Following the sale of part of its insurance business to Royal London, the Co-operative Bank needed to identify all the relevant ‘sold’ files, index them for future storage and prepare them for collection by their new owner. The client also wanted its retained files to be sorted into a clear, sequential order, then catalogued and mapped for easy location.
After many years in use, the existing filing system was neither sequential nor coherent. Files had been stored over the three floors wherever a space became available. This meant that a full audit of all [900,000 or 5.6km of) files was essential in order to identify each one. Ray had just one week in which to locate and catalogue all the files before the crews arrived to pack them into crates and move them. He was also keen to ease the packing crews’ job by drawing up clear task plans for them and preparing packing labels which clearly detailed the final bay locations for each sorted crate.
Additional challenges included the tight timescale, and the inaccessibility of the storage site. While the client had nominated a mezzanine floor as the ideal space for temporarily housing the sold files, moving the many heavy files across and between floors involved long walks and very limited lift space (the crews needed to pack and unpack around 300 crates each day, but the lift to the mezzanine floor would hold only two crates at a time)!
By the time Royal London staff arrived to collect their files from site, Ray had also created spreadsheets showing file product type, file numbers and runs per racking system, as well as a CAD drawing of the file runs. This was an enormous time-saver for the Royal London team who used the CAD plan to find their way around the site and file runs quickly and easily. The Co-operative Bank too appreciated a host of benefits. Their file storage was now fully compliant with FCA regulations, and their new filing system was simple, clear and much easier to manage. In addition, Ray’s audit had revealed a number of obsolete files whose disposal released valuable storage space.
This complex and demanding task was delivered on budget and, even with the extra tasks which added value for the client, everything was completed within deadline. The client was very happy and this successful project was celebrated with a coffee, a handshake and plenty of compliments!