When you are looking to implement best practices as a part of your warehouse management, don’t forget to reduce risk by deleting your documents. Information Governance encompasses document management as well as information security, compliance, business intelligence, and big data. It attempts to find the balance point between extracting value from data and reducing the potential risk of data. While the cost of storage may be minimal, it can cost exponentially more if there is ever a reason to do e-discovery for legal or compliance reasons. When there is a legal action of some sort, auditors or regulators or the FBI can secure the data on a company’s servers and workstations and sift through it all. A study by the RAND Corporation, Where the Money Goes, estimates that e-discovery costs average $18,000 per gigabyte.
4 ways to manage the risk
There are steps that you can take to minimize your risk.
- If you don’t need it, delete it. Yes, this can take time, but every piece of unneeded warehouse management information not only costs money to store, but it is a liability. Think of all of those emails in your inbox that also have attached documents.
- Purge customer email and unnecessary information. You are liable for customer data. If a customer is subject to legal action that requires e-discovery, and you have received related customer data, your systems are open for discovery as well.
- Classify information. You should classify all information that you are storing. For example, if an email string is discussing sensitive company information like business strategy or engineering changes, that email should be clearly marked as confidential. This is legal protection.
- Make document management policies and follow them. It can be easy to ignore the document archiving process—the task is complete and you move on. However, creating a document management strategy is important for your long-term warehouse management success and efficiency.
You can perform document management manually—that’s what you had to do when your documents were all paper—but automated document management systems (DMS) are available that can make retrieval, retention and disposition easy.
Scanco has a team of certified consultants who can advise you on best practices in warehouse management. Contact us to review your current warehouse management processes.