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Posted in Evidence Storage Houston on April 1, 2019
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If you've ever walked into a home improvement store then you've witnessed pallet rack shelving units in action. Although these shelves look pretty tough, they don't right off the bat look like they could hold the things they do. The sheer size of many pallets full of product wrapped in saran wrap (or equivalent type of plastic to hold things stacked together) make people wonder if they will fall on top of them! Austin

Mail Room Furniture

When store or business owners choose to install high density filing systems or update their existing file system with a newer one, they're often plagued by worries that their company will suffer while the job is undertaken. These concerns are perfectly normal and common among many business operators looking for filing improvements or mail room furniture updates.

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High Density Mobile Filing Systems Mobile shelving is an excellent way to increase filing inches while decreasing the amount of square footage taken up by the filing system. But how do you figure out which type works best for your needs? Below I have listed three commonly used types of movable shelving along with the advantages and disadvantages of each type. I have included Rotary Files, Lateral Movable Files, and High Density Mobile Filing.1) Rotary File (Also called Times Two)The Rotary File is a cabinet that contains two shelving units positioned back to back in a cabinet. The two shelving units spin to gain access to both sides of the shelves.Comparison unit: One cabinet measuring 36-1/2"W x 82"H x 25"D-Floor space required (square feet): 6.3' -Total filing inches provided: 434"Advantages:• Attractive way to increase efficient use of floor space • Unit can be closed and locked so files are not visible • Suitable for individual's office files • May be configured in many different sizes and configurations • Can be designed to hold alternate media • Units can be used for room dividers • Lower height units can include a work top • Suitable for color coding • Additional units can be connected together or positioned back to backDisadvantages:• Not as efficient use of floor space as lateral and high density mobile units • Cost per filing inch higher than lateral movable shelving • Actual shelving units need to be sized to allow the shelves to spin (lose filing inches) • Need to be careful of oversized items jamming the unit • Requires professional installation2) Lateral Sliding Movable ShelvingA lateral sliding shelving system uses stationary single sided shelving units positioned along a wall with units in front that slide back and forth to allow access to the records contained in the back unit.The comparison system used contains 2 back stationary units and 1 front movable unit (I used L&T (4 post) shelving on the example unit because of its durability and versatility).Movable System Measures 72"W x 78"H x 24.5"D-Floor space required (square feet): 15' -Total filing inches provided: 756"Advantages:• Efficient use of floor space • Suitable for color-coding files • Less expensive than units with drawers when total filing inches are considered • All the advantages of L&T shelving • Economical way to maximize filing inchesDisadvantages:• Most of the files are exposed and unit cannot be locked • Records are visible • Difficult to add doors • Cannot add to the height of the unit • The movable shelves are not mechanically assisted (may be hard to move)3) High Density Mobile Filing SystemThis is the granddaddy of the types of available systems for utilization of space. Shelving units are mounted on movable carriages that glide on tracks thus providing access to all the rows of shelving. With the floating aisle on this unit type you are saving floor space by eliminating the need to have an access aisle between each row of shelving.Although many types of open shelving and drawers are often used to accommodate different media, for this study I will stick to units designed for file folders. I highly recommend L&T shelving be used on the movable carriages because of durability. The movement of the unit causes torque which may cause stress fractures in less durable shelving.The comparison system used has one 36" wide stationary single sided unit and two 36" wide double sided movable units, all 7 shelves high with mechanical assist (as opposed to electric).Mobile System measuring 8'W x 78"H x 36"D-Floor space required (square feet): 24.5' -Total filing inches provided: 1,260"Advantages:• Excellent use of floor space, maximum filing efficiency • Reduces need to use expensive square footage of facility for files • Reduces need to use expensive off-site storage companies • Saves retrieval time with readily accessible files • Units can be locked • All the advantages that come with L&T open shelving • Mechanical assist means units are easier to move • Suitable for color-coding files • Convertible to accommodate other media • Available with decorator end panes which makes the units visually pleasingDisadvantages:• Difficult for multiple people to access all the files at the same time • More expensive than stationary units • Floor must be able to hold the weight of a mobile file system (tracks will bend if floor is not rated to hold the weight) • Segmented file room reduces the advantages of a high density file system • Carriage and deck add to the height of the system (if ceiling clearance is an issue) • Requires professional installationNow that you know the advantages and disadvantages of each type of shelving you can decide which kind of shelving best suits your needs.

