Opinions on fax and shipping submittals

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Bastien and Associates, Inc. Architecture & Planning : One Thread

I'm working on a consistent filing system for office.

There are three options: (1) Keep only the most recent copy of a transmittal as a tab in Excel. (Use a revolving date so you don't have to update the date every time you use it.) (2) Keep every transmittals for a project archived in an Excel file. (You will have large files; once they get too large, you have to create a new Excel file.) (3) Keep every transmittal as it's own Excel file to be able to access it individually.

QUESTION FOR THE OFFICE: Do the benefits of archiving each transmittal outweigh the inconvenience? Is it just another layer of unnecessary bureaucracy?

-- Anonymous, October 04, 1999


I like your item Number 3... from past experiences people tend to loose hard copied materials over a course of a project and archiving every material that is generated is a sure backup when things start getting into litigation and one has a clear record of what transpired.

-- Anonymous, October 04, 1999

My personal preference is #1. However, I think for the direction the office is going (towards a paperless system) #2 is a good compromise.

It's not as much of a paper-push as #2, and it's still archiving everything digitally.


-- Anonymous, October 04, 1999

I have been using #1 with good success and I don't think that it is any more likely to lose a hard copy than a computer file.

Having said that and given our new direction I think we should look at a fourth alternate, a modified #1 where every transmittal sent would be saved to an Acrobat file for archival. The advantages are that all file types such as schedules on MS Project, letters on Word, etc. can all be saved to a common file type with a smaller file size, in a searchable text format, and with the shareware viewer available anyone can look at the document without having to buy the program.

This was the common file format used on the Staples Arena project with good success. As we consider the use of internet based project management systems, such as Blueline Online for our large projects, this will probably be necessary anyways to efficiently transmit files over the internet. For instance, specs could be posted on the project site in Acrobat and with a freeware viewer, a low-tech sub-contractor can search for any word or can view the most current schedule (of course the files would be locked from editing).

Watcha Think?

-- Anonymous, October 04, 1999

The response given by Craig seems appealing to me, my only concern is that after a project has beem archived and some time has past say 5 to 10 years and praytell one of our buildings goes into litigation that we have a recourse to retrieve all data and somewhat of a history to the project because most of us will not remember about a project done awhile back.

-- Anonymous, October 04, 1999

So far I am tempted to go along with Craig's idea of archiving every transmittal in PDF format. The format has been widely accepted by industry and government and as Craig said, is text-searchable. It is also protectable from both editing and copy-pasting.

The downside is the extra step required of us to do it. Fred, we should look into Adobe PDF writer and see if it does batch conversions. We could even use method (2) for simplicity and convert the Excel file at the end of the project to a multi-page, text- searchable PDF archive.

-- Anonymous, October 05, 1999

If this is the consensus I don't have a problem with that extra step, so it takes a few seconds more so what... -MVz

-- Anonymous, October 05, 1999

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