Passing the "Murphy" Test with Flying Colors
Scott Bidwell, President/COO
You know Murphy...that law that states that “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” I imagine we've all had occasion to become better acquainted with Murphy. My most recent brush with Murphy came as I arrived at the airport for a recent flight. More accurately, it was the Southwest check-in staff struggling to keep a difficult situation from becoming a complete service breakdown.
It had already become apparent to me, as I stood waiting to check my bags, that something was up. The line simply wasn't moving as it usually did. It wasn't very long before a service rep announced that, due to their computer system being down, check-in would take a bit longer and that our patience would be greatly appreciated. Groans and dissatisfied muttering ensued.
Even though they had to resort to hand-written boarding “passes” and manual confirmation of flights, names, etc. they managed to move us through pretty quickly. Once through security and at the gate, the Southwest gate staff provided constant instruction and updates on the boarding procedure in this unfamiliar situation. In a nutshell, this technology debacle would delay our departure time by (gasp!) 10 minutes. Pretty impressive in my book; however, not so to the gentleman in line behind me. With cell phone to ear, he proceeded to describe (none too quietly) how the airline had screwed up ANOTHER flight and seemed to relish taking his frustration out by making one disparaging remark after another. For what? His flight is taking off 10 minutes later than scheduled – in the face of MANUAL check-in. Seriously???
I'm not providing a paid endorsement for Southwest Airlines, but I am willing to give credit where credit is due. Here's how they were able to navigate this very difficult process and service dilemma:
- Clearly, the Southwest team had a well-documented procedure for this situation. As importantly, they were familiar with the procedure and knew exactly what steps to take.
- They provided an explanation of the dilemma.
- They maintained a constant line of communication with instruction and updates.
- They acknowledged that it was a difficult situation and expressed appreciation for our patience.
Did these steps help resolve their issue? No. Did it keep it from boiling over into a customer service fiasco? Absolutely.
Would your business be as well prepared to weather such adversity? Part of your role as a RIM services provider is to educate your customers on the importance of disaster planning and preparedness. How about your own DR plan for those inevitable "Murphy" moments, large and small?
If you haven't visited your DR plan, now is a great time to review it and determine if it needs updating. It's also a good idea to hold meetings with your staff to review the plan and its alternate processes and procedures – particularly in how your customers are dealt with in the face of a process or service issue. Sooner or later, your RIM services business will be tested by Murphy. By taking steps now, you can ensure it's a test you're sure to pass.
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Register Early to Save & Gain!
If you're interested in gaining competitive advantage by enriching your ASI and industry knowledge - this can be accomplished by attending the ASI "TOPS" 2012 Users Seminar. We've also gathered a distinguished group of industry experts such as Lori Palmer, Executive Vice President of REB Storage Systems, Int'l, who will share her insights and tips to help RIM services businesses gain maximum TOPS benefit.
REGISTER TODAY TO SAVE!
You could wait until August 10th to register, but why delay? Register today and that's one less task on your summer "to do" list!
On or before August 10th
After August 10th
RESERVE YOUR ROOM TODAY
You'll also want to take a moment to book your accommodations at our host hotel, the beautiful Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade. To ensure receipt of the specially negotiated ASI room rate, reservations must be made on or before August 8, 2012.
For the full agenda, including session descriptions, registration form and housing info, download the ASI TOPS Users Seminar PDF.
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Veri-Shred & VCK-SQL updates scheduled
In recent months, we announced the release of VCK-SQL 9.3.91 and Veri-Shred 2.4.xx. Both offer many business-beneficial enhancements which you can read about in their respective release notes available online.
Currently in testing with positive results, ASI will be releasing another round of updates for both VCK-SQL and Veri-Shred, in the second week of July. These updates include some minor, but important updates to the previous releases, along with some new features requested by our users.
To ensure your business realizes the full advantage of the new features
and benefits offered by VCK-SQL and Veri-Shred, we encourage you to hold a meeting with your internal users to fully review these documents.
If you haven't yet scheduled your update installation, please contact ASI Support today. They'll work with you and address any questions or concerns.
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Industry Expert Lori Palmer to Speak at ASI Users Seminar in September
We're thrilled to have Lori Palmer , EVP for REB Storage Systems Int'l , as one of our featured speakers during the upcoming ASI "TOPS" 2012 Users Seminar to be held Sept. 12th and 13th in Cleveland. Lori will share her expertise on racking and equipment considerations for records centers, as well as address attendee questions.
