The Processes That Come with Implementing a Paperless Office

Wadih Pazos January 15, 2015

The processes that come with implementing a paperless office
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The paperless office is a concept that has been welcomed into the technological age with open arms. Any organization that has successfully implemented digital documentation knows the benefits that are capable of being utilized by both employees and customers. Business practices that have been in place for years can change with a paperless environment, which can make the transition to document management software a bit difficult for some employees to comprehend at first. Knowing the process and how it works can definitely help.

Finextra highlighted the different steps to putting a paperless office in place and how it can be easily placed within an organization one process at a time:

Paper documentation and physical storage

Paper processes is the first stage of a paperless office, as that is where all businesses typically begin. A company that uses paper documents and manual indexing can hold itself back, as it may create a disconnect between employees and clientele. NewMarket Financial Advisors realized how it was being repressed by paper, and decided to make a change by using document management software to streamline client communications.

“Large client rosters and massive amounts of paperwork make things difficult,” Vice President Brandon Lancaster told ZDNet. “Anything that saves time is worth its weight in gold.”

There can be a fear in moving on from paper, but ITProPortal assured that hard-copy documents are not necessary. Not even the originals. If a secure electronic documentation system is in place, reports that are converted into digital format are just as legitimate as the original financial documents.

Workflow-driven processes

Finextra highlighted invoice automation and document imaging as a huge step for a company implementing digital documentation. Both of these tools push automation, which makes for easy access and allows employees to better collaborate with each other or clients.

Document imaging helps index and organize documents. This process replaces the labor that was necessary with the messes of papers and filing cabinets. No longer do employees have to worry about making sense of a pile of documents as automation replaces that ugly corporate process.

Electronic document imaging also helps improve workflow within a business, as it assists converting paper reports to digital documents. Employees who are trained to work with document imaging workflow will create a better environment in the long-run.

Technology and automation

Finextra noted that touchless processing is emerging with the concept of full automation within companies. It’s become very easy to put digital documentation in place with automation, but still can be a daunting process.

“We looked at the big picture and knew that with 750 clients and a commitment to set up a up a disaster preparedness plan, it was the most responsible thing we could do,” Lancaster said to ZDNet. “We broke the task into small fragments and gave ourselves a year to make the transition.”

An organization can make the change less difficult by preparing employees and training them to understand the technology that will be implemented. Helping staff understand the benefits of digital documentation can help, as the resistors can be difficult to convince. But once they are in the environment and able to see how it works, can they understand it better.

Companies like NewMarket Financial have definitely seen the benefits of implementing digital documentation. An enterprise can improve communication with clients while staff is granted the ability to collaborate remotely, as document management software can have tools that make it possible to do so. Paperless offices are becoming typical ambitions for offices that are looking to improve processes and make better customer relationships. Although the transition can be difficult, the payoff is worth it in the end.

Wadih Pazos

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

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