Santa’s Workshop Increases Productivity for Holiday Season

 

Santa's management strategy

As the Christmas season grows more demanding each year, Santa’s Workshop strives to continually improve efficiency and productivity. New products have been introduced to minimize fatigue and injury in the workshop, as well as streamline the operation overall.

Elves Turn to Ergonomics for Admin Duties

“With a lot of toys, comes a lot of data,” says Santa. “All that information has to be processed.”  In the administrative offices of the workshop, elves complained of back pain, wrist pain and neck strain, leading to lost productivity and days out of the workshop recovering. Santa implemented company-wide back rests for all admin elves as well as the latest in office keyboard managers to reduce incidents of wrist pain.  Also the latest and greatest monitor arms put screens at the proper height and distance from elves to make computing duties easier.

Improving Workshop Air Quality Concerns

“Elves aren’t immune to colds and flu, and being at the North Pole doesn’t help,” Santa indicated. He implemented a commercial air purification system to keep the workshop free of airborne germs. The system features a true HEPA filter, which  captures 99.97% of airborne contaminants including viruses and allergens. The activated carbon filter also reduces odors, which is helpful for those elves stationed near the reindeer stables.

Archiving Past Holidays-Storing Records On-Site at North Pole

As a global one-night only distributor, Santa found reviewing past performance crucial for future productivity. Storing all past archives off-site led to long delays in records retrieval, “especially when you are headquartered at the North Pole,” indicates Santa. “It got to the point where we were just stuffing records in stockings and toy chests. That’s no good.” Converting to on-site archiving reduced costs and made records readily available for review.

Naughty List Record Destruction

Santa’s Naughty & Nice spreadsheet is an ever-changing dynamic.  “Those who were once naughty and now are nice don’t deserve that bad record following them around.” Santa explains.  “We keep auto feed shredders at every list review station for maximum identity theft protection. Because they are automatic, productivity is increased as the elves spend less time shredding and more time making toys.”

Three Easy Steps to Year End Records Organization

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As the new year approaches, tax time may be the only thing on your mind, but taking the chance to reorganize can help you feel more in control and ready to take on your taxes. Here are three steps  you can take to get yourself organized and ready for 2017.

Review the complete line of year end storage solutions: Storage Boxes for Year End Organization

Purge

Files becomes disorganized mostly because we are afraid to throw things away. To make this step easier, make two piles-definitely throw away and maybe throw away. Any files 7 years or older can be thrown. If you are not sure about a particular document, keep it in the maybe file for now.

Restructure

The structure of any file system is not set in stone. We all have special areas of our business that need files and no set template is going to be completely satisfactory. After the purging stage, your current filing structure may be just fine. However if you do need to rethink your system here are some questions to ask yourself:

 Are Current File Categories Growing too Big?

For example you may have started a file entitled employees, only to find that current employees and past employee records were making the file too massive. Breaking down a single category into sub files can take the burden out of one file.

The same question can be asked in reverse. Are there some sub-category files that you thought would grow, but may only contain a few documents. You may want to merge this file with another smaller category to keep things  from getting too complex.

Remember that maybe throw file? Go through it now to reconsider the documents you may want to keep. In light of a new file structure, some might get filed in new categories or simply tossed once see with more organized insight.

Archive

Finally, it’s time to archive your files from around two years ago. Clearly label your boxes or drawers with the date.  Leave out last year’s documents to get ready for tax time. You will feel a sense of relief knowing you are not only ahead of the tax season, but also completely organized before the first Christmas party invitation.

 

Organizing for Empty Nesters

 

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If the last of your kids has gone off to college, the silence that you so longed for now seems deafening.  But this is just a shift in your household flow. Now, rather than focusing on a high school student’s needs, you can focus on your own. To help make this shift easy, you need to get organized. Start Here to Create Your Keepsake Box and Your To-Do Box: Boxes for Empty Nesters

Create a Keepsake Box

Fill a box with everything that you want to keep from your child’s growth through graduation. Childhood drawings, favorite toys and diplomas can go in this box. Label it and put it away for now. This will help you make the transition away from feelings of sadness. Your child has made the transition to a new life; it’s time you do the same.

