Any business that deals with customer files, patient records, paper invoices, meeting notes, or other physical paperwork knows that these documents can pile up fast. An office that doesn’t implement an effective office filing system can quickly become disorganized; with papers scattered everywhere and no clear organizational system, it can be easy to misplace valuable documents.
Don’t lose control of your critical papers. Instead, develop a clean and effective filing system for your business. The effort you spend on filing records management will be well worth it.
Why an Efficient Filing System Is Important
If you store records or files as part of your business, your employees need to quickly and easily access them to do their jobs. Without a filing and records management system in place, your files could end up anywhere: stacked in boxes in the warehouse, stuffed into bookshelves in random corners of the office, or even hidden at the bottom of a desk drawer.
Disorganization costs time, productivity, and money. The more time your employees take to find the documents they need, the less time they spend focused on their jobs. Disorganized file management can lso lead to lost documents. This could make it difficult or even impossible for your employees to complete their assignments. If you work in a highly regulated environment, losing documents could also increase your legal liability.
Finally, a good filing system for business will help you create an optimized business workspace. With the right type of shelving units in place, you can organize your files and documents cleanly and compactly, saving valuable space and making it easy for your employees to find the documents they need.
Overall, the time you take to establish a good office filing system will increase your worker productivity and help your office run smoothly. Here’s how to do it.
5 Steps to Create an Efficient Filing Management System
1. Determine Your Storage Shelving Needs
Before you can begin sorting and organizing your files, you’ll need somewhere to put them. Carefully consider what types of documents or records you need to store and what type of file and binder shelving would be the best fit for your particular needs.
For example, libraries will probably need plenty of bookcases, while an architectural firm will want shelves that can accommodate large plans and drawings. A law office with many files may do better with pull-out shelving or sliding mobile shelves.
Pro tip: If your company continually generates documents that need to be stored, consider purchasing more storage shelving than you currently need so that you have room to grow.
2. Develop Your Filing and Records Management System
Now that you have your shelving in place, don’t just start stuffing documents into folders and sticking them on the shelves. Instead, take a step back and give some thought to how you want to organize your files. Your system will depend on how you use your files. For example, if you want to store past invoices, it may be best to create an alphabetical system based on each customer’s name.
If your workers need to pull active case files more frequently than old case files, you may want to implement an organizational system based on activity criteria, with the most active files stored at the front and the old files placed in the back.
There are many different efficient filing systems you can use. It’s up to you to pick the one that will work best for your company.
Pro tip: Poll your employees. The people who use the files the most often will likely have good insight into good organizational systems.
3. Purchase the Right Organizational Tools
Now that you know how your filing and records management system will operate, it’s time to buy the filing and storage products that will allow you to cleanly and efficiently store your documents. This includes everything you will need to store your documents, like:
Think about how your filing system for business will work and then figure out everything you need to support that system. Do you want to be able to keep multiple case files together? Then consider investing in oblique file folders or redrope filing pockets. Want to file documents by priority? On-demand labels can make it easy for employees to quickly see which files are the highest priority.
4. Implement Your System
You have your shelving, your system, and your filing accessories. Now it’s time to block out a few hours in your schedule and actually implement your system. Don’t rush past this step. Implementing your organizational system will be the foundation of your filing records management. Starting it on the right foot with all the files in the right place will make it easier for your team to adopt the new system.
Pro tip: Recruit your employees to help implement the system. This will help introduce them to the new office filing system and show them how to use the new shelving units.
5. Train Your Team on Your Office Filing System
No matter how brilliant they are, filing systems for businesses will only work if utilized properly by the staff. Take the time to thoroughly train them in the new system. Show them how to label folders, where to place the folders, and how to document changes. Don’t assume your employees will pick up on the changes and automatically embrace them. Initiating a systems change is difficult, and some employees may be tempted to keep doing things the old way. Train your workforce, make sure your management team is fully on board, and keep a close eye on your filing system for the next weeks and months to make sure it stays up and running.
Where to Get your Supplies for Efficient Filing Management
Your document organization is only as good as the tools you use to support your filing system for your business. At StoreMoreStore, we offer a wide range of storage products, everything from shelving to file folders and more. Call us at (855) 789-7667 or email our friendly customer support team today to learn all about our many solutions for filing systems for business.