Although the concept of running a paperless office has been around for decades, many businesses are still hesitant to make the change. Naturally, you might still be reluctant to do so, which is why in this article we’re going to address your concerns.
Familiarity with paper
People have been using paper for centuries, so it’s hardly surprising that most still prefer old paper processes rather than digital ones. A sudden shift from physical documents means your employees have to learn new habits and processes. And when someone isn’t comfortable with the document management overhaul, productivity suffers, which runs counter to the original goal of increasing efficiency.
You can, however, make sure that all your employees are fully prepared for the big transition. While you’re setting up document management systems like PaperSave, host regular training sessions wherein employees can familiarize themselves with the new interface. At the same, these seminars should explain how your company will benefit from paperless processes. This will help ease your staff into the change.
Ease of Printing
Printing has become so easy to the extent that employees will often happily print anything they think they might need without even giving it a second thought. While the fact that printing is now so straightforward might usually be considered an advantage, it also leads to higher costs and more waste. There’s also a reduced incentive to go paperless when it’s so easy to click the ‘print’ button. However, you can usually overcome this issue by reworking your printing policy to set access restrictions and quotas for different employees and departments.
Managing existing documents
If you did decide to move to a paperless office, there’s usually an archive of paper documents you have to digitize, organize, and manage. This process can be simplified with a good document management system. For example, when you scan in your invoices, PaperSave’s document imaging technology will automatically read barcode data, index them, and store them in folders. From here, you can simply retrieve old documents by typing keywords, phrases, or document formats in your database’s search bar. And the best part? PaperSave has bulk scanning features, which means you only need to spend a few hours to fully digitize your archives.
Complexity of new workflows
Many fear that new technologies introduce complex workflows. With paper processes, transferring documents between departments is not complicated; but if your business sticks to this system, there will be an abundance of paper across several departments, creating operational bottlenecks.
Contrary to popular belief, document management systems actually simplify workflows. You can easily integrate PaperSave with your company’s ERP systems to streamline document processing. For instance, if an employee has scanned in a shipping order, PaperSave immediately captures relevant information and plugs it into your ERP system, where it will be sent to the appropriate manager for review and approval. When document management is fully integrated into your company’s systems, you introduce an unprecedented level of efficiency that you just can’t get with paper processes.
You’re unlikely to able to run a 100% digital office if you haven’t been keeping up with the latest innovations in technology. Running a paperless office will be practically impossible without the right software and services at your disposal, such as a solution for allowing multiple team members to collaborate simultaneously on documents. Fortunately, thanks to the ubiquity of cloud-based services such as Office 365, it is now easier than ever to do away with paper and create, edit and share documents online with anyone anywhere in the world. You may need to change your business mindset first, but the shift toward cloud-based productivity is something that almost any SMB can profit from.
Dependence on Technology
It’s not just old-fashioned companies that are reluctant to run a paperless office and eschew technology as much as possible. In fact, it’s a perfectly understandable and healthy approach to be careful when it comes to relying on technology. Because well, if all your work is in digital format and stored online, how would you access it if the internet connection failed? Fortunately, technology is now more reliable than ever, particularly if you have a solid disaster recovery plan in place. You can also overcome many internet connectivity-related issues by storing local and offsite backups of your documents as well as the means to quickly retrieve them.
Designed for Microsoft Dynamics, Intacct and Blackbaud, our PaperSave product provides a complete management solution for digital documents to help you improve electronic workflow and make that shift toward running a paperless office. Contact us today and we’ll dispel any of your hesitations about how easy it is to move away from paper!