Businesses that want to enjoy the myriad benefits of eliminating or severely reducing the amount of paper used in the workplace should be happy to hear that paperless operations are often easier than the paper-based alternatives.
There are some important concepts that companies looking at switching to digital operations like automated data capture and business process management can do to make sure that these concepts provide the greatest benefit. Here are three pieces of advice for increasing the effectiveness of a paperless office:
1. Have clients and vendors use digital communication
It’s easy enough to change internal communications over to an entirely digital process, but paperless communication with outside organizations may be more difficult. Forbes suggests that, to start, companies request electronic bills from any organization that provides them – this is easier when dealing with large operations like utility providers and banks. From there, ask business partners to send electronic copies of invoices and other communications. Although not every single vendor or purchaser may go along with the suggestion, it’s likely that many will comply.
2. Do some pre-organization
When it comes time to scan in files and records, a little organization can save a lot of time. By sorting documents into initial categories of keep and discard, the amount of time spent scanning and naming electronic documents can be significantly reduced. While it’s important to err on the side of caution when it comes to this process, many companies will be surprised by the amount of outdated or useless records on hand.
3. Limit paper, but don’t eliminate it
CIO.com points out that some paper will likely have to be used by many organizations, even after the switch to a digital office. The important thing is to significantly reduce its everyday use. Limiting the amount of available printing, or having a manager or supervisor sign off on any printed material can help reduce wasted paper and ink.