When small business managers hear the term records compliance, they often think more about costs than opportunities. From weathering the glares of a disapproving auditor to facing the controversy and expense of a customer lawsuit, non-compliant records storage can lead to a variety of unsavory outcomes.
But to inspire steps in the right direction, maybe it’s time small and medium-sized businesses learn about some of the less publicized – but potentially more compelling – reasons to get their compliance management protocols in order.
Contrary to popular belief, records compliance frameworks are not intended to be administrative obstacles. In reality, they are designed to not only protect the best interests of a company’s stakeholders, but the company itself. Instead of viewing compliance mandates as red tape, it may be smarter to see them as the comprehensive list of best practices that they are.
After all, regulators aren’t just pulling these concepts out of thin air. Their recommendations are often based on the past mistakes of others, and those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
While cutting corners on compliance management may seem like a savvy way to cut costs, companies should realize that they’re hurting themselves as much as their stakeholders. In the end, non-compliant records management translates to inefficient administration that compromises operational efficiency.
Not being able to find crucial documents when auditors come calling is one thing, but encountering similar problems on a daily basis could be even worse.
When inefficient administration becomes the status quo, the ceiling of your organizational potential becomes much lower. In today’s increasingly knowledge-based economy, information management is quickly becoming a competitive differentiator. And if your company can hardly keep track of its records, how do you suppose teams will derive insights from them?
With non-compliant records management practices, companies run the risk of flying blind. When crucial documents go missing in action, guesswork starts to become a component in business strategy. And when that happens, companies could find themselves making foolish market missteps that leave them looking up at the competition.
Finally, non-compliant records management could come back to bite you if news of company oversights reach the public domain. While customer lawsuits can certainly drain the company expense account, what should be more concerning is the customers that silently walk away from their business partnerships once contracts expire. If the marketplace learns that your company can’t even keep its own affairs in orders, irreparable brand damage could ensue and cause potential customers to question whether you are qualified to handle their needs.