Top 5 Efficiency Tips

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Practical Steps to Drive Productive Information Management Practices

To help you realize the goal of more productive operations, we've compiled this list of things you can do to streamline your information management processes and promote efficiencies across your company.

Interested to learn how to make these efficiency gains a reality? Contact Iron Mountain today and we'll work with you to put the insights and best practices we've learned from helping over 140,000 companies improve information management efficiencies to use in your business.

  1. Eliminate Bottlenecks

    The usefulness of information is directly tied to how easily it flows throughout your company. So when a record is maintained by a sole custodian, exists in a single physical copy or resides in a lone department, it can create bottlenecks that slow response times, delay billing cycles and make it difficult to distribute the necessary information in a timely manner.

    Eliminating these bottlenecks is a great way to boost efficiency and maximize the usability of the information you create and share each day. To do so, think about how a specific piece of information is used to support a given business process. Ask yourself who needs it, when and for what reason. Then, review access requirements, examine current workflows and determine a means of storing, indexing and — when appropriate — imaging different types of information to provide records to users across your business.

  2. Look for the Paper trail

    Despite our best efforts to eliminate it from the workplace, paper continues to be a prominent part of many business processes. Because paper-intensive activities typically require you to manually print, distribute and store records, they are often the source of many errors and operational inefficiencies.

    Thankfully, removing paper from these processes is a sure-fire way to reduce errors and streamline processes. To start, analyze your workflows to determine where paper is not required, and adjust these processes to prepare for the transition to digital records. Then, establish a procedure for the timely conversion of paper records to an electronic format. At the end of these steps, you'll find it much easier to access a particular piece of information and put it to use toward a variety of ends.

Do more with less, and do it as quickly as possible. It's advice all companies must heed in order to compete in today's economic climate. However, given the amount and variety of information these businesses must access, distribute and manage each day, improving the way it flows from person to person to drive productivity has become no small task.

  1. Zoom in on Copies

    Although we've become accustomed to conducting business via electronic means, we continue to create more physical copies than we need. And whether these copies are piled on an employee's desk or stored in a filing cabinet, keeping too many on hand can significantly hinder agility and slow response times.

    To make sure this isn't the case, examine your current processes and look for areas where redundant copies are draining efficiency. Any situation where multiple copies are created can be refined with the help of centralized, electronic storage that provides company-wide accessibility. Next, develop and enforce policies and procedures that require any copies to be properly destroyed after being used. This way, your employees will have access to the records they need without filling your office with unnecessary paper.

  2. Prepare for the Unexpected

    Events like fires, floods, audits or lawsuits can happen at a moment's notice. When they do, any information security lapses are thrown into the spotlight. And if it's difficult to restore and access critical records, your business suffers and can even grind to a halt.

    Recognizing that the unexpected can — and does — happen is the first step in being able to quickly recover from a disruption or respond to a discovery request. But that's only half the battle. You must also implement disaster recovery processes that ensure a paper record — as well as the system on which electronic information resides — can be restored following an unplanned event. You'll also need to develop litigation readiness programs that help you identify and produce the records needed during a lawsuit in a timely manner.

  3. Create Business Agility

    Quickly responding to requests from internal and external customers alike is highly dependent on your ability to locate the required information in a timely manner. To do this as efficiently as possible, you must optimize your workflows so they are able to flex with the changing needs of your company.

    To achieve this goal, simplify the workflow to the point that it requires the fewest touches, exchanges or approvals to complete, so that as the volume of activity changes, you can easily compensate. Improving throughput in this way helps to create business agility, which has far-reaching implications on your ability to achieve high customer satisfaction marks, deliver products to market on time, share information with suppliers and customers and flexibly manage resources to address emerging business challenges.