Paperless Office Myth or Reality?

By Stephanie

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:

  • Contracts
  • 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.

Benefits of the Paperless Office

Aside from the cost savings that can be realized from elimination of paper and physical document handling, there are other benefits that drive paperless implementations:

1. Green initiatives

Less paper used means that less paper must be produced, and fewer trees harvested. Taking this a step further, it means the manufacturing of fewer printers and copiers, and fewer printer cartridges that are manufactured and subsequently discarded.

2. Image

Employees and customers view a paperless operation favorably as a business that is concerned with the environment and efficiency.

3. Access

Documents stored digitally can be accessed from anywhere, given the proper authority and electronic devices. This allows employees to refer to information they need wherever they are, from such devices as computers, laptops, tablets, and even smartphones.

With today’s mobile workforce, the advantage of remote access to project status information, invoices, orders, and service records is a significant advantage, and a competitive edge.

Even with this ease of access, security is still better controlled within ECM systems. Roles can be defined that determine who can create, view, update, distribute, and print stored documents.

Kelley Imaging Your Paperless Office Solution

Content management and modern imaging technology have brought the paperless office closer to reality than ever before.

Making strides toward a paperless office requires:

  • Detailed planning across many departments
  • Effective communication
  • Strategic application of technology

Kelley Imaging can guide your company through this transformation with our years of experience, state-of-the-art software, and infrastructure technology.

Kelley Imaging will enable your business to manage documents electronically without printing and filing, moving your office into the digital age with a cost-effective solution. Call us today for a no-charge, no-obligation assessment of your document management requirements.

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