There are tons of best practices for implementing and using document management systems. You’ve read about all the benefits and likely seen dozens of tip sheets about how best to utilize an electronic system vs. a paper-based one. If at times the amount of information available seems overwhelming, stick to a few essentials.
Companies have always relied on data. For decades, data like customer and vendor info, employee records, AP/AR invoices, etc. lived on paper, in files, and stored in filing cabinets. Electronic filing systems have started to replace paper document management processes, but the need for a well-planned filing system remains at the fore of every process strategy.
Once you’ve implemented an electronic document management system, you might find that it isn’t exactly working the way you’d expected it to. You’re waiting to reap the benefits promised to you. Perhaps, you’re still finding it a chore to use effectively. Not every DMS will work the way you expect, and even if it has the capacity to, it needs to be implemented properly.
Even with the global push to “go paperless” within the last decade or so, the scary truth is, offices still waste a lot of paper - every day, every month, every year. It adds up! Paper waste shouldn’t just bother people who are environmentally conscious, but also businesses minding their bottom lines. Paper waste is expensive, and the truths that appear in your balance sheets might scare you enough to consider paperless document management options.
Do you ever find yourself answering the question of “why are we doing it this way?” with “Because we’ve always done it this way.”? You’re certainly not alone. Think about restrictive dress codes, or archaic policies, or even the vendors you work with. Outdated business processes tend to increase their shelf life in organizations “just because.” What about the answer, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”? However, if you analyze the impact of an outdated business process on your bottom line, your ability to compete and service your customers, and the time it’s steals from your employees...it IS broken, and it needs to be supplanted by a better way.
Many businesses hinge their success (or failure) on the relationships they have with their vendors. It is symbiotic, which can create a “win-win” or a “lose-lose” situation depending on the strength of your foundation. It is also incredibly tough to find reliable vendors - so once you do, you never want to sour the relationship over miscommunications, disorganization or inconsistencies. Quite the opposite. Most companies are looking for ways to improve vendor relationships, and one of the ways they are doing it is by going paperless.
Are you using too much paper at the office? If you haven’t gone digital yet, chances are you’re engaging in the waste of this precious resource. The good news is a couple changes can be introduced to end the practice, increase effectiveness and save a lot of money.
Here are top five ways to stop wasting too much paper.
If you currently house all your documents inside a document storage facility, any attempt to change the present way you’re warehousing information might be an overwhelming task. However, moving documents to digital will improve overall productively, lower storage costs and enhance document security. To move files from your document storage facility to paperless, follow the below steps:
If you’re planning to go paperless, it’s important to have a timeframe for making the leap. “Paperless in 90 days” is a great achievable goal for many organizations and provides a rallying cry to get your team on the same page. Setting a goal of achieving the paperless office in less than 90 days also gives you a quarterly target to address and hit while helping to maintain momentum. And the sooner you reach that deadline, the sooner you start enjoying the benefits of going paperless.
Now that you’re paperless, how do you measure the success of the initiative? On a high level, have you achieved your goals and fulfilled the mission of going paperless? On a day-to-day level, has the paperless office improved your employees’ work life and job satisfaction? To assess the system installation and setup, start by looking at how well you’ve digitized those three areas discussed at the outset: capturing, routing and retrieving information.