to your organization and to the right level.

What are some critical steps in implementing an Enterprise Content Management Solution?

First of all, not all Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions are the same.  Each software solution is different with differing features. Before calling vendors, know what the problem statement is for this project.  What are you trying to accomplish within your organization? Second, if the goal is to deploy enterprise-wide, know that this is a multiple-year project and will require a plan and routine communication to senior management on accomplishments as well as communication throughout the organization to keep them motivated.

Be sure and meet the vendors and see what each software solution can do.  Remember you will be investing a lot of money into the software and it will be a long-term relationship.