Four Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Go Paperless
Have you noticed that more and more companies are choosing to move toward paper free offices these days? While there are many reasons to go paperless, one of the common threads that ties them all together is efficiency.
Without paper cluttering up your office and slowing down processes, you can offer better, more responsive customer service because it will be easier to quickly reference the documents you need. You can stop wasting space storing archives of documents in bulky filing cabinets and boxes, and stop wasting your money on the real estate it takes to store them. But perhaps the most satisfying result will be to see your critical processes – like AP invoice processing or HR onboarding – move much faster.
To kick off the process of going paperless, there are four questions you should ask yourself. These four questions will help you overcome decision paralysis by helping you pinpoint what exactly needs fixing as well as what kind of business support services can help you do it.
1. Which area of your business has the most paper clutter?
Start by identifying the areas or departments that struggle the most with paper. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at your human resources and accounts payable departments first.
For example, in human resources, the hiring process often generates a great deal of paperwork, and maintaining employee files in keeping with HR compliance standards can be overwhelming. And in accounts payable, the constant stream of invoices that come in by mail and email piles up quickly, overwhelming staff and resulting in late payments making AP and HR excellent areas for mailroom outsourcing and electronic document management.
2. Which business processes are the slowest?
Now that you’ve identified the area of your business that struggles with paper clutter the most, dig in a little further to find out specifically which processes are the culprits. Talk to your employees to understand the processes they feel are the slowest or most inefficient, then map them out together step by step, noting important information like the purpose of each step, how much time it takes, and who is responsible. This is important step will help you or your document scanning company tailor a process that works for your individual business.
3. How will you store your documents once they’re digitized?
Do you have a plan for electronic document management after your documents have been scanned and digitized? Document management software is a great choice because it solves several problems at once: it’s secure, simple to use, and scalable as you grow. Whether you decide to host the software on your in-house servers or in the cloud, your digitized documents will be logically organized and instantly accessible from anywhere.
Once your documents are securely stored in your document management software, decide what you want to do with the original paperwork. If you’d like to purge the documents and save space in your office, look to a reputable document management partner for help. They can work with an NAID certified shredding company to securely destroy your documents and return a certificate of destruction to you.
4. Do you already have a document management partner you can trust?
Partnering with the right document management company will make the transition to a paperless office simple. A good partner will handle the document scanning process no matter how many or what types of documents you have, help you choose the document management software that best suits your business needs, and help you set up workflows that eliminate the pain points you discovered during process mapping. They should be able to take care of all the details so you can focus on running your business – and if they can’t, they’re not the right partner for you.
Going paperless by implementing workflow automation and a digital mailroom saves money and time, and allows your employees to focus on tasks that move the business forward rather than ones that hold you back. Managing business digitally also allows your company to be more agile as technologies and consumer needs change, and helps you easily collaborate with staff in multiple office locations, in the field, or who work remotely. So what are you waiting for?
If you’re looking to revitalize your business or just rev it up a bit, saying goodbye to paper is just what you need. Don’t believe us yet? Contact us to learn more about the freedom a paperless office brings.