information management Midland

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! Midland

Mail Room Sorters

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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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!

All You Need To Know About Mobile Shelving Units

Document Scanning and Management Every organization needs records management and a records management program. After establishing a records management program and appointing a records management officer, a retention/control schedule should be developed. As needs for filing system improvement and development become apparent, the following twelve-step strategy is recommended.   Purge Inactive Files - Remove inactive and duplicate records from your active filing system in order to improve retrieval and access times. In additional to improving response times, your active filing system will require less floor space. Do not dispose of inactive records at this point.   Inventory Records - Conduct a thorough records inventory. An inventory of your records is just as important to your organization as inventorying parts are to a Parts Manager.   The records inventory will help you evaluate labeling standards, the flow of information, and will be necessary if you plan on converting files to a side-tab file system or Records Management Software.   Convert to a Side-Tab Folder System - Traditional drawer cabinets are not space efficient and slow the file retrieval and refilling process. Shelf-based side-tab filing systems require less floorspace and quicker record retrieval. Do some research to see if converting to a shelf-based side-tab filing system is cost justifiable for your organization. Serious consideration should be given to careful planning, cost justifying, and implementing filing systems appropriate for the needed applications.   Evaluate Current Labeling Standards - Evaluate your current file labeling system to determine if changes need to be made to improve the speed and accuracy of filing. For example, a simple color-coded year label can change the laborious project of purging inactive records into a simple task.     Survey your staff and users for their opinions of labeling methods that would make accessing files quicker and easier.   Choose the correct folder - There are many different types of folders to choose from based on activity, number of documents,  and length of time records will be kept in an active status.   Use Indexes or Partitions- Using folders with indexes and partitions will organize and standardize documents in the file. Organized information provides quicker access to the desired documents and to help maintain the integrity of the file.   Invest in an On-Demand Labeling System - On-Demand labeling is an economical way to improve your filing system. On-Demand labeling software allows you to print an one-piece label from an ink jet or laser printer.   Labels are typically 7" to 8" long and can be printed with any type or style of color-coded labels, name and address information, and barcode labels. On-Demand labeling eliminates individual hand-wrapping of color-coded labels and the additional tasks of typing file name labels. On-Demand labeling can produce alphanumeric labels, top-tab and side-tab labels, and different label styles for different departments within your organization.   Standardize - Standardization of filing systems should be a major goal. Standardizing equipment, supplies, software, procedures, and policies results in  economies of scale and uniformity throughout the organization.   Implement Processes - Implement appropriate processes, technology, equipment, and supplies for each filing system application. Converting to open-shelf file shelving, implementing color coding and bar coding, implementing file indexing, file tracking, and a records retention schedule results in a system that can be integrated with other information systems within the organization.   Implement Records Management Software -  An array of quality records management software packages exist for use in augmenting records management programs, systems, and functions. These programs can prepare and maintain records retention/control schedules, track files and boxes in the office to in storage, and help manage retention of records.   Develop a Records Management Manual - Every organization needs a records management manual. The manual should be a reference guide for your organization and a training tool for new personnel. The manual should provide an explanation of every filing system in your organization including detailed filing procedures. Build in a section on frequently asked questions that can be easily developed from questions asked by members or your organization. Considering complimenting your manual with videos to make learning easy.   Report Savings/Accomplishments - Prepare an annual report (at least) detailing savings. Savings report should include details space saved, personnel savings due to converting to a file system that provides more efficient access. Filing Folders & Supplies

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