Movable Shelving For File Folders - Which Type Should You Choose?

Filing Systems In an organized filing system folders are arranged in some kind of order (we hope!). Some commonly used methods include: alphabetical, straight numeric, terminal digit numeric, or by some category. Sub categories can also be added to the above methods. Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of the various systems upfront will allow for an informed decision based on your particular needs.This article looks at numeric filing. Alphabetical filing was covered in the Ezine article "Filing Alphabetically, Advantages and Disadvantages"Before putting the files into numeric order you have to decide what number will be used to designate each folder. Some numbers commonly used are: medical record number, account number, billing number, assigned number etc. The amount of digits that make up the chosen number will help to determine which system to use. The next three decisions to make are how long the records will be kept in the system, what will determine when they are purged, and will they be color-coded?Straight Numeric Filing SystemStraight numeric filing is putting the folders in order of lowest number to highest number. This works well with smaller filing systems. Because pretty much everyone knows how to count from lowest number to highest number training is minimal. If the records are assigned a number in numeric order and continued activity is not a factor purging is easier. You can often remove sections of folders at a time. But this brings up a disadvantage in that you will need to shift all the records to make room for the new numbers. Another disadvantage can be trying to work with large numbers and keeping them in numerical order.If you decide to color-code then you want to choose digits to color that will have the same number long enough to form a pattern. If the same color section is too large then the color-coding is inefficient. For example, color-coding the last digit of a number means it changes every record, the nest to last digit changes every 10 records, the 3rd to last digit changes every 100 folders and the 4th every 1,000 records. Depending on the size of the file room you could color the 1,000th and 100th numbers.I would not recommend color-coding all the digits since this defeats the purpose of color-coding by creating a rainbow of color and making spotting misfiles difficult. In addition, color-coding a digit that changes too infrequently will not contribute to spotting misfiles. Why spend money on color-coded labels that will not contribute to the efficiency of the filing system? Color-coding is an efficiency way to spot misfiles, not an efficiency way to number the charts.Terminal Digit Filing SystemTerminal digit filing is putting the records in order starting with the last two digits of the number instead of the whole number. A simple way to describe this method for a six digit number is: last two, middle two, first two. For example the number 137620 would be filed 20 76 13. This is a very efficient way of filing for very large filing systems (a standard in medical record departments because of the large amount of records in the system and the importance of quick, accurate access).You are basically taking the entire file room and dividing it up into sections. You look at the last two digits first (last two) which means the first section in the file room contain all the numbers that end in 00 and the last section contains all the numbers that end in 99. These sections pretty much stay the constant so knowing the last two digits of the filing number means knowing the section of the file room that contains that record (a number ending 50 will be in the middle of the file room etc.). Now that the record is in the primary section the next digits to file by in that section are the 1,000th and 100th digits (middle digits). Then you go to the next two digits back (first two with a six digit number).I recommend considering this method of filing if the file room contains 10,000 or more records. Terminal digit filing works well when folders are randomly purged. Shifting the records to make room for new numbers is reduced because the purged records and new records will be positioned evenly throughout the file room. File room personnel quickly learn the location of the 100 sections which greatly speeds up filing and retrieval. Also, by breaking the number up into sections the number becomes easier to deal with which reduces mistakes.Color-coding is very effective with terminal digit filing. If you have a file room with 10,000 records and color-code the last two digits you will have 100 records in the file room with the same two colors. Since these records will be filed beside each other it is easy to see if someone puts a record into the wrong section since the color scheme is broken. You only need to search through 100 files for a missing folder instead of 10,000. If you decide to color-code the 1,000 digit that would reduce the amount of records with the same three colors to 10. I recommend color-coding the 1,000 digit when the file room contains 30,000 or more records (means 30 records with the same 3 colors as opposed to 300 when coding 2 colors). Again, I would not recommend color-coding all the digits because of the rainbow effect and the unnecessary cost.The biggest disadvantage of terminal digit filing is the filing room personals fear of learning the system. This is a new way at looking at a number and can be confusing. I have had file room supervisors say this is an advantage because it makes it difficult for unauthorized people (doctors and lawyers are known for taking files and not signing them out) to access the files. This is also not as efficient for a file room that contains a small number of assigned numbers along with very large individual files (some law firms) and systems that contain a lot of sub-folders.In conclusion, weighing the pros and cons of the various filing methods before starting the system will save lots of future headaches! Mail Room Furniture

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