Monday, March 9, 2015

Active records management

Active records facilities

  • About 25% of all records are classified as active
  • These records are used in daily operation of the organization and must be organized for rapid retrieval of information
  • Fast turnaround time from request to retrieval of information met by having active records housed near people who need it
Distribution of records status

  • 10% long term
  • 25% active
  • 30% inactive
  • 35% useless
  • 40% of an organization’s records classified as inactive (30% inactive + 10% long term which are usually inactive)
Types of active records storage systems

  • Centralized
    • Provides for the housing of all active records in one location within the organization
  • Decentralized
    • Provides for the housing of active records of each major department/office within that area
  • Combination
    • Allows many departments to maintain their own records under a centralized system of control
Centralized system

  • Advantageous in terms of:
    • Providing consistency in procedures
    • Identifying responsibility and accountability
    • Keeping related records together
    • Training new clerical personnel
    • Providing uniform service to all departments
    • Minimizing duplicate records
    • Providing better utilization of space, equipment and personnel
    • Allowing greater security of records
    • Providing one-stop retrieval of records
  • Large organizations may find this system inefficient 
    • Placing records in a location convenient to all departments virtually impossible
  • More appropriate for smaller organizations
Decentralized system

  • Provides immediate access for each department
  • Managers may prefer because it gives them access and control over their own records
  • Problems include:
    • Lack of uniformity in total records system
    • All related records not housed together
    • Duplicated records
    • Duplicate or underutilized equipment
    • Lack of security
Combination system

  • Combines decentralized files under centralized control
  • Responsibility is given to Records Manager
  • Typical records:
    • Personnel and payroll
    • Credit and financial and sales
  • Uniform system of storage and retrieval
  • Minimization of misfiles, lost records
  • Minimization of duplicate records
  • Provides for centralized purchasing, which results in better cost efficiency
  • Facilitates records movement according to records retention and disposition schedules
  • Provides the structure to assist managers in administering the records management program
  • Problems of not having related records housed together; lack of flexibility resulting from uniform organization-wide procedures
  • Combination system now chosen more often than other two
  • In general, records storage system selected should be one that most closely fits the needs of the particular organization, its subunits and its personnel
Space planning
  • Active records are located in prime office space so area must be planned for maximum efficiency at minimum cost
  • Consideration must be given to weight of storage equipment and stress on floor
  • Consideration must be given to the layout design of the storage units
Floor load capacity
  • Floor load capacity = The weight of the records and equipment that a floor can safely accommodate
  • Nonproductive weight: empty weight of equipment
  • Productive weight: contents
  • To determine floor load capacity, multiply pounds per square foot a floor can stand by square feet of available floor space
  • Productive weight calculated as: records weight (capacity x record weight per filing inch) / hardware weight + record weight
  • With floor load capacity and productive weight calculated quantity of equipment needed to house records can be determined
Design layout
  • Choice of cabinets will depend on organizational needs, storage system, available storage space and floor load capacity
    • Typical arrangements for decentralized system are Island, From Wall, Along Wall
  • Guidelines for efficient layout include:
    • Avoid opening cabinets into traffic isle
    • For non traffic aisle allow four feet for each drawer opening and for one records clerk
    • Allow four feet for each drawer opening and each records clerk where cabinets on each side of the aisle open facing each other
  • Various arrangements for centralized system
    • Aisle space
      • 3’ minimum, 4’ if open into aisle
      • 5.5’ for cabinet opening + passageway
      • 8’ if cabinets open face to face and passageway is required
      • Cross aisles every 25’ if rows are too long
Equipment selection criteria
  • Ergonomic considerations
    • Design, lighting, colour, acoustics, security, safety, accessibility
  • Storage and retrieval requirements
  • Space requirements
    • Compare floor space ratio
    • Floor space ratios represent the storage capacity per square foot of floor space occupied by the storage equipment
  • Security requirements
  • Equipment costs
  • Operation costs
    • Include costs of personnel to store and retrieve information, cost of compatible supplies, maintenance costs, cost of space to house equipment
  • Number of people regularly accessing records
  • Physical characteristics of records
  • Equipment compatibility
Selection criteria for supplies
  • Efficiency
    • Special features e.g. preprinted folders for alphabetic, numeric or alphanumeric systems
    • Colour coded folders, labels, etc.
  • Quality
    • Determined by weight or type of material used in construction
  • Economy
    • Purchasing cheapest item not always most economical move
  • Environmental considerations
    • Barriers to recycling
      • Plastic strips, metal reinforcements, certain colours
Active file organization
  • Active files in a manual filing system are normally stored in filing cabinets
  • The type of filing cabinet chosen is important
    • Lateral
      • Require less aisle space (c. 13”) than vertical (c. 25”)
      • Most new equipment purchases are lateral cabinets
    • Vertical (conventional)
      • Recommended for personal use, paper files in smaller work spaces
    • Fire-Proof cabinets may be considered
  • Certain components must be used to organize these filing cabinets
    • Guides
    • File folders
  • Guides
  • Heavy pressboard or cardboard used to separate the file drawer into sections, act as guideposts
  • Primary
    • Used to begin major divisions
  • Special
    • Highlight frequently used sections
  • Tab
    • A projection used to identify contents
  • Caption
    • Part of the tab that identifies range of records to be stored behind guide
  • Label
    • Self-adhesive strip affixed to tab of guide
File folders

  • Containers used to store correspondence in the files
  • General
    • Used to store all documents in that division of the file for which there is no other folder to store the document
  • Individual
    • Used to store correspondence to and from or about one individual person or company
  • Special
    • Used to store correspondence concerning a special subject or topic

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