Paperless Office Within Reach for Many Companies

Wadih Pazos February 28, 2014

Paperless Office within Reach for Many Companies
Document Management
Blog
When business leaders listed their New Year’s resolutions, the notion of a paperless office likely made the cut. What was once thought to be a pipe dream may actually be an obtainable goal.

In a recent blog, Gerri Detweiler, director of consumer education at Credit.com, discussed her motivations for paperless document management, including:

  • Cost-efficiency: As with many business-related decisions, the possibility of saving money is a pretty strong incentive to make a switch. Detwiler noted that when managing her personal finances, she could save $36 per year by paying certain bills online. Extrapolate what it may cost a business to look after its finances, which could be a substantial total.
  • Save time: Looking for files, particularly ones from months or years ago, can be far easier on a computer. In addition, even if a document is saved in the incorrect place, there are many different ways to locate it. Physical files that are misplaced, on the other hand, may never be found.
  • Reduce storage space: Paperless document management eliminates the need for entire closets – or rooms – dedicated to storage. Reducing storage means less office space, which could lower a company’s rent.

Steps to a paperless office

Most company leaders probably agree that going paperless is desirable, but how do they start making the transition? Detweiler suggested they start by getting a good scanner.

Some printers have built-in electronic document imaging, but Detweiler stressed that this is inadequate. Quality scanners, meanwhile, are typically smaller and faster and use memory cards that don’t require it to be connected to the computer. Some can even scan multiple pages at the same time.

According to a recent Lifehacker blog, users need three things to manage their scans: an application that organizes paperless documents, a program to automatically transfer scans to the computer via Wi-Fi, and the scanner itself. Once these three tools are set up, companies will be able to implement their paperless document management strategies.

In addition, downloading mobile apps that allow employees to access these programs remotely can be beneficial, along with shared electronic workflow programs and email. Detweiler also advised companies to use e-statements, moving their billing and statements entirely online.

One of the downsides of moving everything online comes from the potential pitfalls of natural disasters and extended power outages. Therefore, data backup is essential, particularly when it comes to sensitive corporate information.

Wadih Pazos

Wadih founded PairSoft and PaperSave, and he currently advises non-profits on business process improvement and technology.

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