Bringing physical records under digital control

How a global energy company uses information intelligence to transform its physical records management

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Global energy company

Houston, Texas


Manually managing acres of records with one spreadsheet

Imagine you’re a records manager at an international energy company—its first records manager. Ever. The company hasn’t done any physical records management before. You’re responsible for bringing governance and insight to more than 67,000 square feet—over 1.5 square acres—of physical records scattered across multiple locations and countries. Then think about how your management will impact the company’s compliance, risk profile, legal exposure, and operational efficiency. If you’re a records manager facing this situation, your first question has to be: where do you even begin to bring order to this massive volume of information?  

For one records manager, this wasn’t an imagination exercise—it’s exactly the situation she faced when she joined a Houston, Texas-based energy company that engages in oil and natural gas production around the world and generates nearly $3 billion in annual revenues.  

As the company’s first (and only) records manager, she began by logging physical records into a spreadsheet. That worked for a while, but its limitations grew increasingly apparent as more records were added. She says her biggest challenge was searching the massive spreadsheet to find files that her colleagues requested. Out of 20,000 boxes of records onsite, fewer than 4,000 were in the spreadsheet—and this didn’t include the records stored at other company sites or with an offsite storage vendor. Across the board, locating files was a scattershot, time-consuming process with no guarantee of success.  

“I would say that searching for files took up at least 60% of my day. But it could take two or three days to find what I was looking for.” —Records Manager 

Centralized records management that delivers visibility and reduces costs

After using RecordPoint for nearly a year, the energy company greatly streamlined the records management process, enabling its records manager to work much more efficiently and productively. Finding files that colleagues request no longer takes days—now, it’s a matter of minutes. When the records manager needs to locate a record, a simple keyword search narrows down results. Instead of ordering 10 boxes to try to figure out which is the right one, she can search, find, and pull a records box with pinpoint accuracy—which enables her to quickly provide information to her customers. She’s able to save a significant amount of time and effort and reduce her overall search costs.

“I went from spending two to three days looking for information to literally spending maybe an hour—if that—looking for what I needed,” —Records Manager

Currently, she manages over 40,000 records in RecordPoint and adds new files every day. The company’s goal is to manage all physical and digital records in RecordPoint, with the ability to apply the same policies and classifications.

The records manager uses the RecordPoint centralized dashboard as a “one-stop shop” to view critical information about the company’s records management data. When company leadership asks a question about the number of boxes tracked in RecordPoint or which boxes need to be destroyed, she can check the dashboard for immediate answers.

“It’s very easy,” she says. “There is no clicking, no maneuvering back and forth—it’s all right there in one screen. And if I need to go deeper, I use Power BI to determine that on this specific day, this many files and boxes were entered.”

The company also uses RecordPoint to more accurately manage its retention schedule, something it couldn’t do with the spreadsheet. RecordPoint connectors bring retention oversight to virtually all records repositories, enabling the company to meet important legal and compliance recordkeeping requirements. The organization can also easily update and share retention schedules and grant permissions.

Previously, the records manager could only work on her laptop, which limited her availability and movement. Now she can handle records requests in RecordPoint on her smartphone or tablet and work from anywhere—in the office, at home, or at a records storage site.

“Using RecordPoint has really fine-tuned what I do,” the records manager says. “It’s made me more efficient in providing my customers with what they need.”

Powerful technology, backed by unparalleled customer support

The records manager wasn’t on her own when she first implemented RecordPoint—she worked with a RecordPoint consultant who showed her how to use the RecordPoint integrated dashboard to manage content, and how to upload documents, produce barcodes for files, and perform other critical tasks. He also built a custom dashboard that offers more granular insight into her managed records.

“We had videoconference sessions where he would do a demonstration, and then would give me control and have me do that same operation—because I learn by doing, versus just watching,” the records manager says. “He literally walked me through the whole process. It was seamless.”  

Partnering with RecordPoint for the future

Implementing RecordPoint has been so successful for the energy company that other teams in offices around the world are interested. The records manager says that because of RecordPoint’s thorough assistance with implementation, she was able to do a demonstration for a Canadian colleague—and now that group wants its teams to use RecordPoint, too.  

Once all physical records are logged into RecordPoint, the next goal is to use additional RecordPoint connectors to apply retention across different repositories. This will help the company eliminate physical documents and electronic data that are no longer needed, so it can continue to maximize information governance and operational efficiency across the entire organization.  

“I feel more in control with RecordPoint,” the company’s records manager says. “It’s really helped us to evolve.”

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