The administration of a Mississippi school district has switched from a wasteful and expensive paper-based system for record keeping and information distribution to electronic document storage. The results have been overwhelmingly positive so far.
The Cleveland School District recently had their first meeting after the full implementation of the paperless program, according to local news source The Bolivar Commercial. A benefit specifically mentioned by members of the school board and their support staff was the ease of adding, removing and changing agenda items without having to make physical copies. For many organizations, the paperless management process creates time savings by eliminating the need to track down original versions of documents.
The switch to an electronic process will help the school board save approximately 43,000 sheets of paper per year based on a conservative estimate from the organization’s lead executive assistant. Along with costs relating to printing, storage and disposal, the district will likely see savings of thousands of dollars per year just from having to purchase fewer supplies.
The increased accessibility of documents for board members, whether in the office or on the move, was another improvement created by the switch. Additionally, the support staff no longer has to physically distribute agendas and supplementary items, creating a significant time savings.
Although the time savings for employees often drive the adoption of paperless practices, being aware of possible resistance and planning training procedures can help smooth the transition. Microsoft points out that the changeover needs to include both instruction on the nuts and bolts of programs and less formal concerns.
Staff members may be reticent to re-learn what can be considered basic skills and mentally re-map systems that they have successfully used for years. Helping them understand how the advantages of an electronic system will directly apply to their duties can make the switch more manageable.