Paperless Office: A Reality Or Illusion? Reality!

Did you hear that? It’s the arrival of paperless office! Both large and small businesses can attain better efficiency, cost reduction as well as other advantages by changing to digital systems to team-up, communicate, manage records and invoices.

Still, the concept has always encountered skeptics, who believe in fact low-cost printers and other similar technologies have prompted the users to do more printing. These new technologies had only altered the paper is use instead of abandoning them fully.

The truth is of course lies in-between. Many small businesses are even now heavily depending on paper for their business needs. However falling prices have prompted them to rethink, at least partially, especially those with staff strength of 20 or more.

Many large businesses are asking vendors and suppliers to follow paperless workflow. Consequently, smaller businesses failing to meet those are likely to be strong-armed into adaption or cease to be a viable vendor. In addition government regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) require having paperless documentation.

Advantages of Going Paperless

There are many benefits for going paperless, completely or partially.

Cost Reduction

A small business can save many hundreds every year by going paperless. Moreover it can save the office space required for storing the documents getting substantial savings in this regard also. The business saves money on many levels – paper, printing, mailing, storage for documents, plus other costs, by eliminating paper for all processes link like designs, contracts, invoices and purchase orders.

Improved Collaboration

Small businesses can collaborate with their business partners, suppliers, contractors or staff, more effectively and efficiently by using shared work spaces, networked applications and other tools including email. They can speedup important decision making and also eliminates the time-consumed in both-way communication and possible errors associated with paper-based systems.

Better and Efficient Customer Service

Easy accessibility is another key factor associated with electronic documents, which will improve efficiency. As the staff can access the files and communication from their homes also, they will be able to respond to the client enquirers faster. In the conventional paper-based office the staff has to physically come to the office and access the records which will lead to a wide time-gap particularly if the company and the clients are in two different time zones.

The Possible Disadvantages

Nevertheless, the journey to the paperless system is not smooth as we think. Here are a few tips to overcome these hurdles.

Tell Everyone .. and Sell It!

The success of your plans to go paperless depends on the confidence everyone, including your own staff, has in the system. If anybody is skeptical address their concerns immediately. Make them understand that this plan is not just going to help the company but the employees as well.

You Need a Strong Plan

A small business need to rework the whole process before going paperless. To ensure smooth transition, set your priorities and objectives unambiguously. Chock out a clear plan to determine what all records are required and who will access them, since all the employees are not required to access all the records.

Choose the Technology Carefully

Look for technologies best suited for your requirements and priorities. Analyze all available options, considering your future requirements also, before finalizing and investing on any technology.

Be Prepared for the Worst

The worst disadvantage the paperless system has to got is that if the network fails, you will be totally without access to the records. Make sure that the files are periodically backed up as per requirement and volume of records to deal with such situations

Options in Paperless Technology

The options available for a small company to go paperless are wide. Ranging from a scanner costing below $100 to a costly document management system for a few thousand dollars. Check out the Fujistsu ScanSnap series for a great and fast line of speed scanners 😉

About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:

logo1bAt Out of the Office, we are committed to providing earth-friendly administration and offer ideas and ways to increase your productivity, decrease your workload, and work more efficiently. We nurture a successful business relationship, while continuing to grow as your business partner. We are focused on streamlining your administration, social media planning and execution, and offering creative solutions for your business success.

Image credit: Stack of Papers by Jenni C | CC0 Public Domain