I want to support Douglas King's position.  Call it whatever you like as
necessary to build and maintain support, but the very best thing, in my
opinion, that has happened at the Washington State Records Center was hiring
in 1992 a software firm that specialized in writing warehouse management
software and hiring a building consultant that planned warehouses.  Since
building our high rack records warehouse we have been able to keep our staff
level steady while increasing productivity (picks & putaways) three times
over, increasing our effective space utilization from 75% at best to 100%,
and becoming completely accurate.  Pencils went out, barcode scanners came
in.  Forklifts and orderpickers replaced or supplemented handtrucks - now
one staff member could move 45 to 50 boxes at a time instead of 5 or 6.  In
the old system we put away 2,000 new boxes (the average number coming in
during a month) in a month, with questionable accuracy.  Now we can put them
away with complete accuracy in one day.  You can call it a records center
whenever necessary and I do, but I believe you run it like a warehouse
specializing in records storage, using materials handling equipment and
concepts to be competitive and economical.  To me that is a selling point -
we achieve accuracy and economy and security (including assured and speedy
retrieval) and do records management all at the same time.

For whatever it is worth.

Ken House
Washington State Records Center
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                -----Original Message-----
                From:   [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
                Sent:   Friday, January 26, 2001 8:45 AM
                To:     [log in to unmask]
                Subject:        Re: Workers Comp Statistics

                Let's see ... I'm looking out of the window of my office
into the Courthouse
                Records Center (CRC). I see rows of warehouse type shelving,
high ceilings,
                rows of fluorescent lights, exposed ductwork, platform
trucks, a two
                wheeler. A small supply of pallets stacked out of the way.
Boxes and
                journals stacked orderly on shelving, numbered by row, unit
and shelf. Fire
                extinguisher hanging on the wall. Dumpsters for trash,
recycled paper and
                recycled cardboard. Large work table for shipping/receiving.
Computer at a
                stand-up workstation. Looks like a warehouse to me. And I've
seen and worked
                in more than a few.

                And it looks like a warehouse to nearly anyone who walks in.
I prefer to
                admit reality, and describe my records center as a
specialized warehouse and
                work site for the efficient management of County and
District Courts
                records. The analogy between inventory management and
records management is
                simply too obvious to ignore. Both are concerned with values
and business

                Recently, the CRC was on the tour for a new County
Commissioner. As a
                retired Target store manager, he certainly understands
warehouse operations,
                inventory control, barcoding, etc. He understands the need
to know what you
                have, exactly where it is, and storing it only as long as it
has value. If I
                had tried to tell him this was NOT a warehouse, I would have
                credibility. He also understands that I don't just run a
warehouse for
                records -- I consult with departments on retention/disposal,
                statutes and regulations, develop policy and procedures,
identify and
                preserve records of archival value, train employees, serve
as Freedom of
                Information Officer, etc.

                While working my way through undergrad and grad school I
worked in series of
                warehouses -- wholesale food, electrical equipment, frozen
meat and
                printing. All that experience has served me well.

                In short, use whatever terminology works in your
organizational context and
                culture. Speak in terms that your audience understands.
There is nothing
                inherently unprofessional about operating a warehouse, even
if it may be
                frowned upon by some sectors of the RM profession. But make
it clear that RM
                is much more than operating efficient records storage.

                Douglas K. King, Records Manager / FIO
                Sedgwick County DIO -- Records Mgmt Services
                Courthouse Records Center / 525 N Main /  Wichita KS 67203
                VOICE 316/383-7977  FAX 316/383-4699
                [log in to unmask]

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Taylor, Scott (BHR)
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]
                Sent: Friday, January 26, 2001 9:22 AM
                To: [log in to unmask]
                Subject: Re: Workers Comp Statistics

                "Warehouse" is a bad word in our industry.  Please refer to
it as a "RECORDS
                CENTER".  In an effort to build credibility in our
profession, please
                refrain from using the word "warehouse".
                Scott Taylor
                BASS Hotels & Resorts
                CMH Records & Information Analyst
                Email: [log in to unmask]