Create a To-Do Box

This box is not one you will not put away. In this box you can put objects that represent what you want to do in your new stage of life. Fill it with objects of aspiration. Sure you could make lists in notebooks, but having a physical object in a box takes up space and reminds you everyday of where you want to go, want you want to do.

  • Travel: find objects that will always remind you of the destination you want to visit.
  • Hobbies: starting a hobby that you never had time for can finally happen with objects in your To-Do box that stimulate your inspiration for gardening or writing
  • People you want to visit. We make lots of visits to family and friends throughout our life, but many times they are uninspired. Think of the people you want to spend some quality time with now that you have the time. Fill your To-Do Box with reminders from photo albums or personal mementos that will get you going!

 

 

Whether to Choose Metal vs. Corrugated Filing Systems

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Deciding how to set up your filing system for your business can depend on numerous factors that need to be considered, not only for the current status of your company , but also how long-term developments in  your file management process may impact your system.

Metal Filing Cabinets For Durability

By far, metal filing cabinets offer the most durability. However, as a records manager, you must be confident that little will change in your business when it comes to the records you keep in them. Because of the unpredictability of business dynamics, metal cabinets may be too rigid for your needs. For example, a sudden increase in business may mean an increase in records, which may require additional metal filing cabinets. The added expense is only the beginning, as you now need to find a space where these cabinets are to be installed. Just as easily, business may swing in the opposite direction, a reduction in filing needs, leaving giant metal cabinets taking up space yet filled only with air.

Flexibility in Corrugated

The advantages of corrugated records storage is the flexible solution they provide for the dynamics of business. Due to the reasonable price of corrugated storage, boxes can  be purchased at a low cost to accommodate new files and with downswings in business, easily recycled like paper when no longer needed.

Also, corrugated file storage is lightweight and most boxes feature handles so when files need to be moved into outside storage facilities, the process becomes much easier, especially when you have to do it yourself.

Bankers Box storage

Corrugated Maximizes Office Space for Small Business

Most small businesses have small offices, so records storage can be an annoyance. Often a business owner will need to fill waiting rooms and personal office space with bulky metal filing cabinets as the need for file storage increases. However, with corrugated storage, less space is required as record storage boxes are individually smaller than full size cabinets and they stack nicely in a vacant corner.

The Durability Issue and Long-Term Storage

If records-keeping in your business stays fairly consistent, then  many records managers may choose metal cabinets for long-term endurance. Many may point out the “crush factor” of corrugated. Even though Bankers Box has designed their boxes with double wall construction for lasting strength, stacked boxes may still over time begin to compress and collapse. However, if corrugated is the preferred choice over metal,  there are options to prevent this from happening based on the type of corrugated records storage box selected.

For example, basic duty boxes should only be used for light stacking. They are best for temporary files or quick access files kept in the office.

Medium duty boxes have greater strength, and are ideal for small storage room stacking.

For long-term storage, however, heavy duty strength is essential for stacking boxes high with full contents in long-term storage facilities, whether on or off premise.

Corrugated Drawer Systems

An additional option, a sort of middle ground between cabinets and boxes, is corrugated drawer systems. They vary in size for different office layouts, offering the central organization that cabinets provide, while also maintaining the flexibility and lightweight movability that makes corrugated storage boxes ideal.

Are You Storing Half-Filled Boxes? How to Conduct a Box Audit

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Evaluating your records room needs, you may realize that many boxes taking up space may be half-filled or even empty. As records get moved around throughout the year, inefficiencies in records management can arise that can consume critical space that can be used by new files and Bankers Boxes. 

A simple box audit is a four step process that helps eliminate wasted records storage space.

Step 1: Separate boxes into two groups: those boxes that need to be retained and those that can be destroyed.

Step 2: Capture details at the file level. What files in the retained boxes are still relevant? The labeled box may need to be retained, but perhaps some of the files inside are no longer needed. Often a box is designated as retained, then at the file level, most of the folders inside end up being shredded, leaving you with an empty box.

Step 3: For files that are retained, consolidate and restructure. You may be able to organize a handful of files from a nearly empty box into a box that has some reserve space. This may require relabeling of retained storage boxes.

