4 Excuses Hindering Your Office from Going Paperless & How to Address Them
A paperless office can improve productivity, increase efficiency, and simplify compliance and audits. So why are some offices still so hesitant to adopt a digital transformation strategy? We’re addressing some of the most popular excuses and obstacles heard from businesses when it comes to going paperless — and teaching you how to address them head on.
- 47% said there is a lack of initiative from management to go paperless
- 44% said their business practices still require physical signatures on paper
- 40% said there’s a lack of understanding when it comes to paper-free options
- 23% feel that legal and compliance standards would be compromised
How to Convince Your Management Team to Go Paperless
There are a multitude of benefits to using less paper around the office, but getting started can be difficult without support from management. Creating a plan for going paperless and executing it will require effort from all employees to make your digital transformation a success.
If you’re struggling to demonstrate the value of going paperless to upper management, focus on these three words: Return. On. Investment. While management may not notice that employees waste hours during the day simply finding and retrieving hard copy records, if you can demonstrate how a paperless office would generate a significant return on investment, you may just get their attention.
Take initiative and set goals for increased productivity and reduced overhead costs. Take into account time spent on tedious manual processes, searching for and routing paper documents, and storing piles of paper in organized file cabinets that are consuming valuable space and create a cost savings analysis by calculating time spent of document management, the average employee hourly rate (labor), in-house scanning and shredding equipment, etc…
We typically find that organizations can easily spend between $800 and $2500 per month n document management after labor and overhead costs are calculated. Those costs by almost $400 if you include more labor-intensive tasks such as document preparation, scanning, and indexing. By adding together document handling costs, in-house storage and scanning expenses, and time spent you generate a realistic estimate for your document expenses today.
How to Create Automated Workflows that Include Signatures and Approvals
Some employees may be hesitant to transition to a paperless office because, let’s be honest, it’s easier to say “We’ve always done it this way,” than to create a new process that requires change. Change is hard and needs prioritization. Whether your business still requires signatures on paper for invoicing, shipping, customer service, verifications or more, an electronic document workflow solution can address those concerns by streamlining the entire process with electronic forms and records that can easily be verified, approved, and signed electronically. Not only that, but electronic documents can be instantly routed to decision makers or customers and records can be searched and found in seconds from the convenience of your desktop. Time spent on invoice processing and check requests can be cut in half, allowing staff to become more efficient and less prone to manual bottlenecks.
How to Choose a Paperless Office Strategy That’s Right for You
The phrase “The more you know…” has never been more applicable than when it comes to making decisions about the future of document management in your office. If you don’t know your paper-free options, it’s difficult to create a new strategy. Here are some ways to help your office become more paperless:
- Offsite document storage: store active and archived records offsite with a secure document storage provider. This will free up valuable space in your office and allow you to focus on converting to electronic process without the hassle of struggling to organize old paper files.
- Monthly document scanning: whether you decide to employ desktop scanners at each employee’s desk or outsource your document scanning to another provider, prioritizing digital conversion is an essential component of going paperless. Identify documents that can easily serve their purpose in an electronic format and start with those. Incorporate document scanning into your overall record retention strategy. This is a great place to start.
- Electronic document management software: If you’ve already initiated storing records offsite and you have a good document scanning schedule in place, the next step is to implement an electronic document management software that helps you store and manage the electronic records that you’ve scanned.
How to Remain Compliant with an Electronic Document Software
Although it may seem like digital conversion could disrupt your security and compliance protocols in the office, going paperless can actually improve data security, simplify compliance, and assist you during audits by tracking activity within the system, controlling version changes, governing workflows, and more.
Record Storage Systems, electronic document software allows you to access complete audit reports and create review/approval processes. You never have to worry about misplaced paper records, incorrect versions, or wondering who the last person to touch an important document was. By automating document control and workflow, you can ensure all processes meet regulatory and compliance standards — giving you peace of mind when it comes time for an audit.