Records Management vs Document Management

Documents management and records management are two different techniques used in organizations separately or together to achieve a certain business target.

Throughout my experience as an ECM product manager, I find it rare to see people realizing the difference between these two concepts. so let’s see what is the difference between records management and document management.

Difference Between Documents and Records

AIIM defines a document encompasses paper, electronic forms and files, emails, faxes, contracts, leases, vendor communications, etc.

When a document is in its final stage and can’t be altered anymore, we call it Record

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Main Documents Management Objectives

  • Allow fast and easy way to locate documents
  • Minimize the usage of paper based documents and move into electronic forms.
  • Cost reduction and increased productivity
  • Streamline information and workflows
  • Physical storage and space reduction

Main Records Management Objectives

Records management is used mainly for compliance. A record management system if implemented correctly will help organizations avoid penalties.

Another usage is for archiving as it requires the ability to classify, store and set a plan for what needs to stay in the system and for how long (retention policies).

Main goals are as follows

  • Preserve records throughout their life cycle
  • Fast and easy access to records
  • Set the retention period
  • Audit Trails
  • Manage documents disposition

Help deciding which one to choose?

Organizations should invest in an ECM solution which if implemented properly will have a big ROI in a short time. Having an ECM solution in your organization will give you the document management module and the records management in addition to other important modules such as BPM.

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