In a two-part post we have been looking at strategies to improve the efficiency of your physical records storage. In part one we assessed your organization’s current and future needs. In part two we will examine your organization’s existing resources, and discuss the factors to consider when determining what to spend on any physical storage improvements.
2. Take stock of existing resources
Before you build, buy or design anything, take stock of what you have to work with. Answering these questions will help you maximize existing resources:
How much floor and vertical space do you have?
Many organizations are looking to reclaim some filing space and put it towards other uses. To do this, it is critical to determine how much floor and vertical space you have to work with.
Once you determine that, you can look at filing systems that are designed specifically to save space, such as:
- stackable storage equipment that makes efficient use of vertical spaces
- mobile shelving units that eliminate the need for aisles between cabinets
Which of your existing storage systems can you keep?
There are many ways to maximize your capital investments by finding creative ways to incorporate existing filing systems.
Most TAB projects use a mix of existing and new products where we re-configure old cabinets to work with the new system. This can include converting static shelving and cabinets into rolling, mobile storage by putting tracks on them.
3. Crunching the numbers
Once you have a clear picture of your needs and existing resources, you can turn your attention to the cost.
How much should you spend?
When planning your budget, keep in mind that equipment generally accounts for only 15 percent of the cost of running a file room; the rest is eaten up by labor costs.
The good news is that this can be reduced by as much as 40% with an efficient filing system.
When determining what you should spend, remember that an effective storage system can:
- reduce file labor costs
- increase productivity
- reduce information retrieval time
- enhance work flows
- improve customer service
Effective storage design can strengthen your overall RM program, saving you money, space and time.