AIIM recently published the report, “Paper-Free Progress: measuring outcomes.” As the report describes, “there is widespread acceptance that reducing and removing paper from business processes is a best practice resulting in improved productivity, accessibility and compliance and reduced costs. However, there is a huge difference between the best performers and the laggards of a paper free office. The early movers in digital mailrooms and mobile capture are achieving strong competitive advantage by capturing as close to the origin as possible.”
Recommendations for a Paper Free Office
Successfully transitioning to a paper free office depends on taking the right steps, starting with small steps and working with the right document management partner. Below is a partial list of recommendations from the report that can help your company reduce paper and operate more efficiently and cost competitively.
- Look at how paper enters your business, where it slows things down, where it clogs up the workspace, and where it restricts information access and process flexibility.
- Highlight the role that paper-free processes can play in speeding up customer response, improving customer experience, and saving back-office costs.
- Identify who is in charge of radical process review and seek endorsement for policies on paper-free processes.
- Implement quick wins where electronic copies are being habitually printed as part of the workflow for reference, for review, for signatures, or for file copies. Consider investing in an e-signature solution.
- If you have no existing paper-free processes, pick one to try – AP perhaps, or HR – but be careful not to become locked into a single-point solution (e.g., from your finance system vendor).
- Pay particular attention to processes that scan-to-archive post process with a view to changing to an up-front scan-to-process approach such as accounts payable processing. Position that system “right at the door” as a digital mailroom, defending offices from paper and ensuring the quickest possible conversion to digital.
Transitioning to a paper free office is not as complicated or time consuming as you may think. Working with an experienced document management partner will ease the transition and help you compete in an increasingly paperless world.Download the AIIM Report