Cintas Honors Administrative Professionals Day With Tips To Help Offices Run More Efficiently
Nearly 8.9 million people in the United States currently work in administrative support positions, according to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). In honor of Administrative Professionals Day, celebrated on April 25, Cintas Corporation today issued best practices to help administrative professionals implement a successful office-wide program to manage, maintain and protect confidential business documents.
"We know that the role of an administrative professional can be challenging at times," said Karen Carnahan, President and COO of Cintas' Document Management Division. "Cintas can help make offices run more smoothly while ensuring confidential information is kept secure."
Cintas' best practices include:
- Create a document retention schedule. It can be a difficultprocess to determine the appropriate length of retention for the various types of files a business accumulates. Space is often a premium in office environments, so permanently retaining files is not always an option. To maximize space and increase productivity, consult with your management team and legal department to identify a retention schedule based on legal requirements and internal company policies. Proactively learn and implement these retention guidelines to maintain an organized, uncluttered office.
- Train employees. It's important for all employees to be aware of document management policies. Whether it's a change in retention schedules or document destruction policies, make sure employees are up to date on legal requirements and adhere to schedules in place.
- Utilize secure and compliant offsite storage. An offsite recordsstorage provider can free up space in office facilities that was once used solely for document storage, enabling offices to utilize the new space for revenue producing purposes. The ideal provider will offer a secure storage facility that is equipped with 24-hour security cameras, alarm systems and complete fire protection systems to protect records from theft, flood and fire.
- Digitally image critical files. Converting paper files and records to electronic documents can help businesses increase productivity, improve processes and ensure regulatory compliance. From disaster recovery planning, to having immediate access to files, a digital imaging solution helps employees find what they need, when they need it. Consider working with a professional provider that provides secure document imaging and scanning services to gain immediate, real-time access to all critical files.
- Implement a "shred-all" program. It is important to securely shred all unneeded documents. The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) recorded a 33 percent increase in data breaches from 2009 to 2010. With identity theft and data breaches on the rise, doing so will protect confidential business data and customers' sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. Secure shredding services have the capability to safely destroy documents on a scheduled basis to ensure documents are regularly removed. By placing secure shredding containers in accessible and identifiable locations, it's convenient and safe for all employees to properly shred documents that have reached the end of their useful life. In addition, AAA NAID Certified shredding providers provide a certificate of destruction for a legal audit trail.
- Password protect files. Businesses must secure sensitive information gathered including names, addresses, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and other account information. To limit the risk of a data breach, sensitive files should require passwords to gain access and only personnel who require job-related access should be authorized to view records. Require passwords to include a combination of letters, numbers and characters to strengthen the password. By enforcing these rules, administrative professionals can greatly reduce the threat of data breaches from unauthorized sources.
- Back up sensitive documents. It's not uncommon for computers and hard drives to crash. Unfortunately, this can lead to a detrimental situation for businesses if critical information isn't backed up. Invest in a system that will automatically back up servers, as well as multiple workstations. If files are accidentally deleted or a disaster destroys files, an automatic back up server recovers the files. In addition, companies should securely destroy any hard drives that are being replaced at the end of their lifecycle.
- Create an office recycling program. Ensure that your office or department is doing its part to protect the earth by implementing a paper recycling program that works in concert with your secure shredding program. Many companies that offer shredding services recycle the paper into secondary paper products, such as paper towels, to reduce the impact on the environment. Recycling paper saves water, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and uses 25 percent less energy than manufacturing paper from trees.
For more information about Cintas' document management services, please visit www.cintas.com/documentmanagement.
About Cintas Corporation:
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized services to businesses of all types primarily throughout North America. Cintas is the first AAA NAID Certified and PCI DSS Compliant provider. Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and provides entrance mats, restroom supplies, promotional products, first aid, safety, fire protection products and services and document management services for approximately 900,000 businesses. Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol CTAS and is a component of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.
SOURCE: Cintas Corporation