TAB Case Study Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

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					     TAB Case Study: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
     Government Agency Gets Better Information Access

     The Organization

     Indian and Northern Affairs Canada,
     the agency responsible for meeting the
     Canadian government’s constitutional,
     treaty, political, and legal responsibilities
     to First Nations, Inuit and Northern
     communities.


     The Challenge: An
     Overflowing Records
     Room

     File storage and retrieval had become
     a difficult challenge for Indian and
     Northern Affairs Canada’s Litigation
     Management         Resolutions      Branch,
     located in Vancouver, British Columbia.
     The old storage system - a combination of
     bookshelves and pull-out filing cabinets
     - could no longer adequately contain the
     thousands of file folders, binders and boxes of records that project managers   Apart from making it difficult for Litigation Management Resolutions Branch
     and contract researchers needed to access as they worked on litigation cases    staff to file documents in their appropriate spots, the lack of space left little
     pertaining to Indian and Northern affairs.                                      room in the records area for researchers to review documents.

     “We were overflowing,” recalls Madeleine Reimer, the branch’s manager           For Indian and Northern Affairs, the time wasted looking for files translated
     of contracts and administration. “We would get so much material in that         directly into higher costs since most of the agency’s researchers were contract
     they would end up on the floor and blocking the aisles between the              workers who charged by the hour, says Reimer. “The old system was a great
     bookshelves.”                                                                   time and money waster,” she says.


     A Waste of Time and Money                                                       Security and Safety Risks

     The lack of storage space at the Litigation Management Resolutions Branch       In addition to not having enough room for all the branch’s records, the
     resulted in delays locating and retrieving the litigation files and document    storage design also did not allow the branch to keep its sensitive litigation
     collections project managers and researchers needed, says Reimer.               files in a secure, separate area. Consequently, the branch’s commissionaire
                                                                                     would have to accompany anyone who came into the room, including service
     “Files and document collections weren’t always where they were supposed
                                                                                     people such as telephone or computer repair personnel.
     to be,” says Reimer, “because we simply didn’t have enough room to put
         everything in the right place.”                                             The overflow of boxes and file folders onto floors and aisles also presented
                                                                                     a potential danger in case of emergencies such as fires or earthquakes, says
                                                                                     Reimer.

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TAB Case Study: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
     TAB Presents a Solution

     Indian and Northern Affairs Canada’s Litigation Management Resolutions
     Branch asked TAB to create a solution that would address its growing needs
     today and in the future. TAB regional sales manager Scott Larson proposed
     the following changes:

          •	 Replace	existing	five-tier	bookshelves	with	eight-tier TAB-TRAC
             high-density mobile shelving configured to hold a mix of boxes,
             binders and folders. These mobile shelves, which would move
             on tracks set into a sub-floor, would give Reimer’s staff the
             ability to push the carriages holding the shelves together when
             not in use, thus reducing the need for aisle space between
             each bookshelf.

          •	 Convert	3,500	records	from	pocket	file	folders	-	which	always		      	
             need to be viewed at eye level - to end-tab folders. This would
             allow the litigation management and resolutions branch to store its
             files higher and maximize use of vertical space.

          •	 Use	freed-up	floor	space	to	create	work stations where
             researchers can sit down and review files.

          •	 Secure litigation files by placing them in a section of
             the mobile system accessible only to the file clerk and a
             few other authorized personnel.

          •	 Create	a	holding space for incoming files which need to
             photocopied or scanned, or closed and placed in archives.


     Putting the Proposal into Action

     TAB put its proposal into action quickly, managing the entire project from
     dismantling old cabinets to construction, shelving installation, and file folder
     conversion. Because a mobile sub-floor needed to be built, TAB staff had to
     move all files to another floor in the building.

     “During this time, we had to make sure the litigation files were kept secure,”     TAB presented Indian and Northern Affairs
     says Larson. “We engaged the commissionaire to look after these critical files
                                                                                        Canada with a comprehensive solution for
     full-time.”
                                                                                        their time, space and security issues, which
     Larson says the work was planned so as not to impede workflow and access to
     files.	TAB	completed	the	project,	which	cost	$120,000,	in	five	days.
                                                                                          included installing a TAB-TRAC mobile
                                                                                          shelving system with end-tab folders.
     “We project-managed everything from start to finish,” says Larson. “That’s
     what a lot of clients appreciate about TAB - our ability to deliver a wholesale
     change with minimal disruption to their workplace.”




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TAB Case Study: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
                                   “It is definitely a massive improvement for us. To have
                                   something that works and looks beautiful just makes all the
                               difference in the world - everybody is so happy with the product.”



     ‘The most beautiful system
     I’ve seen’

     With its new TAB mobile system in place, the
     Litigation Management Resolutions Branch
     at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada now
     has ample shelving space to house all its
     files plus room to accommodate the steady
     influx of new documents.

     “We also designed the system with extra
     aisle space to allow the branch to add
     more carriages in the future,” says Larson.
     “In fact, they’ve already added one more
     carriage since the original installation.”

     Now that there’s a space for everything,
     retrieving files is no longer the challenge it
     used to be, says Reimer. The records room
     now has space for one work station, a table
     for document review, a computer, plus a
     small library of books.

     “We’re now a one-stop shop and
     productivity has definitely improved,” says Reimer. “Researchers can now go       From a crowded, inefficient, and potentially hazardous storage system, the
     into the room, get the information they need, review it and put it back so it’s   records room at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada’s Litigation Management
     there whenever they need it.”                                                     Resolutions Branch has now been transformed into what Reimer describes as
                                                                                       “the most beautiful system I’ve seen in my life.”
     TAB’s solution has also increased safety and file security at the branch, says
     Reimer.                                                                           “It is definitely a massive improvement for us,” she says. “To have something
                                                                                       that works and looks beautiful just makes all the difference in the world, and
     “Those boxes on the floors and walkways are all gone - everything is on the
                                                                                       everybody is so happy with the product.”
     shelves now,” she says. “The litigation files are also in their own section,
     which is locked down in an area just outside the file clerk’s enclave.”




                                                                                                                    C o n ta C t o n e o f o u r r e p r e s e n tat i v e s t o d ay.


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TAB Case Study: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada