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Government Case Study: More Records than Storage Space

What do you do when you have more records than storage space?

It is a challenge familiar to most organizations, and for the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART), an increasingly pressing one.

State and federal regulations meant that their files had to be kept for long periods of time; for example, employment files must be kept for 50 years, purchase details kept for the life of the grant or the asset, and so on. As a public sector organization, HART must also be able to satisfy records requests from the public and regulators “on demand.”

As their collection of records expanded, and available space began to shrink, HART knew it needed a storage and access system that would address both short-term requirements and future growth. Because TAB held the State Contract for filing needs, Helen Davis (HART Office Services Coordinator) contacted TAB consultant Kirk Malone and his group for assistance in resolving her record storage quandary.

The evolution of a sophisticated file storage system

TAB met with Helen and her team to assess the situation. Together they determined that the most pressing need was to convert files from boxes of records stacked on metal shelving to a new, more organized system. These boxes contained Human Resources, Procurement, Accounts Payable and Grant files.

Making the most of space

To maximize the small amount of space that HART had, TAB installed two mobile high-density shelving units which allowed for both letter and legal sized files. At the same time, TAB suggested that the files to be stored in the mobile high-density shelving needed to be converted from top-tab to end-tab, allowing for better access and tracking.

Conversion

This involved a total redesign of all folder labels, which TAB standardized with both alphabetical and numerical classifications. TABQUIK™ software was used to generate labels, and they were affixed to TAB file folders, selected by HART over their existing stock for their durability.

Roll-out

Since installation and conversion of these departments were a success, soon HART and TAB partnered on similar installations and conversions for their Accounts Receivable and Risk Management departments.

Legacy Equipment

Over the years, Grants and Procurements records had to be sent to off site storage to create more storage space. TAB expertly disassembled and palletized one of two original mobile units left over from this process in the hopes that it could be reused in the future.

The File Move

The final stage in the evolution came in 2008 when some of HART’s departments moved to a brand new building as part of an office reorganization. This would mean the consolidation of various records collections on one floor and records that had been sent off site would be brought back into daily use.

As this move would create new relationships where people would be working together for the first time, Helen Davis and her team wanted to ensure that the new filing systems would help facilitate an easy transition and create a pleasant workspace.

TAB created a blended, reconfigured layout using every existing piece of previously disassembled, stored unit combined with four new mobile cabinet systems. This layout was designed to accommodate access needs and ensured that HART saved both cost and space.

TAB and HART: a long-term team

The success of TAB’s collaboration with HART on designing the correct system to manage their records is demonstrated by the fact that they now use TAB solutions across six different departments. Not only did the solutions address the need to have a space efficient system that provided ease of access, but the company is proud to show its filing system to visitors. The filing solution is no longer hidden away but an integral part of the working environment, and, with wood laminate panels, is aesthetically pleasing as well.

Helen Davis is proud of the work her team achieved with the guidance and expertise of TAB behind them:

“The staff is excited about being able to have their files (properly stored) and able to access them too. They can actually concentrate on their jobs instead of wondering how or where to find their files.”

The partnership is over 12 years old and TAB continues to consult with HART on a regular basis, to maintain the high standards the staff and the public have grown accustomed to.

Download a PDF of this case study here.

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