Paperless Office –Myth or Reality?
Does your business run on paper, or is it the other way around?
You may never totally eliminate every document or piece of paper flowing through your office. There are some documents that legally require physical printed form and manual signatures:
- Certain government documents
- Tax documents, depending on federal, state, or local jurisdictions
- Some healthcare or employment records
- Invoices or other communications with customers who insist on paper and mailed correspondence
Still, replacing most physical documents with digital counterparts is now feasible through the use of technology.
Do You Really Need Paper?
Documents are a necessary means of communication, but not all documents truly need to be physically printed, mailed, sorted, distributed, filed, and stored.
These activities cost you time and money in many ways:
- Equipment – printers and copiers that require power, space, and regular maintenance
- Supplies – paper, ink and toner, fuser, folders and binders for storing documents, and more
- Space – file cabinets, secure storage areas, and even off-site storage for documents that require long-term retention for business or legal reasons
Manual handling of documents reduces business efficiency and slows the speed of your operation. Every hour spent managing paper is time not spent on more important functions such as working with customers and increasing sales.
There Is A Better Way
Enterprise Content Management (ECM) includes digital transformation of paper documents and provides many advantages:
- Reduction of all paper-related creation and storage costs
- Increased business efficiency through elimination of paper handling and filing activity
- Digital storage of documents in electronic “filing cabinets” organized in folders that make documents more accessible and easy to locate
- Technology enables intelligent search and retrieval of documents, speeding access and streamlining business functions
Workflow is a critical advantage of ECM systems. Electronic documents prepared by one department can be automatically routed to the proper employee or group for review and approval, then returned to the source or forwarded to the next party for action.
This feature alone increases the speed of business, and eliminates lost or overlooked documents.