To provide you with an example of the breadth of experience and knowledge Lori will be sharing, below is an interview that originally ran in our July 2011 edition of The ASI Archive. Large, small, new construction or existing, you're sure to find a tidbit relevant to your records center. And we hope you'll join us in September for more in-depth information from Lori and our entire panel of ASI staff and industry experts.
1. What are the most important factors a records center should take into consideration when selecting and designing its shelving system?
The most important factors may vary depending upon the building's particular features. Is the building a high-rise single-level warehouse or a multi-story facility with freight elevators? Is it an existing building or new construction?
The most important factors to consider for an existing building are ceiling height, floor loading capacity, and seismic zone location. This will help determine the most appropriate system for the building. A primary goal is to maximize carton storage (density) in available space. System options include Single Level accessed by rolling ladders or order pickers, or Multi-Level with stairways and catwalks.
As for new construction, ideally one should consult with a storage system professional during the planning stages as the building design is being determined. For example, building columns should be strategically located so that they do not interfere with the placement of aisles in the racking system. Proper planning will result in the columns being located so that they minimize carton loss to maximize storage revenues. Your storage system professional should be able to help address code issues regarding sprinkler systems, egress plans, etc. during the building planning stage. The goal is to address all possible issues prior to building construction to avoid possible permitting delays or costly change orders to modify the racking system.
2. REB Storage Systems has been designing and building record archive storage systems for over 40 years. What are some of the most significant changes affecting storage system design during this time?
Changes in regulatory codes have impacted most records centers in North America and now worldwide. Increased competition between commercial records centers has also driven changes in rack design. Many years ago, density of storage was less of an issue and many centers stored cartons 1 or 2 high x 1 or 2 deep on a shelf. Today, the trend is to store cartons up to 3 high x 3, or even 4 deep, on shelves to reduce aisles and maximize storage. The time required to access cartons increases so productivity suffers. One must consider the increased labor expense vs. the increased storage revenue when making a decision as to the most efficient records storage system.
3. What regulatory issues are most important for records centers to be aware of and how do some of these affect the design of their shelving systems?
Storage height and the type of overhead sprinkler system at the ceiling are key considerations when designing a shelving system. Depending upon the municipality, storage higher than 12 feet may require 50% open area shelf decking. Unobstructed horizontal and transverse flue spaces for water penetration are also important. Adequate space must be provided to assure cartons do not obstruct the flue spaces. These issues should be addressed prior to making a decision as to the size and specifications of the records storage units.
4. With so many installations under its belt, REB must offer some unique system components. Is there one that stands out in your mind that helps records centers work efficiently?
I believe our Snap Shelf 50% open steel shelf deck provides the greatest benefits for records centers vs. other open shelf alternatives. Because of its 50% open shelf area, Snap Shelf may be utilized to meet applicable NFPA fire code regulations. Snap Shelf ensures maximum support is maintained below each stack of boxes and also allows boxes to slide easily on and off the shelf. Alternate products, such as wire, create extra friction when sliding boxes and over time the wire can create indentations into the corrugated material, damaging the bottom of the carton.
5. What is the most unique and/or challenging record storage system design/installation REB has undertaken?
I can think of two. The first was designed several years ago and was comprised of a three-level racking system for a major client in the banking industry. Our client's objective was to have several miles of active open mortgage files stored 1 high x 1 deep at ground level for ease of accessibility. Approximately 500,000 inactive cartons were to be stored 3 high x 3 deep at the 2 catwalk levels directly above the open files. The client wanted to store all of its files within its existing building without the need to have separate facilities for their active and inactive records. REB's unique racking design accomplished this objective and the system was permitted in record time.
The second took place at the end of 2010 when we completed a project for a commercial records center client that consisted of 750,000 carton locations. This was a three-level system that included a vertical lift and multiple stairways. Our client had deadlines to meet and indicated the entire system had to be installed and permitted within 28 days after delivery of the materials. By carefully planning each day and working multiple shifts we accepted the challenge and accomplished the task in 21 days, 7 days ahead of schedule! This beautiful system can be viewed on our website.
Lori will be on-hand during the ASI "TOPS" 2012 Users Seminar to share more of her considerable racking and equipment expertise. Make plans today to attend!
Many thanks to Lori for taking time out of her busy schedule to tackle these questions. For more pics of REB Storage System International's well-designed, and yes, beautiful, rack systems visit www.rebsteel.com . Lori can be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com .
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