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Implementing a Paperless Office Environment

by Kristin Logan | Jan 12, 2015
Going paperless is a bit of a misnomer. It actually does not mean that you will never use paper again. It simply means that you are reducing the volume of paper consumed by your business in favor for more effective content and document management. Here are some steps to take to reduce inefficient paper processes.

Going paperless is a bit of a misnomer. It actually does not mean that you will never use paper again. It simply means that you are reducing the volume of paper consumed by your business in favor for more effective content and document management. 

With a single 4-drawer cabinet eating up 9 square feet and $1,500 annually, any amount of file conversion is a benefit to the company. This might mean converting all of your archived files to electronic records or it can simply mean creating a software-based accounts payable workflow to overcome a redundant Accounts Payable process that eats up too many man-hours.

It’s Not Just About the Trees

The benefits of going paperless that are often touted are mainly concerned with the environment. As ideal as that is, there are shareholders to appease and businesses to run.  When managers hear about converting to a paperless environment, they often think it means all-or-nothing with a huge financial outlay and an overwhelming burden of file conversions, IT support and training. It doesn’t. Many are surprised to hear that electronic document management can be implemented on a much more scalable basis.

Going paperless is about your business. Reducing paper-based processes and document volume means you’ve reduced costs, improved efficiency and are essentially operating smarter. Digital document storage also reduces information-based vulnerabilities from things like losing employees, lost documents, disasters, or lack of workflow continuity. Just a single lost document can cost $350 to $700 for an average business.

How to Start Going Paperless

We recommend starting in a department where automated processes will have the greatest impact in efficiency and cost savings. Often, these departments are overwhelmed with paper-based processes and are desperate for some more modern methods of document management.  Accounting and Human Resources are two great examples of this. These are areas of your business that deal with a heavy volume of data on a daily basis, yet implementing digital workflows in these departments often comes with less risk because it will not impede operations. 

Even if the paperless concept never extends to another department, it is still justifiable because of the improved efficiency and reduced need for redundant staff members and processes. Training will be a simpler undertaking and the necessity of IT involvement can grow on a scalable basis. If the program is successful, then you have a tenable model for other departments to emulate, making a paperless program easily expandable on a time-frame that works for your enterprise. 

See our infographic for more information about the true costs of paper:

Infographic paper use in the office   

  The Truth about Paper 


About Milner Technologies
Since 1987, Milner Technologies has been an industry-leader providing a full-spectrum of fully integrated  document imaging and workflow solutions. Our innovations enable organizations of all sizes to improve efficiency, productivity and competitiveness while reducing costly waste. Contact us today for a complimentary assessment to help you better evaluate your options.