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The Case Study Survey: Surprising Storage Tech for Today & Tomorrow

The Case Study Survey: Surprising Storage Tech for Today & Tomorrow

Experience informs all stakeholders about the outcome of their decisions. In the case of storage technology, those stakeholders include design consultants, manufacturers, and end users in fields from manufacturing and mining, to museums and medicine.

When prospective users are considering upleveling their storage technology, theories are all well and good, but the proof of the pudding is in the real world. Nothing beats a case study to demonstrate real-world experience. With that in mind, here is a selection of storage tech case studies that decision-makers can relate to:

  • Government Agency Document Storage – Lack of storage space made organization and timely retrieval of documents an extreme challenge, deflecting the agency from its primary mission. A better storage system offered an answer.
  • Electrical Utility Asset Management – Keeping adequate quantities of operational tools and supplies on hand was difficult, and left the utility unprepared for standard maintenance or emergencies. An inventory technology solution proved to be the management key.
  • Museum Archives Storage – A continuing stream of artifacts and archival materials was straining this museum’s storage capacity. The solution took its storage in a new direction, doubling the museum’s warehouse capacity without expanding its footprint.
  • Professional Association Document Archiving and Preservation – With many of its research documents in a fragile condition, this association had difficulty giving document access to its members. Twenty-first century technology created access for all, without endangering these one-of-a-kind books.

These are just a few of the many case studies of various storage technology solutions collected on the NOS site. If you’re considering a change in your storage systems, we encourage you to take a look at the possibilities and envision your organization’s future.

 

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What Now? Next Steps After Digitizing Your Documents

What Now? Next Steps After Digitizing Your Documents

Congratulations! Your business has embarked on the digitization journey, making your paper documents shareable and secure. Your off-site employees have remote access to the digital versions of your paper documents, and your risk management team can stop worrying about the security risks of confidential information in multiple paper copies. These benefits translate into productivity improvements and reduced costs – a great result from a smart business decision.

But there is another financial benefit still on the table, requiring two more steps.

The first step of any digitization project is an assessment of the types of paper documents your business has in file cabinets and archived storage, and setting priorities for document scanning. Once the documents go through the digitization process – scanning, QC, and exporting to a digital document database – you may wonder what’s next for the original paper documents.

  1. Reassessment – You already defined the types of documents to digitize, based on document accessibility needs and security concerns. After digitizing, the paper documents go through a second assessment. Working with your digitization service provider, this reassessment helps you identify documents that you can dispose of, based on age, compliance needs, or other criteria.
  2. Secure disposal – Shred the accumulated boxes and stacks and files of scanned paper documents. With a new quality-assured managed database of imaged documents, you can let it go, just like Elsa in “Frozen.” A service provider who has taken you through the digitization process will be able to assist you with a secure shredding process, safeguarding sensitive information from accidentally falling into the wrong hands, and ensuring any compliance regulations that may apply.

And the result of these extra steps? More space. For every 10 filing cabinets of paper you digitize and shred, you gain almost 100 square feet at no extra cost. That space can be put to more productive uses – R&D, sales, manufacturing, customer interactions, and so on. And your remaining documents can be stored in space-efficient mobile filing cabinets, yielding even more space.

An extra bonus: Document disposal up-levels your sustainability rating. Shredded documents are securely transported to a paper recycling center where the ink is stripped off and the shredded paper is pulped. The pulp is then recycled into new paper.

In sum, digitized documents are shareable, secure, space-saving, and sustainable. Take steps to speak to a knowledgeable digitization professional and get all the benefits your business deserves.

 

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Room for Everything: The Shape of Hybrid Office Interiors

Room for Everything: The Shape of Hybrid Office Interiors

Two years into the pandemic aftermath, the hybrid workplace continues to shape the way businesses operate. And businesses, in turn, are shaping their offices to fit the new hybrid workplace. Return to the office (RTO) is surging, but employees are pushing back against full-time RTO. What’s clear is there is value in in-person work, and there’s equal value in remote work, and offices are being re-shaped to accommodate both workstyles.

As reported in FastCompany.com, business-social media company LinkedIn is one of the many businesses adapting their office interiors for hybrid work. Their architects, NBBJ, created a “postures matrix” that guides furniture and layout choices. Design decisions are made based upon the time spent in a particular space, the type of work done there, and the associated ergonomic needs.

The postures matrix showed that the most social places are close to doorways and entries. As people move deeper into the space, work areas become increasingly quieter. Options for heads-down focused work, living room-style conference rooms, and “buzzy” co-working areas provide something for everyone, depending on their needs on any given day.

Like LinkedIn, other businesses may be trying to re-shape their existing offices to make them more hybrid-friendly. Some are concerned that they will need to expand their office footprint, and their budgets are not prepared for additional real estate costs. Luckily, there are design strategies that can support a hybrid redesign without the need for additional space:

  • Convert paper documents to digital documents via imaging, and reduce your document storage area. Imaged documents are productivity boosters, whether staffers are in the office or working remotely. And many of the imaged documents do not need to be retained as paper, freeing up room for interior re-design.
  • Exchange traditional filing cabinets for a high-density filing system, and save as much as 50% of your storage floor area. While imaging will reduce the need for much document storage, some paper docs need to be retained. Keep them in a high-density filing system and save even more space.
  • Add touchless smart lockers that guide in-office traffic while enhancing design aesthetics. Employees without dedicated workspaces need secure storage for personal items in the office. Touchless smart lockers’ customizable finishes make them a design feature, and they can be set up in work areas to provide sound separation and guide traffic. No extra space required.

