Some large organizations are unaware of the benefits a proper file tracking and file registry system can provide. The information held in paper files is just as important as that held in corporate databases, but their efficient management is rarely high on the list of priorities.
Civica Records Management has worked with many organisations in providing file tracking systems that have greatly improved their efficiency. These are based round the implementation of our ‘FileTrail’ file tracking and file management software, usually combined with the use of bar-coded file labels. For sensitive files, added protection can be provided through the use of RFID radio tags, which can detect the movement of files between locations automatically, in real-time.
FileTrail will keep a record of every file and its contents (‘containers’), using the file or container label bar-code to book files in and out of the file room(s) and record who has called for them and when. By using personal ID and shelf location barcodes, the file pulling, booking out and putting away is quick and simple – just swipe the file label with a small hand-held barcode reader and then plug it into FileTrail.
FileTrail will also enable files to be ‘called forward’ on specific dates or anniversaries by producing a ‘picking list’ in shelf location sequence. This is very useful for periodic reviews, case conferences etc… It has also been used more creatively to track other ‘objects’, such as interview and CCTV tapes and other items of evidence in the Criminal Justice system. It is even used to manage the issue and location of disability aids and other loan equipment.
Some of the benefits of FileTrail are more subtle; if tracking to a bar-coded shelf location, for instance, there is no need to file in strict reference number, name or subject order. New files can simply be put into the next free shelf location, to which it will be registered until it is withdrawn and takes another location when returned. If file requests can be batched up, they can be pulled from the shelves far more quickly and efficiently. The saving in labour is often sufficient to justify FileTrail, the benefit of receiving files far more quickly and knowing where every file is and who has dealt with it when make the case for FileTrail conclusive.
We have recently extended our FileTrail usage to cover the management of a mixed EDMS/paper filing environment. Under this regime, files can be tracked either to physical locations or, if electronic, a file enquiry passed through either to your in-house EDMS or a Civica hosted document viewing service.
FileTrail for SharePoint adds complete physical records tracking and management to SharePoint. This allows organisations to access and manage both their electronic and physical records through a single integrated solution. Finally, organisations can leverage SharePoint compliance, workflow and search tools for all their records.