Document and file piles never seem to simmer down, because, let’s face it, the busy season is year round. Some of these files may be extremely important and valuable. Some of them may be very sensitive. And some of them should probably be thrown out or shredded. So, where do you start? Far too often, the sentiment around the office may be “I’ll get to it eventually”, and we reason to ourselves, “besides, I’m in the middle of something”.

But let’s be honest, those piles of paper on your desk aren’t getting any smaller, and sooner or later, you’ll be called upon to find some files or documents, and you won’t be able to. Once it’s gotten to the point of no return, finding a document is like looking for a needle in a haystack. How does your current system affect productivity? How can you clean up your records and find what you need? How do you keep it from happening again?

Unclog Productivity Pipes

Dripping FaucetProductivity is surely to suffer in a labyrinth of unorganized files and documents. Your documents get sucked deep down into the muck, and there it festers and clogs your productivity pipes. When you go and try to use the faucet, a tiny stream comes out. As your team compiles operations processes, fulfills client orders, launches campaigns, and the like, you will begin to find that those buried records start to become a hindrance to your productivity.

When a record is missing, you’ll get pulled away from whatever you’re doing to embark on a winding scavenger hunt with only a hazy paper trail of clues. Finally, if the record is never found, then (if possible) a reproduction of it is necessary, further taking time away from core functions. Worse yet, if you lose a client’s document you could stand to lose that client and tarnish your company’s reputation. So it’s important to take action, and stop putting off the inevitable.

Needle in a Haystack

I hope you’re ready to get your hands dirty. If not, then slip on your jeans, boots, gloves, and grab a pitchfork. It’s time to sift through the haystacks or papers that are now taller than your office building. Treading through the jungle of documents in your office can be a daunting task. But it need not be so dramatic and overbearing. Get the buy in of your entire team and superiors on this project. The more people you have on board, the easier it will be.

Take baby steps. Ensuring that your team is organizing files, little by little and day by day, will yield extraordinary results in the long run. Sending out reminders on clean desk policies, can also encourage employees to file away their documents properly. Just be sure they aren’t sweeping documents under the rug, as this is just hiding disorganized records.

Hold a brief meeting reminding employees how to properly label, organize, and file records, and do a walk-through before you have guests or clients on site. As the day to day paper clutter is whittled down, you’ll find that employees will begin to slowly chip away at older piles of documents. Consistency is important, so once your company starts to see results, it’s time to revamp your efforts.

Prevention is Key

Lock and Key
Once you’ve got your internal records in check, it may be a good idea to find ways to prevent the mess from reoccurring. Having an offsite records management center is probably one of the best investments you can make when it comes to keeping your records organized and keeping work flow highly productive and efficient. A Records Management Company like VeriTrust can streamline and schedule pick-ups and drop-offs of specific files and documents and media.

Also, a content management system can help you find what you need quickly. Which is why scanning and document management systems are one of the many things that a professional records management company can do for your business. Bringing in information management professionals can also give you a glimpse into how you can increase productivity via information management solutions. There may be some key issues that can skyrocket your company’s productivity, and experts, like the ones at VeriTrust, can walk you through some of those information management techniques.

Although the busy season is year round, you can begin the process of turning each season into a productive one. Getting your records organized can be a drag at first, but once you get it moving, you’ll see higher productivity. So, don’t avoid it, attack it head on. Don’t let it get to the point where you’ve jeopardized your business because of disruptions in work flow. Reevaluate your current systems, get buy in from your team, incorporate a clean office lifestyle, and utilize professional information management solutions form a company like VeriTrust.