Step 4: Destroy all unneeded records.

Using this simple organizing method, one company was able to reduce the volume of records in storage from 7000 cubic feet to only 495 cubic feet!

Not sure how long you should keep records, the IRS has some tips: Records-Keeping for Taxes

Guide for Determining How Bankers Boxes You Need.

How Many Files Fit in a standard Banker’s Box?

Here’s the dimensions and capacity for a standard banker/copy box: 12.5′”W x 15.5′”D x 10.5′”H

Depending on the type of paper and the amount of file folders that you have in each box, you can fit approximately 2000 to 2500 sheets of paper.

 

How Many Bankers Boxes Fit in Storage?

To figure out how many boxes of documents you have, think about this:

If your documents aren’t packed tightly and you have 150 sheets per inch, then you need one standard banker’s box for every 13” to 16” of space on your shelves (round it down to a foot to make it easier).

If you can’t fit one more piece of paper on your shelf, you’re probably closer to 200 sheets per inch.  In that case, you’ll need one standard Banker’s Box for every 10” to 12” of space on your shelves.

Making Your Office Move Easier

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Get expert advice on your office move from our Guest Blogger Karen Warner, Corporate Moving Specialist

The office move can be more stressful than any client presentation. So much to think about and plan. To avoid mishaps, delays and most importantly, the continuous stress, use a moving timeline.

Making a Forecast

Knowing how early to begin preparing for a move starts  with understanding how much needs to be moved and when. Use the square footage of your current office space to determine how much time you will need to pack up. Once  you have a clear goal determined, you can begin the planning process and create your timeline.

Get A Free Office Move Timeline Template 

Questions to Ask about Your Office Space

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What will your new office space needs be? Here are some important questions to ask yourself and other decision-makers.

  • Will you need the same amount of space?
  • Will you need more?
  • Will you need less?
  • What is your budget ceiling?
  • What is your location range?

Once you define these parameters you can begin scouting for future sites. Use a combination of resources to find properties. Use commercial realtors but also do your own search using commercial real estate websites. Even your drive to and from work can be an opportunity to identify future office space. Within the first month, you should have at least 10 potential properties that meet your criteria. Begin setting up appointments to tour these properties.

Determine Potential Property Candidates

As you begin touring potential properties, use a star rating to determine their possibility of a future site. One star can be an absolute no, 2-3 stars can be a maybe and four and five can be  your best candidates. Keep notes on why you gave this rating so you have a clear rationale when you report back to decisions-makers.

Use your star rating as a guide to short list your properties. Do not rush to select a location right away. Things can change and you may find yourself with no other alternatives. Keeping several properties on your short list keeps your options open while you begin space planning.

Space Planning

Confer with the new landlords to determine how your workspace needs will fit the space requirements of the new building. Landlords will usually provide at their cost a space planner to assist with the evaluation. This step will also help clarify the best possible future worksite.

 Get a Free Office Space Property Analysis Template

Requests for Proposal

By month four you should be submitting requests for proposal. By now you should have two or three sites in consideration.

The proposal will help the landlord address specific issues for the location. Your Request for Proposal may confirm items such as:

  • the actual square footage you are leasing
  • the lease term
  • the lease commencement date
  • building operating expenses
  • expansion possibilities
  • security
  • parking
  • options to extend the lease

Nail Down a Location

By now you should have enough information and confidence to choose your future site. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the lease terms. Landlords may be willing to make accommodation to fill the space or offer building amenities in exchange for longer lease terms. A signed lease is the launching pad to begin preparing for the office move.

Hiring the Moving Company

Your first impulse when considering movers is to contact the same company that moved your house. Commercial movers are more familiar with moving office equipment and more experienced when it comes to ensuring everything goes where it needs to go in the new office space. Get your quotes from commercial movers and narrow your list down by price, experience, licensing and insurance verification, as well as your overall confidence after a face to face meeting.

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Moving Company Proposal Summary

Use this moving company proposal summary to define the right commercial and estimate your moving inventory.

