Is it possible to become a 100% paperless office? Let’s be realistic – of course not. There are legal documents and invoices that have to be preserved in their paper form at all times. Even though it may seem that we are already using much less paper with the help of digital innovation, unfortunately, facts and figures show us a different story. Every year, the United States uses nearly 3.7 million tons of copy paper. It seems that a lot of companies are still hesitant to switch to digital document management although it is a sensible move to get rid of clutter and streamline your business.
If you need a reason WHY you should go paperless, here are just a few of them:
- Saving time
- Easier access to files
- Saving storage space
- Cost reduction
- Better security
- Easier collaboration and document sharing
There are ways every office can cut the usage of paper and it’s not that difficult. Read on to find out how you can do it at your office.
1. Document management system
The first step for every company is to switch to document management system (DMS). It’s an obvious and very effective way to reduce paper usage. DMS allows you to store, share, edit and retrieve documents online; besides, it makes everyday office life much easier as you can collaborate on a document without leaving your desk.
As with paper document management, you also have to establish guidelines to use electronic document management software. Your employees should know the logical file structure and be familiar with the processes, especially the way documents are saved and how long they should be retained.
If you need help switching from paper to electronic document management, DocuCollab is a great way to enhance your team’s efficiency. With its easy interface, real-time document collaboration and Salesforce integration, your employees will collect and manage files much quicker and minimize email overload. As a manager, you will be able to monitor document management workflow, grant access and track changes. What’s more, your documents will be safely backed up and encrypted ensuring the highest level of security.
2. Digital invoices and receipts
Almost all banks have the option to send electronic invoices and statements, so if your company has not made a switch yet, you should log into your bank account and request to receive e-statements. Considering the number of letters that are misplaced or get lost every year, paperless bank statements can be safely stored and retrieved as and when needed.
The same applies to all receipts and invoices you receive from third-party companies. It’s more convenient than you think! Just imagine how much space paper invoices take? The thought of filing and storing every invoice sounds daunting, let alone the time it takes to retrieve it.
3. Document scanning
If you decided to migrate to paperless office, you should consider scanning and digitising all of your documents. Whether you are a sales consultancy or a law firm, surely you have your storage full of important contracts and proposals but if you care to improve overall productivity, saving time and money, digitising the documents is the best solution. There are many tools online that can help you scan, index and convert all the old documents to digital files.
4. Train your employees
Don’t forget to train your team on the latest paperless office procedures. Do not start changing office life without outlining procedures and guidelines first – not everyone will be able to instantly switch to e-document management, so prior training is necessary.
It is better to gradually implement the changes and do it in phases – show your employees how document management software works, teach how to retrieve and store documents, where and how often it has to be done.
Start by introducing and emphasizing the benefits of DMS – how it will improve productivity and facilitate collaboration, sharing of documents. Also, don’t forget to monitor and develop their knowledge on document management as the time goes, e.g. train them on best practices to secure a file.
Paperless office is something that every business should strive for – of course, before jumping to it, look at the bigger picture. The change requires a structured plan and careful implementation but the benefits are visible: reduced costs, cleaner desks, more saved time and increased savings. DocuCollab can be the first step in becoming a greener office – contact us to find out how we can help accelerate your workflow.