Records in Disarray? Don't Become Another Record's Horror Story!
I just finished reading an article in the American Statesman, "Hays County Hires Record Manager After Reports of Disarray." The piece reviewed an outside consultant's assessment of the county's stored records detailing an unorganized, inefficient and sometimes wasteful record keeping practice. The asssesment also found that some departments were destroyingrecords that should be permanently kept. "They just throw records into the boxes. They don't mark them. They don't even put their department on the box. They don't keep lists of anything."
A ton of money is spent storing these records and, and in many cases, it is fritted away. In the article I read they further stated, "Where many of these documents are stored the paper clips have rusted and boxes are sagging from water damage and mold. Spiders and insects have made a home among dirty and torn records." This is not a unique story...it happens so frequently I had to write about it. So many times, we put off a scanning project because it is perceived as being costly or organizations claim they just don't have enough manpower or equipment to tackle the project. Just think if Hays County scanned their documents and stored them on CDs or in a document management system, they would not be facing such a costly project to repair and organize these records. Now they face these expenses to resolve this county's record keeping woes:
- Need to hire a full time Records Manager to label, organize, and catalog
- Document Repair costs
- Mold remediation costs
- New Shelving units
- Increased storage costs to upgrade to a facility that does not have a leaky roof or pest infestation
Have you thought this could happen to your organization? Have you thought about the costs involved to resolve a records mess. Start saving now by scanning your records and documents upfront. Not sure whether to do it yourself or outsource your project, consider these important factors.