Up until a few years ago, the concept of enterprises going paperless was simply an idea—an aspirational goal. And enterprises did very little groundwork to get there. Paper records dominated every aspect of the workplace, from incoming mail and meeting invites to invoices, taxation documents, and payroll exercises.
But the world is moving in a different direction today. Enterprises across industries concede that paper records cost them a great deal of money, time, resources, storage space, and productivity. Employees spend precious time retrieving paper documents from overstuffed filing cabinets and sifting through reams of paper! According to one McKinsey report, employees spend up to 20% of their time on average searching for the information they need.
The risk of storing valuable data in paper format is considerable, especially in times of disaster. That is why companies no longer consider digitizing paper records as merely a desirable activity. They know it is on the “essential” list.
Not quite paperless yet? Take heart...
It is one thing to talk about making your organization paperless—and quite another to achieve it! Years worth of paper-based records cannot assume a digital form overnight. Depending on what kind of business you are in, it may not be feasible to eliminate all paper from the system at one go. So, what’s the middle-ground? How do you ensure that you engage in enough digitally transformational initiatives to keep your business relevant while safeguarding some critical paper-based processes?
The first step toward a paperless future is enterprise document scanning
Enterprise document scanning is a premium scanning service that digitizes paper documents at a corporate level (enterprise scanning isn’t about a few boxes of paper that can be scanned with Office Depot desktop scanners—it’s about hundreds of boxes of paper that require production scanners and professionals at the helm). The service lends itself to various applications at different stages of an organization's digital transformation journey. Organizations are free to use it as it suits them best. Some prefer to take up enterprise document scanning as a one-time, large-scale activity, converting all their historical documents into a digital version in one go. Others opt for a series of bite-sized steps, gradually scanning a set amount of paper documents per month until they are completely paperless.
Enterprise Document Scanning: A complementary service to a DMS
Document scanning is a starting point for businesses embarking on their digital transformation journey. But it is equally relevant for organizations already using a document management system (DMS). In both cases, enterprise document scanning converts paper-based data into electronic form, keeping it secure yet accessible. Whether you use it as a stepping stone for future-readiness, or as a one-time transformational initiative—enterprise document scanning is essential for digitization. The alternative is a labour-intensive manual data entry operation at scale, that is more time-consuming and error-prone.
Bridging the gap between physical and digital documents
In an ideal world, your business could function on a paper-based system one day and go completely paperless the next. However, practical considerations rarely enable such massive changes so rapidly. Digitizing paper records without disrupting your current process requires careful planning. That is when enterprise document scanning proves to be an efficient solution. It allows for digitization while preserving the sanctity of traditional paper-based processes.
Many businesses require a dual mechanism because their internal and external processes require different levels of digitization. Even today, customer-facing departments maintain large amounts of paper-based records because consumers feel more secure accessing their information in hard-copy format. The advocacy group, Consumer Action, published a survey report that showed that up to 74% of Americans favoured their medical, mortgage, and insurance bills on paper versus 22% who did not mind them in electronic format. No wonder then that some companies prefer to execute an electronic DMS for their internal records but continue to use paper records for their customers and external stakeholders.
In a blog written for Gartner.com, Lane Severson speaks of three paths to digitization: Digitizing historical documents, digitizing new paper documents that enter the organization, and eliminating the need for paper.
Enterprise document scanning addresses the first two cases:
- Big bang, all-out document digitization.
- Incremental scanning that transitions gradually to a paperless state.
When it comes to eliminating paper, organizations must introduce digital data capture processes before they can go paper-free all together. Data now enters the system without any paper-based processes. In this case, scanning is no longer required. The only exception is external processes such as customers, partners, and vendors who may continue to transact using paper. A digital mailroom service then comes into the picture to scan any incoming paper documents and maintain the paperless state.
A reliable digitization partner steers you toward a paperless future
All said and done—the corporate world is moving toward a paperless office in 2021. Whether your enterprise is already en-route to becoming paperless or still contemplating how to start the process, MES is a trustworthy scanning services provider.
MES works with your team to convert paper documents into a rich bank of digital files that are accessible at the click of a button.
Witness the power of digitization with MES as you unearth a wealth of customer insights, market intelligence, and business data insights from your digital archives.
With our enterprise document scanning service, you will shape an enterprise ecosystem with the best of both worlds: a secure paper-based past and a robust digital future.
Get in touch with us to discover how we can support your journey to a paperless future!