Most businesses considering the switch to electronic document management have already been in operation for a significant period of time, be it a few years or a few decades.
The amount of paper copies that can build up over the years can act as a deterrent to companies that want to realize the cost and time efficiencies provided by a paperless office, according to Computer World India. Decision-makers should remember that the conversion process isn’t difficult as long as some planning takes place ahead of time and employees are taught about the use of new systems. Here’s some advice about making the move to electronic business process management as seamless as possible:
1. Eliminate hard copies, when possible
Employees and managers may feel apprehensive about going paperless because they envision an absolute ban on printed copies, notebooks and other paper concepts. While it’s important to reduce paper usage as much as possible, companies can decide where to draw the line and still be effective. For example, some records need to be retained in paper format by certain businesses for legal reasons – this one area of storage that won’t change. However, businesses can still digitize the vast majority of their paper records while using notepads or printing invoices for stubborn clients and realize significant savings.
2. Teach staff members
Education goes a long way toward making a paperless office effective. Although the switch to electronic document management isn’t particularly difficult or even technical for the average employee, simply dropping staff into an entirely new way of handling business processes is a recipe for disaster. Make sure to dedicate some time to teaching employees about how the various components of new office operations will work, like how to organize digital files and how to convert incoming paper if a client or business partner can’t or won’t send electronic documents.
3. Switch bills and payments to electronic format
Getting most or all internal documents onto a computer for search and storage is a big component of the paperless office, but not the only one. Organizations should request utility bills and invoices be sent electronically whenever possible, according to business advice site AllTopStartups. This strategy both reduces overall paper consumption and makes it easier for workers to sort and store payment documents and respond to them. It also decreases turnaround time when it comes to billing for products or services, creating another business benefit.
4. Determine what stays and what goes
Companies have two major options when it comes to converting legacy documents – perform the operation on an as-needed basis or all at once. No matter which strategy is picked, organizations need to do a preliminary sort to get rid of old, outdated or otherwise useless hard copies that are simply taking up space. While storage space increases exponentially when digital solutions are used, there’s not reason to keep items that no longer hold value. Once current paper stores are separated in this fashion, companies can start the scanning process easily.