Is 2015 the year that your business will go paperless? If your office is a warehouse of file cabinets full of documents you must keep, it may be time to convert your old and current documents to an easily accessible, space-saving digital format.
For most companies, making the transition to paperless is a multi-part process:
- Commit budget resources to document scanning
- Find a scanning partner who can assist you in digitalizing old files
- Develop a plan for future scanning
- Educate employees at all levels about how to access digital files and unnecessary printing and reprinting
While document scanning is key to reducing the volume of paper, using efaxing, online bill pay, and reducing the volume of catalog and magazine subscriptions will also help the paperless process.
Planning For Document Scanning
For most companies, scanning can be time-consuming and burdensome. For this reason, it is wise to partner with a dependable local scanning company that can either come in to scan your old files, or take the material to their site to complete the work. A firm who works with many types of firms including law offices, accounting firms, and medical facilities, is well-versed in regulatory guidelines of the industries, and they can offer scanning solutions to fit your business’s needs.
The scanning company may be able to store your archived files offsite in addition to creating digital files that authorized employees can access. After evaluating your needs, they can help you arrive at a budgetary figure for how much it will cost to get scanning up to date, store your documents if needed, and help you with future scanning.
Working With Employees
Once you decide to go paperless, your next step is to work with managers and supervisors to gain their cooperation. Prior to when the company that is doing the scanning will begin the process, managers will verify that all employees in their department have returned their documents to the proper file cabinet.
Managers may be the ones that encourage their staff to think of ways to minimize their printing:
- When there is a need to print, print as little of the document as possible to complete the task.
- For collaborating with other workers use electronic methods such as Google Docs, BaseCamp, Office 365, or other online applications.
- Rather than pass out handouts for meetings, encourage staff to bring their laptops, tablets, or smartphone, and upload the slides and presentations to Dropbox or Basecamp for digital access.
- Encourage employees to keep a copy of a network file on their local computer for easy access to avoid the temptation to print.
Continuing The Digital Initiative
Once old files are in digital format, the key to keeping the office less dependent on paper is to routinely scan new incoming documents. Some companies choose to scan their own documents as they are created, while others prefer to save up larger quantities and have the scanning company complete the work on an agreed upon schedule.
In an era of easy access to low-cost copying resources, becoming paperless requires a commitment to learning to do things in a more efficient way. The result is less clutter, less storage space needed, and less chance of important documents getting lost – three great goals for the new year.
If your company is ready to discuss a document scanning plan, contact The Document Group, downtown Houston’s source for website form., as well as copying and printing. Call us today at (888) 316-4670 or (713) 343-4005 or via our