For many companies, the traditional office is fading away and the hybrid workplace is taking its place. Office interiors will need to be revised to support hybrid work, but these smart moves help keep the costs manageable. Talk to a storage expert to find out how to do a space-saving cost-saving redesign.

 

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A Reason to Return: Office Amenities Help Bring Employees Back

A Reason to Return: Office Amenities Help Bring Employees Back

Workplace amenities used to be associated with tech start-ups – meals, game rooms, and bring-your-dog-to-work were some of the popular perks that kept tech workers in the office. Why go home when everything you want is there? Today’s newer office buildings are taking a page from the tech world, offering an array of amenities like gyms, concierge services, and lounges.

It’s all part of tenants’ commitment to hybrid offices, a staffing retain-and-return game plan for many companies. Survey after survey shows the same results: Employees do not want to go back to full-time in-office operations. And employers are discovering that the hybrid workstyle has benefits that they don’t want to give up, including greater productivity, lower real estate costs, and happy employees.

Employees are willing to trade space for the hybrid workstyle. More than half of law firm employees recently surveyed said they would trade assigned seating/offices for greater flexibility. That’s good news for employers, who can reduce their office footprint when they don’t have to find space for all their staff each and every day.

The amenities offered by first-class office buildings aren’t free, of course, and a prudent practice manager or facilities manager will try to balance that extra cost by reducing the amount of space in a new lease. The same law firm survey showed the average square feet per attorney has decreased from 760 s.f. to 625 s.f., and other industry sectors are making similar reductions.

But reducing personnel space can only go so far. For many professional practices, paper documents take up an outsize proportion of the office footprint. High density storage systems help reduce the space needed for document storage. Digitization goes even further.

Just one filing cabinet takes up 9 square feet, at an average real estate cost of $540 per year (and that’s before factoring in the higher price of amenity-rich buildings). Document conversion eliminates the need for that space, and the cost associated with it.

Digitization lets you have your cake (or gym or lounge) and eat it too. When employers can offer appealing amenities to encourage staff to return to the office, without increasing their real estate costs, it’s a win for everyone.

 

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Three Ways to Shape a Safe Office Without Expanding Your Space

Three Ways to Shape a Safe Office Without Expanding Your Space

The ways we were accustomed to work were blown up by Covid-19 and the ensuing economic disruption. The 9-to-5 forty-hour work week now is the self-scheduled WFH get-the-job-done week. Surprisingly, productivity and employee satisfaction have risen dramatically in response.

However, corporate culture may be suffering. Businesses in which mentorship and hands-on training are particularly affected. From construction trades to consulting and sales organization, corporate culture relies on in-person interactions. Executives are announcing return to the office policies effective in the near future.

Still, concerns about surging Covid variants are making staffers reluctant to spend much, if any, time in the office. Facilities managers are asking if there’s a way to protect employees in the office setting without adding costly space to accommodate health protocols.

Here are three ways to help keep in-office teams safe without expanding the office footprint:

  1. Convert paper documents to digital documents via imaging, and reduce your document storage area. Imaged documents are productivity boosters, whether staffers are in the office or working remotely. And many of the imaged documents do not need to be retained as paper, freeing up room for social distancing and proximity barriers.
  2. Exchange traditional filing cabinets for a high-density filing system, and save as much as 50% of your storage floor area. While imaging will reduce the need for much document storage, some paper docs need to be retained. Keep them in a high-density filing system and save even more space.
  3. Add touchless smart lockers that guide in-office traffic while enhancing design aesthetics. Employees need secure storage for personal items in the office, and smart lockers provide touchless operation. Their customizable finishes make them a design feature, and they can be set up in work areas to provide separation and guide traffic without requiring additional space.

Security experts Kastle Systems report fewer than 28% of employees in the office in the first week of January 2022, in 10 major U.S. markets. Morning Consult’s survey shows 55% of employees being unwilling to return to the office if they felt unsafe. With the above ways to provide worker safety, your business can encourage a return to work without the added overhead of increased real estate costs.

 

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Sec. 179: The Gold at the End of the Tax Deduction Rainbow

Sec. 179: The Gold at the End of the Tax Deduction Rainbow

It’s the business tax incentive pot of gold that keeps on giving. Section 179 of the IRS tax code pays your business to invest in itself. In 2021 the deduction limit is higher than ever: $1,050,000. The full purchase price of equipment bought and put in service by December 31 can be deducted under Sec. 179. Moreover, businesses can take advantage of a 100% depreciation bonus on both new and used equipment, if costs exceed $1,050,000 but are less than $2,620,000.

This generous deduction covers a broad range of equipment, including:

  • Computers, hardware peripherals, and software, including RFID systems
  • Machinery
  • Office furnishings, including file storage systems and lockers
  • Office equipment
  • Tangible personal property used in business
  • Property attached to your building that is not part of your building, such as a warehouse rack system

And there’s more good news. If you lease or finance the equipment, the full price is deductible immediately. You may stretch payments over several years, but you get the deduction in Year 1.

Take a look at this example:

Sec 179 example

Source: Section179.org

There are a few restrictions under Sec. 179. Real estate does not qualify, nor does equipment acquired by gift or from a relative. And the equipment, whether new or used, must be new to you.

Most important: The equipment must be put in service, not just purchased, by December 31.

If you have been considering an equipment purchase, now is the time to act. Vendors with a quick-ship program (like NOS) can deliver and set up new equipment in time for you to put your new purchase into use ahead of the deadline. Grab the Sec. 179 gold and enjoy the tax deduction as well as the benefits of the new equipment. 

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