Online storage is increasingly popular but we are still a long way off totally paper-free working. Organisations that rely on official documentation always have required, and always will require, traditional filing products.
Kevin Wharton, Marketing Manager of ExaClair, the UK supplier of brands such as Guildhall, Europa, Rhodia, Exactive and Exacompta, says that when it comes to filing solutions, traditional is still the name of the game.
“Within the legal, accounting, medical and financial professions, when it comes to filing, customers will generally choose traditional colours and styles. In fact, if we take ring binders as an example, our research shows that 80% of all ring binders sold are in traditional colours: red, blue and black,” he said.
Wharton says that durability and quality are critical to the professional market. “Our Guildhall range has an archival quality that will stand up to long-term regular use and we’ve found that the success of this brand is partly as a result of our use of genuine heavyweight manilla. Some brands have been reducing manilla weights, which has highlighted this preference for super-premium quality.”
Guildhall Legal & Professional range filing has seen an 88% sales increase since 2011, with much of this growth coming from customers who are brand loyal, who trust Guildhall’s quality and will shop around to find the right brand.
The range includes transfer and pocket files, probate wallets, double-pocket wallets, square-cut folders and pocket wallets.
“Blue Angel certification comes as standard with the entire range, independently certifying that products are made from 100% recycled material. This is important with large companies where procurement policies will insist on reliable green assurances,” Wharton said.
Not surprisingly, given the growth in online storage, the traditional filing products market has been steadily declining. However, with the improving economy and a rising housing market, orders from solicitors, accountants, insurance brokers and mortgage brokers have increased markedly, bolstering the legal and professional office products’ market.
“We believe the key is to continue to offer what the market wants, making sure we understand our different customers’ priorities,” said Wharton.
He added: “With Guildhall, to remain successful in this market, premium, archival quality is crucial. With our other filing brand, Europa, we are catering for professional office environments looking for good quality, attractive, bright and stylish products that help to coordinate design-conscious offices typical of media agencies and the SOHO sector.
“With a continued alertness to market changes and customer preferences, alongside the continued improving economy, we think that 2015 and indeed the future is looking very promising for legal and professional filing,” he said.
Mobile and digital working
Gregory Schembri of Leitz said that the stationery industry has developed rapidly over the last few years, with most products evolving to reflect new styles of mobile and digital working.
“While office life is no longer bound by desktop computers and landline phones, businesses will always require a certain amount of paper for day-today operations,” he said. “At Leitz, we continue to innovate our traditional
office equipment, which includes our iconic Lever Arch Files.”
Traditionally, Lever Arch Files were made from cardboard, hidden away in office cupboards and rarely got replaced. However, Schembri says that things have changed.
“What we’ve seen over the last few years is a trend towards using Lever Arch Files in the home, office or out and about,” he said. “On this basis, we created our new Active Polypropylene Lever Arch Files. They’re robust so won’t fall apart; have modern extras, such as fastening clips and internal pockets; plus they come in an array of great colours and styles to suit the modern worker.”
The Leitz Style Range was developed specially for the sophisticated and stylish worker who, despite the advancement of the digital world, still requires a modern and contemporary Lever Arch File.
“This range comprises distinctive accessories with uncompromising quality and attention to detail. The Lever Arch Files within this range consist of a selection of sophisticated colours and surfaces, including a soft brushed look,” said Schembri.
Organisation and efficiency
Fiona Mills, Marketing Director at Avery UK, argues that filing and keeping the office organised are key requirements for any business.
“We decided to look into the matter and conducted a survey of 2,000 UK office workers. What we found was that 70% admit to finding it hard to keep on
top of organisation at work and nearly one in fie people says they have lost important documents through lack of organisation,” she said.
“It’s clear that products which can help to simplify and streamline everyday office filing tasks are what’s needed. For example, Avery offers Organising & Filing Labels, a range specifically designed for filing. Available in a
variety of colours, shapes and sizes, they fit perfectly on Box Files, Binders and Lever Arch Files and are easy to print straight onto with Avery Design & Print Online. This means office workers can easily create a personalised or colour-coded filing system that works for their business. Our study also found that poor organisation can cost businesses money, with almost one in five office workers saying important tasks can get delayed due to time wasted looking for things.”
She added: “Many workers will identify with the feeling of panic that can set in when paperwork that’s been seen only recently ends up missing, whether it’s a letter, invoice or meeting notes. This can be largely avoided with a proper filing system in place and it’s always worth spending some time getting this right. The guiding principle should be efficiency and reducing the time it takes to find the right document.”
Products such as Avery’s IndexMaker dividers and Printable Tabs are designed to streamline the whole process of creating a filing system and finding what you need in a hurry.
“Ultimately, the benefits of being organised and having an effective filing system in place are certainly worth the initial effort of establishing a filing system,” said Mills. “Our research uncovered that one in ten office workers has to work late simply to re-establish order and get the office organised. Avoiding this unnecessary overtime is a huge bonus of having an orderly office with an effective filing system in place.”
Mills added that many businesses are opting to keep costs down by re-labelling and re-using old files and folders. “This is part of the reason Avery’s opaque BlockOut Labels, which completely cover old text and labels, are a popular choice in a lot of offices,” she said. In addition, she points out that there are certain periods when filing and organisation are high on the agenda for offices.
“For instance, the end of the tax year is just one example of when organised records and files are particularly crucial to the office. January and spring time can also prompt a surge in filing and archiving activities as office workers start the New Year or new financial year with good intentions. The key is sticking to these good intentions and this is certainly much easier to do with a little time spent on creating the right filing system,” she said.