Winning Manufacturing Strategies

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April 6, 2015

Records Management: Disaster Recovery Plan for Offsite records storage

In my previous blog "Significance of Records Management and Types of Retention Policies"

www.infosysblogs.com/thought-floor/2013/09/significance_of_records_manage.html, we talked about a well-designed Retention Management solution. We saw how it provides a cost effective method to manage large volume of records and help to adhere to compliance standards.

In this blog I will try to cover the disaster recovery measures that can eliminate or at least minimize the loss incurred by the client in case of a man-made or a natural disaster at the Offsite storage Vendor site. We will try to put down Scenario based steps to be followed in such situation.

 

Several enterprises especially Banks, Insurance companies, Healthcare and Audit companies produce large volume of physical records which need to be properly stored, managed and reproduced as and when required. Based on the geo locations there are several compliances to be met and audits are performed. Various Offsite storage vendors engage with the client to perform this activity. The documents are assigned a RFID code and kept in boxes. In some cases the documents are scanned and the soft copy is stored in Physical CDs.

 

The physical records stored at the vendor site should be safe guarded and the vendor should have a disaster recovery plan in place for handling emergencies. Any accidental occurrence which can occur either by man-made or due to natural disaster can impact the vendor storage location.

 

In the event of occurrence of any disaster at the vendor site, perform the following activity.

 

1)     Vendor Account Representative must be contacted to confirm and verify if any disaster has actually occurred and if any of the records were affected

2)     The Vendor contract must be reviewed to see the terms & conditions put in such cases. Check the insurance coverage and monetary compensation clauses

3)     Send a representative to the vendor site and request the vendor to perform a thorough assessment of the damage to the inventory. The report should clearly specify if the records are recoverable or completely destroyed.

4)     Request the vendor to start the recovery process for records that are recoverable

 

Upon receipt of the vendor assessment report, the client team needs to locate the owner within its enterprise for the affected boxes. The boxes would be either destroyed in which case it cannot be recovered or it will be damaged in which case it will take some time for the vendor to recover. In addition to that either the team is able to locate the owner within the client enterprise or not. Based on these scenarios following steps should be taken:

 

Scenario 1: Records are Destroyed and Owner Located

 

1.     Inform the owner about the records that have been destroyed. Check if the owner can recreate it.

2.     If records can be recreated, Owner should create the documents for storage again and follow process for adding new boxes to inventory.

3.     Get the destruction certificate for any boxes permanently destroyed and place onto approved repository.

4.     The new inventory details should reflect in the inventory report received from vendor.

5.     Negotiate with the vendor to finalize agreement for any payment due to the damage

 

Scenario 2: Records are Destroyed and No Owner Located

 

1.     The Records Management team of the client should take ownership of such records

2.     Obtain a destruction certificate for any boxes permanently destroyed and place onto approved repository.

3.     The new inventory details should reflect in the inventory report received from vendor.

4.     Negotiate with the vendor to finalize agreement for any payment due to the damage

 

 

Scenario 3: Records are Damaged and Owner Located

 

1.     Request vendor to determine timeframe and the steps involved for recovery.

2.     Inform the owner about the damaged records and pass on the information obtained from vendor around steps and timeframe. 

3.     Follow up with vendor until process is completed.

4.     Inform the owner when records have been recovered.

5.     The new inventory details should reflect in the inventory report received from vendor.

6.     Negotiate with the vendor to finalize agreement for any payment due to the damage

 

Scenario 4:Records are Damaged and No Owner Located

 

1.     The Records Management team of the client should take ownership of such records

2.     Determine timeframe with vendor and steps involved for recovery.

3.     Follow up with vendor until process is completed.

4.     Make any changes to the global inventory tool.

5.     The new inventory details should reflect in the inventory report received from vendor.

6.     Negotiate with the vendor to finalize agreement for any payment due to the damage

 

The insurance coverage and the compensation clauses must be clearly stated in the contract.

