Medical Sector Will See A Huge Demand For Records Management

Kolkata: | Updated: Sep 30 2003, 05:30am hrs
The Crown Worldwide Group is privately held and has over 100 wholly-owned offices in 42 countries. The Crown Records Management division focuses on the management and storage of business information. According to Crown Worldwide country manager, India, ES Chandramouli, the company manages over five million cartons of documents as well as digital media worldwide. Mr Chandramouli spoke with eFE on the various aspects of record management. Excerpts:

How big is the document and record management business worldwide Is the trend of outsourcing of managing records and documents to third parties catching up
It is almost impossible to say what the revenues generated from documents and records management worldwide are. It is estimated that there are 1.5 billion cartons outsourced to records management companies. The trend towards outsourcing records is increasing, which is reflected in the exponential growth in records management in India.

What is the level of IT being used in records and document management
Over the years, records management has changed significantly. The clients are storing smarteronly keeping and retaining what is required and valuable to its business needs. Develop-ments in communications ERM (Electronic Records Management) are becoming a greater part of the business. Although hard copy will always exist, some departments within a company can perform their processes using purely electronic records. This applies to departments such as procurements.

Our experience is that many of the retrieval services are being carried out electronically with the hard copy remaining in the safety of the records centres. Globally, India is one of the leaders in technology.

What kind of growth is the company expecting in the Indian market
India has been one of the fastest growing record management markets for this industry. It is predicted that the medical sector will soon see a huge demand for records management, particularly ERM. In-house Records Management is a burden for many companies as it uses valuable space, resources and management time.

What is the usage of information technology in document management by Crown Does the company provide online search and retrieval facilities
Crown utilises a central database system for records management within India with connectivity via a large thin client network. This allows the company to provide to its clients a true pan-Indian service. It also facilitates a better fault tolerant system and allows for pro-active development in an ever-changing and demanding market. It provides a full real-time on-line service allowing online sear-ching, retrievals and management reports to be produced.

Does Crown have its own software development centre or does it use third party software to manage records Can you elaborate on the nature of the software used in record management
Crown uses an industry standard software supplied by ONeil Software called RSSQL (SQLstructured query language). The company is closely involved in much of the development work. RSSQL is the most commonly used software for records management being implemented in 56 countries. Around $5.6 million is spent on research and development of the software annually.

Working with ONeil, the company updates its software every 3 to 6 months. These benefits can then be passed onto our clients on a continual basis.

What is your business strategy in India
India is a very important growth area for Crown. The Indian market is developing ever further into a service-based economy and is very demanding and exacting on its service requirements. To meet these needs, Crown is investing heavily in its property and IT infrastructure portfolio within India. The Indian market is very quick to adopt and Crown has a long-term growth strategy for India.