Outsourcing your active records function: Can you? Should you?

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Does your organization rely heavily on access to important documents for everyday operations?

If so, you’ll know vital the active records function can be. Chances are, you’ll also know how much it costs to run an efficient active records room and how difficult it is to staff it with skilled knowledge workers. As a consequence of these challenges, many organizations are now turning over their records management function to outsourcing providers.

Inside the Active Records Center

Outsourcing providers offer their services through “active records centers”, which provide all the regular functions of the in-house records room, usually with value-added services on top of these functions. Operationally, the organization functions exactly as before, except that the actual records are housed off-site and managed by dedicated staff of the partner organization.

The services offered in most active records centers include document retrievals, file creation, file scanning, file security and interfiling. When the need arises, an active records center can usually assist with specialized projects too, both one-time and ongoing. These include:

What’s in it for you?

With most outsourcing scenarios, cost is a major driver of the decision. Taking into account all the costs associated with an in-house records room – from overhead to staffing to training – outsourcing is often the clear winner.

Beyond the cost-savings, businesses that have made the decision to outsource enjoy a host of other benefits, including:

    1. Process excellence and expertise. By turning over a non-core process to an organization that specializes in active records management, you are “trading up” for a superior standard of service and performance. This includes regular innovations that keep your records function and organization competitive.
    2. Revenue generation. When access to records is a critical part of your core operations, improving that function will improve your productivity, customer satisfaction and repeat business. That all boils down to a healthier bottom line.
    3. Increased business focus. The less time you spend managing records (or managing the staff that manage your records), the more time there is to focus on your core revenue-generating processes. It’s one less headache to distract you from staying competitive and driving new business.

So should you outsource your active records function? If you are looking to reduce costs and improve performance, then at the very least it’s worth exploring!

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