Management of email based records at APA Insurance Company Limited
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The study was carried out to investigate the management of email based records at APA Insurance Company limited with four major objectives, of; (1)identifying the types of email records; (2) examining email based records management practices; (3)finding out the challenges in the management of email based records; and (4)identifying and proposing recommendations to improve onthe management of email based records.A qualitative approach to research was used. Descriptive methods of data collection, data analysis and interpretation such as interviews and observation were used to gather and make meaning from study findings. Data was collected from a sample population of 12 respondents who included email system administrators and users. The researcher purposively selected these respondents for their extensiveknowledge about the topic under study. Findings of the study revealed that email based records were mainly the types of records generated, used, maintained and stored by the APA Insurance and these took the form of; text-based documents; attachments; data sets and multi-dimensional documents. These included financial records; staff records; client records and administrative records. Among these the study revealed that client records which take form of insurance records form the largest portion ofemail based records generated and maintained by APA Insurance. Examples such as client details, financial standings, businesses, payment details, physical address, health conditions, work records were discovered to be in quantities. These also included policy covers, renewals, premiums paid, outstanding balances, claims and complaints placed, claims paid and outstanding, choice of insurance type. The study also revealed that these records are generated and maintained in email based format even after printing or converting them into hard copy (paper format).Backup which is mainly through paper means and server storage is carried out every closure of working day automatically for all desktop computer users while laptop computer users have special arrangements for backing up their email based records. The study discovered that among the challenges faced in the management of email based records at APA Insurance Company Limited included lack of professional records personnel, lack of a records management policy, absence of disposal and retention schedules and practice guidelines/ manuals, limited funding to the unit, lack of management training and staff skill development programs with increased information overload and incoming emails.However, the study revealed that such obstacles to email based records management are a mere factor of management perception, identifying itself that if only management would have a positive perception on the relevancy and value of managing email based records, issues of funding and staff recruitment and development would be curbed. It was thus noted that most of the challenges accrue from inadequate finances and limited skilled personnel. Solutions such as building up a separate records unit, acquiring more funds and recruiting more skilled personnel, establishing records management policies and practice guidelines/ manuals would promote efficiency, effectiveness and economy in email based records management at APA Insurance Company Limited, are proposed.