April 2, 2015

Comparing the Big 4s of Social Media

Social Media revolution has enhanced the way we communicate with our acquaintances and also helped improve the efficiency of conducting business. There is not a single day when we don't hear news about Social Media or use them. Overall it enables individuals to receive update from friends, share videos and Photos. For business, it helps them to build and maintain new relationships.


It is our personal choice to join and create profile on any of these Social Networking sites but if an enterprise wants to stay competitive, it is important that they engage on these platforms. There are individuals who have abandoned their personal email address completely and are using Facebook messaging instead while the Enterprises are using twitter heavily to stay in touch with the customers.

 

There are numerous Social Media platforms available on the Internet now but only four of them can be said to be ahead of the rest. They are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. In this blog I will present their roles, strengths and weaknesses and also perform a comparative analysis of them.   

 

=>  Facebook: Everyone seems to be present here!

 

Facebook was launched in February 2004. It soon became the Social Network platform of choice for a majority of the general population. In a short span of time, it had emerged as a most widely used platform where a common person can create profile and share photos and videos with his /her friends. Generally, to view the photos and videos of someone we need to be part of the user's friend network. If we want to stay current with our friends or find old friends, Facebook is the place where we should be.

 

Strength:

->  It has a large user base which enables member to keep in touch with the acquaintances

->  Interface is very user friendly and users can easily express their opinion by clicking a button, posting a comment or liking a page

->  It helps companies in Brand promotion since when users like a company's page, they are indirectly advertising it to all their connections

 

Weakness:

->  Privacy is an issue as even after several privacy settings also, one can not be sure if his/her posts are completely private

->  The interface is sometimes filled with advertisements and game requests, which can be annoying to some user

->  There is no efficient way to follow a topic. User can join / like / follow for the user/group of interest

 

=>  Twitter: Brevity and Powerful!

 

Twitter was launched to the public in July 2006. While Facebook is a place to share personal information with a close group of friends, Twitter is used for broadcasting short messages to the rest of the world.  A tweet consists of "@mentions" and "hash tags and is a short message which can not be longer than 140 characters in length.  Few companies use it for promotion and finding prospective customers.

 

Strength:

->  It is a preferred platform to follow celebrities 

->  It is great platform to create temporary communities by using hash tags

->  The short form of 140 characters is ideal in this world of small attention spans

 

Weakness:

->  The limit of 140 characters can be annoying to some people as all the important points can not be covered in this character limit

->  Lots of information gets streamed continuously and it gets difficult to track them

->  It is not the best platform to promote business 

 

=>  LinkedIn: Social Media for Professionals!

 

LinkedIn was launched in May 2003. It is the oldest of the big 4 social networks and it is mostly used for business and professional networking. LinkedIn is useful for meeting new people as we get to know how many degrees apart we are from any professionals or if someone common can introduce us. It has also emerged as a useful platform to find new career opportunities, promote Sales & marketing for a company.

 

 Strength:

->  It has emerged as the desired platform for the professionals across the globe to connect

->  User can get information about the career opportunities and information about the company

->  By using premium service, user can send in mail to any one, hence it helps in promotion

 

Weakness:

->  Multiple groups on same topic is present which makes it difficult to find the most active and relevant one

->  There is no chat option to connect with even the first-degree connections

 

=>  Google+: New entry to Social Media!

 

Google+ is relatively new to the social media game. It was launched in September 2011. Google+ introduces the idea of Circles. There may a scenario where we might want to share some of our personal pictures with the "friends" circle and not with the "professional" circle and vice versa, Google+ provides the platform to do exactly that.

 

 Strength:

->  It seems to become Facebook for grownups

->  It provides integration with the rest of Google platforms like chat, Email etc.

->  It offers group chat by using Hangouts

 

Weakness:

->  Feeds from all the distant members can be annoying and difficult to track

->  It is behind Facebook in terms of ease of navigation and interactivity

 

Social media/networking has become a regular part of our lives - both online and off. If we understand the basic strengths, weakness and roles of each of these Social Media network, we can leverage it efficiently in our personal and business lives.