When it comes to records management, document archiving, and file storage, it is important you pick the right strategy for your business. Every organisation has different needs and requirements when it comes to records management and these requirements depend on the size, nature, and industry of the organisation.
Small businesses, for example, can sometimes implement their own in-house records management systems. This is not to say that their records are less important – it is vitally important that businesses of all sizes keep their records for several years – but smaller businesses are more likely to be able to store their records in a secure area that can be organised easily.
Bigger businesses, especially banks, insurance providers, and telecom giants, may require a more substantial space. Therefore, a lot more organisation must go into their records management system to ensure security and rapid file retrieval.
Different records management systems
Each different records management company will opt for a different system of archiving. Different systems have different benefits and, importantly, different systems can cost varying amounts.
Here are a few examples of some records management systems and their comparative costs:
- Fully digital: This records management system emphasises the digitalisation of physical records. In the long-term this is extremely useful as physical files can then be stored on the cloud and accessed rapidly. However, in the short-term this is expensive and time-consuming. It is also important to note that in Kenya, physical files must still be kept in their original format for several years. And often – especially in a legal case or where KRA is involved – an original document is required.
- Barcode-based FILE tracking: In this system, each file that is stored is given a unique barcode, or, in some cases, simply a unique number identifier. When you want to retrieve a certain document, you ask for the file name and, once retrieved, the barcode is scanned to allow the file to be re-filed in the correct location upon its return. At the Filing Room, we give every file a unique identifier until its first retrieval. At this stage, a retrieved file is given a physical barcode before it is dispatched to the customer.
- Barcode-based BOX tracking: This system is similar to #2 except rather than each file being barcoded, each box is instead provided with a unique barcode. This option is faster and cheaper. In this case the customer will retain a record of what is stored in each box and when they need a file retrieved they will request the entire box.
- Location-based tracking: This system is what most of us are used to in a normal office. Smaller businesses, which have the ability and space to create their own archives, frequently opt for a system whereby files are stored in a specific order that is relative to each other and must not change. For example, we are all used to filing personnel files in alphabetical order. This system is simple to set up and organise but has the downside of often needing complete rearrangement to file in more files when any one location is full.
Records management companies in Kenya
We do not profess to know all the secrets and techniques of all the leading records management companies in Kenya, but it is likely that they all opt for some version of the above systems. If you want to find out just how your files are going to be stored, this article may provide you with some useful terms and phrases to use if you are considering external file storage.
As for us here at The Filing Room, our system has been designed to encompass all the benefits of the above systems in a balanced and affordable approach. We offer all our clients the option to digitise their records, especially their most important documents.
The best part of our system is our hybrid file-tracking system that is unique to our service. We put barcodes on each of our boxes and for each file, we generate a unique tracking code – a TMP FileCode, which means we can get specific files to our clients quicker and cheaper.
If you want to find out more about this unique system, we would be happy to discuss it with you, whether in our office on the Mombasa Road or over the phone. Here are our contact details.