Using Sub-Statuses to Locate Physical Files

Ever need to find and retrieve a physical file containing documents you’d like to peruse and can’t locate it? Of course you have. Remember that anxious feeling. Not unlike looking for your keys in the last place you remember leaving them – only to find they are not there. Happens to all of us, probably more than we would like. Frustrating, expletive provoking, yes. But also avoidable. Here’s why SmartAdvocate users don’t have this issue.

First of all, for SmartAdvocate users, the need for a physical file is for the most part unnecessary. Why? Because copies of documents are handily and perpetually accessible after being routinely uploaded. Locating, retrieving and reproducing documents in SmartAdvocate can be completed by users in seconds with just a few clicks of a mouse.

For the rest of you, if you find yourself continually having to resort to physical documents and spend a large portion of your time searching for that elusive redwell, only to end up frustrated, then you need a case management system like SmartAdvocate more than you realize and probably care to admit.

But even SmartAdvocate users may at times have a need to resort to the physical file to locate an original document or form. Which brings us to the point of this blog, which is the process of tracking and finding a physical file and how easily it can be done with SmartAdvocate.

Most firms I’ve come across actually have multiple locations where physical files may be found.Active files are usually kept in a general file storage area either in the office itself or in an adjacent area or room. Closed files can often be found in those same places or may even be migrated offsite to free up storage space. And let’s not forget that every desk (or often under those desks) in the office can provide a suitable landing zone for that sought after file.

Often, looking for a file resembles a safari or scavenger hunt. A methodical physical search using well developed and honed search patterns is employed, buttressed by some shrewd guesswork and associated legwork. But that takes time, lots of effort and often ends in annoyed disappointment. Certainly not the best use of one’s time.

Consequently, whether you are using redwells, bankers boxes, storage boxes or some other container capable of containing and retaining the mass of forms, letters, pleadings, reports, authorizations and all things reduced to paper finding them quickly with a minimum of fuss becomes all important. Enter SmartAdvocate.

SmartAdvocate users can create sub-statuses which can be attached to a file and customized for various purposes – like keeping track of a file’s location.

Creating a sub-status can be readily accomplished by anyone who has the requisite administrator permissions.

First, you need to create the new sub-status by giving it a name in the Case Status Types in the Picklist Maintenance section of the admin settings tab. I used “Physical File” but you can add one of your own choosing.

Pick List Physical File

Next, you need to enumerate all the possible locations where you might find your file. You do this in the “Status Setup” section of the Admin section by adding all of the possible statuses to your newly created subtype.

Status Setup

Now comes the easy part, adding that information to an existing case. Just click on the green plus sign icon on the Case Summary Page. On the “Add Case Status” panel pick your newly created sub-status and the current location of your file in Status Description. You can even add a comment to include the actual name of the person holding the file at that moment or any additional information you would like to include. You could even list the contents of the file. Clicking on Save will bring you back to the Case Summary Page, where you will see an additional sub-status with the actual location of your physical file.

Add Case Status

Now anyone looking at this screen knows where the physical file can be found. The only difficult part of the entire process is that the sub status must be updated every time the physical file is moved.

And should you ever want to see a comprehensive listing of where all of your files are located, just run the “Cases in Status” report located on the Reports tab dropdown.

Document management is just one of many features that make SmartAdvocate the best case management system you can buy. Whether you need to keep track of physical or electronic files and documents, SmartAdvocate enables you to do so quickly and efficiently.

Reports Tab Dropdown

Now you won’t have to organize and conduct that search party in a quest for that elusive redwell.

Status Type Physical File

So now you know where your files are and your co-workers are happy with your change in demeanor. Just another one of the ways SmartAdvocate can increase your productivity – and your profits.