The paperless office was a good idea, it’s just that no one seems to work in one yet. Like it or not, activity creates paper and that goes double for schools whose archiving requirements mean that plenty of records are generated, all of which need to be legally stored and managed.

Getting on top of paper record storage and management means looking beyond the filing cabinet and finding a professional solution. Smart Box Archive Systems have put a lot of thought into making archiving easy. Altogether, their patented SmartStack system is in over 1000 schools across Australia.

The SmartStack system is a modular, stackable front opening container specifically designed for the storage of archival documents. Being front opening, school staff can get at the contents without moving other boxes. Made of durable polypropylene, which is both sturdy and lightweight, the SmartStack system is very much focused on maximising space, as well as meeting occupational health and safety requirements.

Driving the SmartStack system is powerful document tracking and retrieval software. It provides search, allocation and destruction schedules with an easy icon driven interface. The software offers helpful features like description of documents, accessibility offsite and onsite and is customisable and secure. Moreover, it even helps schools manage their digital records. “The software is very easy to learn, it usually takes a client about 20 minutes to get comfortable with it. Documents are searchable by a number of different variables and document location is reduced to a matter of seconds,” David Nirens Smart Box Archive Systems’ director says.

Often the first step of sorting out an overflowing archive room is a daunting task. The good news is that Smart Box Archive systems consultants will do it for the school, performing the task of organisation and physical transferral of records into the new system. The company’s staff will make sure the document storage space is maximised and implement an online management system. “Each school is unique but typically a primary school archive will take us two to three days to complete. As records follow students into high school their archiving requirements are greater, it takes our team about five to 10 days to complete a typical high school archive,” Nirens says.

New Australian Privacy Laws as of March 2014 have now really put the onus on principals to make sure their documentation is well managed. “Schools and other entities need to have policies in place to manage the collection of personal information, and to deal with enquiries and complaints about compliance,” Nirens adds.

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