The lead taken by UK government to become fully paperless by 2020, shows there is a concerted effort to change the way we all work. Despite this lead, many companies undoubtedly face an uphill struggle to attain this goal. It’s likely many issues will have to be dealt with on the road to a greener workplace; finding technology with the tools that help make the transition easy, training staff to use new technology, adopting new methods of working, etc. Going paperless will reduce the cost of paper, and other goods and services associated with the use of paper, and it will also deliver many other benefits to deliver improvements of efficiency and productivity to businesses.
Over time, it’s probable that some of the types of paper documents and files that are common place today will disappear completely and be superseded by new technology solutions yet to be developed. The means to transform from paper to digital is available now and new solutions are being developed too, and as with any transformation, problems will be encountered, new issues will be created and processes will need to be changed. The move to a paperless office and the journey along the road to a greener ‘eco-friendly’ business world was started some time ago, but now that road has become a highway and we’ll all be getting there faster!
Once a decision has been made to remove paper documents from a business, the transformation can begin. This will entail deciding how best to file and index this information, choosing what documents need to be filed, determining how these documents need to be stored, and for how long and where, creating workflows for document review and approval, etc.
Take a look at the backlog of historical files in paper form, stored in a filing system that bears very little similarity to the way in which the electronic files are stored. Not all of this paper has to be stored for ever of course. There will be some documents that may form part of a company’s “knowledge base” and there may be some that have to be retained to satisfy regulation. There will also be many that can be recycled.
Today, most document creation is computer based. The filing, storing, access and delivery of this electronic information is not always as simple a task as it may seem. Existing electronic filing structures will probably exist already. These have evolved over time, containing much duplicated data. They are used randomly, they are uncontrolled and grow continuously. Consider this an opportunity to create a new electronic filing system specifically suited to the business. A filing system that will be familiar to all who will be storing and accessing these documents, but one that can be controlled and extended to improve efficiency and productivity.
Electronic document management and customer relationship management systems provide an easy solution for many organisations who want to reduce their reliance on paper. Many companies adopt and embrace these established technology systems to help them store and file electronic documents and maintain a company’s information.
Selecting a suitable system should be based on the requirements of your business. The following list is designed to provide some guidance and points to consider when thinking about implementing a paperless office.
Docusoft has been successful in implementing software solutions that deliver efficiency and productivity to a wide range of clients since 2003.
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