We’re (paper) free, to do what we want!
Did you know it is World Paper Free Day?
What does this even mean? Well, in case you didn’t catch our other blog posts this week, the event—sponsored by AIIM, an organization we’ve partnered with for many years—recognizes and celebrates the importance of accessible information in an organization. It’s all about converting paper to electronic documents in business processes, and creating electronic workflows or views into this information for the people who need them, to truly transform the ability of organizations to get the most out of the data they already have.
We agree. And we practice this in our own organization.
The average four-drawer file cabinet holds approximately 10,000 pages of paper. How many do you walk by in your office each day? It’s okay if you’ve passed a few this morning. You’re not alone on this journey.
But hopefully, you aren’t in the 18 percent of organizations that haven’t even started to take steps to make their businesses less dependent upon paper and more tuned in to electronic workflows that automatically forward documents and information through processes. We’ve been helping organizations do this for 25 years, so here are a few tips.
Capturing paper electronically
Once you’ve picked a department to start with, or a new one to get on board, don’t let budget concerns hold you back. AIIM research indicates a payback period of 12 months or less for 50 percent of capture adopters, with two-thirds achieving payback in 18 months or less.
There are a number of options to consider for capturing paper from software solutions utilizing your own team to eliminating that internal process entirely by outsourcing. You can even generate real return on investment with savings on storing, shipping, and being prepared for natural disasters.
We understand that time is one of the most valuable assets to most employees in an organization. And that employees are one of the most valuable assets to the organization itself. That’s why it’s important to note that document management challenges account for 21 percent of productivity loss. It’s worth the time to seriously consider beginning the journey to evolve to a more efficient information platform in 2017.
Start by identifying your organization’s needs, and more importantly, any bottlenecks that slow down processes. Consider which business transactions are paper-based, require manual sorting or manual data entry. Improvement of the overall practice is what yields optimal results.
When considering a partner, look for a vendor that is a leader in the electronic document or enterprise content management (ECM) space that has a committed history of trusted partnership with its customers and their evolving business practices as well as their expanding document and enterprise information management needs.
But here is the best part. