Using efficiency boosters like business process management and data entry automation can help companies in a variety of different industries develop. By enhancing efficiency and reducing the costs of a variety of supplies, there’s more capital to invest in important areas and more employee time to focus on the crucial tasks that help companies grow.
Some organizations that would reap a number of benefits from the switch to a paperless office may be stopping themselves from making the change because of misplaced fears or concerns about the effectiveness of their plans, especially as it relates to the total elimination of paper. One important fact that sometimes gets lost in discussions of electronic offices, highlighted by Real Business, is that paper doesn’t need to be entirely eliminated from operations, just reduced significantly.
Focus on reduction
There a number of valid reasons why organizations may not be completely able to remove paper from their workflows. For some industries, paper is necessary because of regulatory or legal reasons. Law offices, for example, may have to retain printed and signed copies of contracts and other binding documents, depending on the local and state court systems that they deal with. For accounting firms, paper records retention may be viewed as standard and even expected by customers. Other organizations, while not having to keep paper for regulatory purposes, may have business partners or clients that aren’t advanced enough to use electronic documents, digital signatures and other components of paperless operations.
Instead of being frustrated about not being able to reach total elimination of paper, businesses should figure out what has to stay and what can go. As long as a significant amount of internal records and incoming information can be converted to digital storage, the cost and time savings provided by a paperless office will still apply.
Make an exceptions list
By keeping track of which business processes, vendors and clients require some form of paper, the use of printers, ink and other items can be kept at a low, reasonable level. CBS News points out that less formal documents can be shared online with anyone who has a computer – including reluctant business partners. While invoices and other “official” documents might still have to be sent through the mail, keeping track of what can go digital will help the project grow.