In discussions with friends, colleagues, and clients, I witness numerous different ways that they all deal with the constant flow of emails; what has become clear, is that there is no best solution, especially from industry to industry.
Some people like to keep copies of practically every email that arrives (apart from the inevitable spam of course), as well as copies of emails that they have sent. It could be a compliance issue, where a regulatory or governing body insists on an audit trail, or maybe it’s simply for their benefit, knowing that they can trackback the order information received, confirmation and specification of works done or to be done, or cancellation or termination information. Other clients appear to delete everything once read, and dealt with, including regularly emptying their sent items folders, this can be cleansing for the soul, but difficult if you need that vital evidence at a later stage.
There is also the issue of various management tiers being able to access the emails of their team and being able to share information with other team members, to allow them to avoid duplication issues, or missing vital information. This certainly improves the productivity of an organisation.
Can you be certain that you can find, and remove, every piece of information regarding an individual? We often witness clients religiously filing emails away on archive folders, perhaps sorted into client folders, or projects. Such was the volume of emails, they confessed to us that collectively, all staff averaged half an hour each, per day, simply archiving emails into the correct shared archive folders. At minimum wage that’s nearly £20 per week, per member of staff, of unproductive time spent on dealing with the issue. Simply reading, dealing with, and deleting was not an option. Various members of their team needed to access such emails, and they needed audit trails of information received, and orders placed.
They were astonished and rightly concerned, that their current system was costing them a minimum of £1,000 per year per member of staff, in unproductive time.
GDPR will also influence how we deal with emails. We need to be able to ensure information is not stored, where an individual has requested that it isn’t, whether that be digitally or in paper form, so being able to properly search, and access such information is vital.
Fortunately, there are solutions to such problems. We introduced them to the principles of automated email archiving as a service. Now, all emails over a certain age are automatically archived to central storage, with authorised access set at various levels for different members of staff. Now all the staff that need access to their emails can do so, they have full audit trail and control via the archive facility, and they will never have to drag and drop an email into an archive again.
There are numerous reasons why email archiving might be right for your company. If you would like further information or simply an informal chat, please feel free to get in touch.