Mobile Shelving Filing Systems – The Advantages and Disadvantages

Organisations such as Filing Acumen are invariably approached by potential customers on the basis that their current filing system is full to capacity and they need additional filing capacity for growth.

This approach is an early Christmas present to many of the UK’s storage equipment suppliers. Before the salesman attends to conduct a filing system survey (a must if you want to get it right first time), they are already thinking mobile shelving is the solution.

The reality is that mobile shelving may not be the best solution to your requirements for a new filing system. What you’re filing, where you’re filing it, access and security of your filing and of course budget all need to be considered.

Why do most of the UK storage equipment suppliers think mobile shelving?

Mobile shelving is without doubt the most space and cost efficient high density filing system available.

The shelves in a mobile shelving system (like most all other filing systems) are fully adjustable (normally 25 – 30mm) ensuring that you can store a range of media.

A full range of internal accessories are available again ensuring that you can store a range of media.

Mobile shelving systems can be lockable offering security and are now offered as manually operated or electrically operated for ease of use.

Mobile shelving systems are supplied with either tracks that are screwed to your existing floor OR a false floor system that needs no fixing.  The type of floor required will be determined by your environment (another reason for a filing survey to be conducted).

 Sounds Great!!!!  What about the disadvantages?

ALL Mobile shelving systems operate on moving bases or carriages that roll along a series of tracks, a space is left between the bases for user access (this space needs to be a minimum of the shelf depth + 400mm).  The more user access aisles designed into the mobile shelving system means a lower storage capacity.

As you’re attempting to squeeze a quart into a pint pot, something has got to give; this something is fast, accurate access to your filing.

Transferring your records into a high density mobile shelving system does not rectify potential misfiling errors, the chances are that they will increase them.


If a storage equipment supplier is not prepared to visit you to conduct a filing survey, you won’t get what you need.

If you’re asked to forward a drawing (possibly even a competitors drawing) you wont get what you need. It may look the same, but down specification is common.

Consider the implications to the access required and the possible increase in misfiling, if you don’t your filing issues will increase.

If you require a high density filing system with fast, accurate and easy access to your records, a mobile shelving system may not be your best option.

 Consider all of the options.

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