Using Bar Codes To Track Records

Using Bar Codes To Track Records

Keeping track of where active records are can be a real challenge for businesses or departments that have many people accessing the filing system. A color-coded indexing system helps users find records when they are in the file cabinets or on shelves, but when they have been removed from the filing system, how do you find them?

Raising the Bar on Office Efficiency

By adding bar codes to your file folders, you can effectively keep track of thousands of records. Just like at the grocery store, bar codes enable you to use scanners and software to manage any number of documents with extreme accuracy. When folders are removed from the filing area, a quick scan of the tab identifies the file, and records the date and time. Another scan of an employee’s card or badge lets you know who has taken the file. The files can also be assigned to a location, such as someone’s office or archive storage.

Besides allowing administrators to keep track of where files are located, tracking software also builds usage histories for records. Files can be identified by the software using a variety of criteria. For instance, you could find all records accessed during a specific time period, or used by certain personnel. Folders due for return to the filing area can be flagged, and requests to the users can be sent for their return.

Keeping Track with Bar Codes Keeps Workflow Moving

Tracking files with bar codes can also improve the management of workflow. Often a file must move from person to person as a project or transaction progresses through its various stages. Bar code tracking software can give managers real-time reports on how files are moving throughout the workflow process. Bottlenecks can be identified and resolved quickly to keep work moving at its most productive pace.

If you are using Smead SmartStrip® to create color-coded labels for your files, add a bar code to the backside of each label. Even if you do not implement tracking software right away, your files will be ready when you do.