The organizations need some well laid out and formal document management policy. The need of the policy is there so that all the processes of the document management system, from the time of document creation to the document destruction, are well documented and the authorities and responsibilities as well as liabilities are well defined. The modern records management systems are basically the electronic systems and therefore these are also called the electronic document management system (EDMS). These are an important part of any such policy.
Some of the most common things which can be done by the electronic records management system are the following:
- Making the records data capable of electronic processing: This is done by using the digital cameras or by using the scanners for this purpose. Both these methods not only capture the data but also convert these to the digital format, making it compatible for the electronic storage. The software is linked to the machines used for capturing the data.
- Safe storage: After the data is captured and converted in the right format, it is stored in the safe way in different ways. These could be the optical media like the DVDs or CDs, or these can even be the remote data warehousing using the servers. The safety aspect is the predominant consideration in the selection of the right media. However, the retrieval is important as well.
- Accessing and retrieving the data: If the data is stored in the most secure way, it shall be made accessible for use. The access to the data will depend on its utility to the different levels of an organization as well as on the sensitivity of the data. The different layers of verification for the different levels of authority are required to be assigned to enable access to the designated people. For the data which is not very sensitive, the access does not need to be having a multiple verification system.
Once the records management system is accessible, it is required that the data shall be made easily retrievable. Without the proper organization of the data with suitable indexing, easy retrieval is not possible to be done. The retrieval is different from the access. Even if you have the access, but your data is lost in the thousands of files without logical organization, you will feel lost and finding the data will take a lot of time. So, the document management system shall be able to make the retrievable possible.
- Version Control: This is a key element of the management system for the documents since the documents are written or created and reviewed many times before these are cast in the final shape and content. The software makes it possible to accept the modifications in the documents by enabling access control measures.
Some of the documents might also need storage in the physical format, as these are. For this you might need the special business cartons for storage and for carrying away to different locations.