Government Case Study: Designing a Custom Large Document Storage Solution
How do you store large, specialized documents in a way that maximizes space and makes it easy to access them?
The Kingston Land Registry Office (LRO) stores and manages official documents such as maps, site plans, and highway schematics. These documents are critical for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the role they play in ensuring public safety during construction and repair projects. As such, they need to be readily accessible to the public at all times.
So when the decision to move offices was made, the LRO saw an opportunity to improve the efficiency of their large document storage facility to better serve the public. The fact was that the LRO was rapidly outgrowing the existing facility and were moving into an even smaller space. They spoke to the design firm who was helping them with the move, and the designer recommended TAB, having previously worked with TAB on a custom large document storage solution for another client.
1.0 Mapping a Solution
David Colquhoun, TAB Business Analyst, met with the manager at the Kingston Land Registry Office and together they evaluated the existing situation. They determined that the LRO needed a solution which would:
- provide the appropriate structure for storing their oversized documents
- make it faster and more efficient to find and access documents
- accommodate a continually growing document volume
- be designed and installed within the tight office move deadline
David took the information back to his team and they got to work on a solution that would address simultaneously the storage issues as well as the organizational and access components.
After looking at all the information, they decided that TAB’s existing custom large document storage was a perfect fit for the LRO’s requirements. They would also convert the existing records into a color-coded system for easy identification and access.
1.1 A Wrinkle
Shortly after the proposed solution was finalized, it came to light that most of the documents were Mylar-based. Mylar materials have a “memory,” and when the Mylar- based documents have been rolled up for a period of time, the memory in the material will always want to return it to it’s rolled state when it’s unrolled. This “memory” also means that any fold in Mylar creates a permanent crease. This makes it almost impossible to store in traditional flat storage containers.
David and his team went back to the drawing board. With just weeks until the move, the clock was ticking.
2.0 Custom Solutions: Thinking Outside the Box
David and his team quickly came up with a new, custom storage and labeling solution that would meet all the project requirements and still allow the large documents to be kept in a rolled format. They managed to deliver revised proposals only two weeks after the discovery of the Mylar issue.
2.1 Shelving Structure
To create the necessary storage, TAB TMS shelving was used along with custom rigid polyvinyl plastic channels sitting inside the shelving, which housed the rolled maps per the specifications. The channels were bundled and fixed into groups of nine within the shelving framework for maximum stability.
2.2 Conversion to Custom Color-Coded Labels
A smaller version of a TABQUIK label then had to be custom designed for use in color-coding. The TABQUIK label was then secured to the plastic channels to provide visible color-coding.
Andrew Chin, National Professional Services Manager, then created a database of existing documents on-site and led the conversion process of the large documents into the new solution.
This involved labeling the storage structure in-house at TAB, then setting up and populating the pre-labeled structures on-site at the LRO. This meant that the documents never had to be offsite or out of use, and shaved about half of the required time to project completion—the whole thing was done in two and a half days!
2.3 An Added Bonus
In a stroke of practical genius, the TAB design team realized that by providing caps for the polyvinyl storage tubes, they could make it easier for the LRO to send documents in a protected storage case by simply capping the end of whichever particular storage unit the required document was in.
A Successful Partnership
TAB was proud to be able to provide the Kingston LRO with the storage they needed, in the tight timeframe their move deadline dictated. Even though the initial solution had to be abandoned at a critical juncture, TAB’s design and professional services team reacted quickly to create a custom storage solution that:
- improved organization and efficiency
- sped up retrieval times
- was aesthetically pleasing
- maximized the space in existing storage area
For the Kingston LRO, the new storage facility made it that much easier to build on their excellent service record and continue to fulfill their mandate of serving the public.
If you’d like to know more about our custom storage solutions, please get in touch.