DRIVING BUSINESS EFFICIENCY
Countless organisations within the public sector are under increasing pressure to enhance work efficiencies, reduce costs and adhere to strict legal obligations. Now many forward thinking managers are the exploring the benefits of outsourcing their records management to experts within the information management field. An effective records management system contributes towards a higher return on investment, increases security for critical information and allows easy access to shared information. It also frees up valuable office space and eliminates the hassle of managing a complicated filing system. This was certainly the case for Wicklow County Council, who outsourced their document management system to Kefron Filestores.
Wicklow County Council operated a somewhat haphazard and inefficient file storage system within its 5,000 square metre head office in Wicklow Town. A key weakness of the system was that there was no single method for storing files or any controls applied. As a result, there was widespread indiscipline about filing arrangements.
“This led to problems with file retrieval because most people weren’t adhering to the proper filing system. Staff might have to go through a hundred or two hundred files before they found what they wanted. It was hugely inefficient.” Eddie Murphy, Executive Technician, Housing & Corporate Estate at Wicklow County Council.
The Council also found it was having difficulties to comply with new legislation such as The Freedom of Information and Data Protection Acts, which requires public bodies to be able to produce documents on request. To further complicate matters, the Council was undergoing significant organisational change as part of the ‘Better Local Government’ national programme introduced in 2000.
The contract was a new departure, not only for the Council itself but also for Kefron Filestores. Although the company occasionally provided storage services onsite at client premises, on this occasion Wicklow County Council was also looking to have a Kefron Filestores person working full time at the Council’s offices, managing the file-storage facility.
Kefron Filestores implemented a barcode-based tracking system that ensures complete visibility of all stored files and security procedure around it to make sure files were fully traceable.
To ensure a smooth transition from the old system to the new, Kefron Filestores undertook a detailed communications programme with Council staff to explain the proposed changes and how the new system would work.
Summing up the benefits that have been seen since Kefron Filestores assumed responsibility for the Council’s file management in 2006.
“It makes life so much easier for everyone here. The barcode-based solution Kefron Filestores has implemented bears no comparison with the old ad hoc system we used to use.”
Eddie Murphy, executive technician, Housing & Corporate Estate, Wicklow County Council