Purchasing a new shelving system for file folders and other media is not an easy task. There are so many options available and all with different features and benefits. Unfortunately, choosing the wrong shelving system can have a huge impact on the business – it can reduce worker efficiency, increase operating costs, and jeopardize security and compliance.
To help you make the best decision possible when purchasing a new shelving system, the team at TAB has developed a Shelving Needs Assessment. Answering these seven questions will not only help you determine which solution fits your current and future needs but will also make sure you haven’t forgotten anything in your assessment.
- What are we storing and not storing? To ensure that your new system meets everyone’s needs it will be important to do an inventory and audit on the media you will be storing now and in the future.
- How much growth do we expect in our storage needs? The potential growth, if unplanned for, might require you to invest in another new system sooner than necessary. Planning for the growth will also impact free space and may influence filing practices and how the system is organized.
- How much space do we have to work with? Space is a key deciding factor in the type of system that will meet your current and future storage needs. For example, if space is limited and significant growth is expected you will most likely want to go with a high-density mobile shelving system.
- What are our workflow and accessibility requirements? The way that your workers interact with the files is a critical factor in your purchase of a shelving system. Are they accessed frequently? How many people access them on regular basis, and are there typically multiple people accessing files at the same time?
- What are our compliance requirements? Your new shelving system must be safe and compliant with building codes and weight load restrictions. It also needs to accommodate any employees with physical disabilities.
- What are our security requirements? Do your records contain valuable or sensitive information that needs to be secured? Will some individuals have limited access while others will have full access? All of the different workflow and user scenarios should be documented and considered as part of the planning and selection process for your new shelving system.
- How important are aesthetics? Is your storage space in view of clients or customers? Is it important that the shelving matches the office décor?
Answering the seven questions above will ensure that you go into the purchase process informed and aware of your requirements. It will also reduce your chances of ending up with a system that is inefficient or dangerous, which would require additional investment to correct. An experienced provider such as TAB can review your answers and guide you in the direction of the best solution.