Preparing to Go Paperless

Wadih Pazos June 10, 2014

Preparing to Go Paperless
Document Management
Blog
Once put into place, the benefits of document management software in an office can be revolutionary – employees and executives alike can see an enormous jump in their electronic workflow. Here are a few basic practices that can take your transition to the next level!

Talk to employees before making a plan

After a company has made the decision to move into the future by converting to a paperless office, a practical first step is to gauge any major questions by those who will be using document management software the most – your employees. For many, the concept of a switch may be more overwhelming than the actual process itself, and it will save the entire company a lot of anguish to introduce paperless first as a concept, then as a solution that will change the way they work. This introductory meeting could include an overview of paperless document management and its benefits, as well as a projected rollout date for the system including formal training, scanning, and official implementation.

This practice has proved highly effective for the Tallahassee Growth Management Department, which offers online training courses for its new, paperless building permit application process, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. Offering both the training and the service online offers the dual benefit of providing a newer, more efficient service that increases electronic workflow without leaving any employees behind in the process. Karen Jumonville, the director of Growth Management for the city, explained the thinking behind the big paperless switch.

“With this new system, applicants can upload building permit plans from the convenience of their offices and track the progress of the review electronically,” she told writer Dave Hodges. “That not only saves them money but means new developments can occur more quickly in our community, which is good for our economy and the job market.”

Push the advantages and resolve gaps in knowledge

Once a rollout plan has been established by a business, it’s a project manager’s job to ensure that everything runs smoothly, especially in training staff on how to maximize the use of electronic document imaging. It’s simple to sell hesitant employees on the benefits of paperless – between the elimination of old office nemeses like the printer and copy machine as well as the saved money and space, the only obstacle is showing staff how to harness its power to the best of their ability.

Some specifics that new users may be unclear about include how to search for an existing document that has been scanned, the concept of PDF conversion, and how to generate and collaborate on new content in the cloud. Writer K.J. McCorry spoke about the advantages of these training modules in a blog post for Zoe Training and Speaking.

“If users understand how to organize, file, and manage data electronically well, then they will feel more comfortable keeping data electronically and will have fewer propensities to print it,” she explained.

For most businesses, the key to unlocking newfound potential in employees can be quality preparation – without it, you’ll be just as lost as in the days when your office was swimming in paper!

Wadih Pazos

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

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