 

Get Your Own Moving Supplies- Order Moving Supplies in One Easy Step 

Tape Free Moving Boxes Allow for Easy Packing and UnPacking

All movers will want to upsell you moving supplies. But you can get your own at a much more reasonable price (always remember your moving budget!) Plus, there are other factors to consider:

  1. Moving boxes are often leased for a move. The moving company will want them back after the move, rushing your unpacking process.
  2. You may want to keep some things in long term storage and you may want to keep those boxes.

Quick Tip: Order All Your Supplies At Once So You Don’t Forget Anything.

Organizing Other Employees

Make sure employees are staying on schedule while packing. Some may be more efficient than others and you may be the only person to compel action.

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Moving Day

Everything should be ready to go on moving day. Make sure your destination is also ready to ensure an easy and stress-free move.

Choosing Storage Boxes or Storage Drawers

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Drawers Or Boxes?

How do you decide the best records storage for your business? If you have limited storage space and require frequent access to files, Bankers Box® storage drawers would be the best choice. If you have a lot more storage space available and need to access your files less often, storage boxes are the best solution.

When you choose drawer storage…

  • You can stack records higher and save space.
  • You can eliminate the need to stack and restack boxes
  • You cut record retrieval time in half

When you choose box storage…

  • You can move and handle records more frequently with stronger boxes
  • You can store less frequently accessed records safely with safe closures

When you choose a drawer/box combo…

  • You can store active files in easy to access drawers
  • You can store inactive files in safely sealed boxes for long-term storage

Choosing the Right Storage Drawers

If space-saving is your primary concern, than drawers provide the best storage solution. Choosing the right type of drawer determines how high you can stack your drawers to save space, and the right size determines the size of the contents of the drawer.

Drawer Types

Drawer Size

  • Letter/Legal Drawers accommodate both letter and legal size documents – This size drawer has the versatility for storing records of varied sizes.
  • Letter size drawers accommodate letter size files. This is the perfect drawer if letter size documents are all you need to store.
  • Legal size drawers accommodate legal sized files offering an additional three inches in width for larger record size.

Whatever your drawer choice, with the stacking ability of drawers, you can maximize your record storage space, save on retrieval time and eliminate box restacking—all while maintaining easy access to all your important records.

Choosing a Business Storage Solution

Selecting the Right Box

Different boxes have different purposes. Knowing which Bankers Box storage box to select, requires understanding your storage needs from type and strength, to size and assembly.

Box Types

  • String & Button boxes offer maximum security and reliable closure, even when the box is overturned.
  • Lift-off Lid boxes allow easy access to records. Look for locking lids to securely store your files.
  • Attached Flip-Top Lid Boxes prevent lost or damaged lids.
  • Specialty Boxes provide specialized storage solutions for unique document sizes

Box Strength

  • Frequent access, heavy-duty boxes hold up under heavy use and can be stacked higher.
  • Occasional access, medium-duty boxes hold up under moderate use and moderate stacking.
  • Infrequent access, basic-duty boxes are suitable for basic use and lower stacking.

Box Size

  • Letter/legal boxes easily carry and accommodate both letter and legal size paper.
  • Letter size boxes are perfect for high capacity letter size paper storage.
  • Legal size boxes are 3” wider than letter boxes and accommodate legal document storage.

Box Assembly

  • Presto™ instant assembly – sets up to 5 times faster than basic assembly boxes
  • FastFold® quick and easy assembly – sets up to 4 times faster than basic assembly boxes

See how easily you can assemble a Bankers Box: How to Assemble Video

The Basics of Law Firm Records Management

Not every law practice will find one set of rules useful for client records organization. The dynamics of different offices may take some strategic and creative thinking to create the perfect system for increased efficiency and productivity. Here are some starters.

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One centralized location for records is key to a productive law office. When everyone has their own independent filing system-chaos ensues!

If you maintain a large firm, a records storage room with check in and check out procedures for files keeps things organized without too much supervision.

For smaller firms, records storage drawers in a designated area of the office can serve the same purpose, but on a smaller scale.

Court is in Ten Minutes…Where’s My File?

The Most Stressful Words Heard at a Law Firm

Creating Easy File Identification

There are many approaches to file organization ranging from alphabetic to numeric to alpha-numeric. Every system has its advantages and flaws. So every firm needs to determine what works best for their practice.

Regardless of the type of system used, however, there are some basic tips for keeping all these systems efficient.

  1. Add identity references to each client file

For example, if a retained client that has numerous sub files, or several open cases, you should label the file with two names—client name and litigant name and case: Johnson E/ Phillips copyright infringement In this way any sub file created gets organized in the Johnson Electronics Bankers Box because of its client prefix, but also gets organized within that box by its suffix reference to a specific case.

Regardless of your organization system, Johnson Electronics files always go the same Bankers Box.

If sub files exceed one box, then all the Johnson E boxes can be neatly stacked with the Phillips copyright infringement sub file organized alphabetically within those client main files.

Stack boxes as client files grow.

  1. Organizing by areas of law

If a firm practices in various areas of law, organizing cases by area of practice (bankruptcies, liability ,etc. ) with different sets of drawers can keep clients who may in retainer for various cases across category from getting mixed up.

  1. Color coding for optimized organization

Within every client file a system of colors can make identifying the file you are looking for faster and easier.

For example, our client Johnson E with two cases open may have Johnson E/Gordon employee dispute with a red label and Johnson E/ Phillips patent infringement with a green label.

Clients files can be stored together in one box or organized by category of law in separate drawer systems; either way, you will be able to quickly and easily identify and grab that file and get moving on the case.

 

How The Best Accountants Increase Productivity Through Organization

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Back Up Files on Paper

In our digital age, paper documents may seem unnecessary. But digital data can be lost or compromised with the push of a button.

You don’t need to lose office space to giant metal file cabinets. Simple, inexpensive drawer systems can do the job for any small accounting office.

You should keep one complete set of files for your vendors, another for general expenses, and a third for customers. In addition, create a  file for each asset and liability that shows up in your books. And of course, allot some records storage space for tax returns.

Easy Access to All Your Files

Easy access to important documents is essential for any accounting office.  Even if you are just starting out, and do not need the capacity of a drawer system. Easy access lift off lids boxes are an alternative. They can also be easily stacked and are easily accessible if the IRS comes calling.

Let’s say one of your small business clients is selected for audit. The IRS wants to see receipts for travel, meals, and entertainment for the year. Speedy access to backup documents can prevent part of the expense deduction from being disallowed. If this happens that means increases in taxable income, a new tax bill, along with penalties and interest. With the right organization system, those crucial documents are always on hand.

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Drawer Systems Offer Space-Saving File Organization for Small Offices

Preventing Paperwork from Becoming Overwhelming

As your accounting business grows, so will your records storage. The tendency is to try and keep everything. But excess can lead to confusion and disorganization. Maintain a scheduled retention and destruction policy so that only the most essential documents are kept and dated documents destroyed.

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Maintaining Tax Form Organization and Tax Code Handbooks

The regular use of tax forms means having to keep them both organized and accessible when with a client. File Sorters offer desktop convenience for form management. Magazine Files are also helpful offering easy storage and organization of tax code manuals.

Helpful Links

Document Retention Policy Guidelines

Records Storage for the Green Accounting Office

Making Most of the Small Office

Ideas for Small Office Design

An office limited in space can still be functional  and aesthetically pleasing. Here are some tips for making small office space work great.

Upgrade Your Workstations

Disorganized desktops and workstation clutter contribute to the feeling of office claustrophobia. Keep things tidy and maintain comfortable and contemporary workstations. The appearance of elegant design and organization not only impresses office visitors but boosts morale.

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New Look for Records Storage

File cabinets either take up space in the back room or, if there is no back room, fill the front office with their bulky, dull grey and black exteriors. Designer file drawer systems provide a contemporary and colorful addition that provides easy file accessibility and saves space without compromising your front office interior design.

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Hot Desk Business Machine Hub

Organizing all your universally used business machines in one location in your office not only saves space but prevents  chaotic office traffic patterns caused by moving from laminating machine to binding machine to copier to shredder throughout the day. Plus, all business machines in one spot can also cultivate a water cooler sociability while getting work done.

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