- Questions and Answers
Questions and Answers
IRCH: Retention Manager is best used by an experienced Records Manager, with previous records retention experience. Based on our experience, none of the individuals listed above would be capable of successfully developing a legally-defensible, comprehensive records retention schedule with our software . . . or with anyone else’s software. They could develop something much better than if left to their own resources, and perhaps good enough to meet your needs, but not to IRCH’s standards. And, of course, an experience Records Manager could develop a very good retention schedule within a reasonably short time with our product.
However, we are confident that an attorney, paralegal or experience project manager can successfully manage and update the records retention schedule with Retention Manager provided we did the initial setup of the software and data through a small consulting project. The project would normally involve a 2-3 day site visit to review your industry-specific records and issues. We would then prepare a comprehensive retention schedule for your review, supported by complete legal research (which generally includes some custom legal research not available in our published database). Once approved, we would provide you with Retention Manager installed with your custom data, training, technical support and annual updates to the legal research and software.
IRCH: Retention Manager has the full capabilities to build a functional, departmental retention schedules. But, as described above, you may not have the internal capabilities to complete the task.
If you were to undertake the retention project yourself, I would estimate that if would take up to 6 months for the person (½-time to ¾-time FTE) to complete training, become competent in the software, learn records retention methodology and principles, gather company information, develop the retention schedule, and manage the reviews. With a consulting project, the retention schedule can be completed in one month (from the site visit), at a much high level of quality, with valuable training provided to your person while on-site.
IRCH: We, of course, believe Retention Manager and Retention Wizard are superior to the other products you mentioned for some of the following reasons:
- IRCH was founded in 1984 to research legal requirements for business records and provide subscription and consulting services. We thus have over 33 years of experience in researching legal requirements for business records and records retention.
- IRCH has conducted hundreds of records retention projects itself (and as a subcontracts to other consultants) and supported hundreds (if not thousands) more through IRCH products. We know records retention.
- Other vendors do not work exclusively in the records retention fields – they may provide software and services for other records and information management tasks, and provide records retention services as a side product. IRCH specializes only in legal research and software for records retention.
- We believe IRCH’s database and legal research capabilities are superior. While there will never be a way to check and compare the vendor databases, we believe IRCH is better because:
- In our 32-year history, the legal research has primarily been performed by three different in-house employees.
- Bret Andreski, our Senior Staff Attorney, has been performing and managing our legal research since 1998.
- With our long history, we no longer need to find for first time laws that have been enacted years ago, other than to determine any changes or deletions. Instead, we focus on new provisions that have been more recently enacted.
- By sheer size, we publish over 20,000 citations in our various databases and maintain an inventory of over 25,000 more citations in our non-published, custom database that can be used for custom, consulting projects.
- Our products utilize the sophisticated, unique “Profile” function that establishes the profile of an organization based on industries and subjects related to the legal research. Once the Profile is developed with generally a few hundred entries) the Profile can identify thousands of relevant legal research in the database in a manner of seconds. And, this same process can be repeated in subsequent years to semi-automatically identify changes in retention based on changes in the legal research, and provide the complete complement of tools to complete and manage the updates. As you do your research, ask the other vendors to provide the detailed step-by-step process for updating their retention schedules.
Our Retention Manager research focuses primarily on legal requirements for business records and records retention.
Thus, our research includes numerous privacy provisions that affect recordkeeping or records retention, often based on privacy statutes or other privacy concerns such as personally identifying information. For example, a search of our United States database identified 115 laws addressing privacy on some level.
However, we do not focus our research on general laws on privacy or other subjects that do not have recordkeeping requirements. This type of research can be done on a consulting basis.
Please contact us to discuss questions you may have and explore possible answers, solutions and directions.
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It is always refreshing to hear Don Skupsky’s common sense and realistic views on topics such as email, big data and unmanaged information. Additional topics covered that affect legally-defensible records retention are buckets, global retention and defense of a records retention program in litigation. The discussion regarding expert witness tasks can be a checklist for retention program development and management.
Karen Sampson, Scenarios By Sampson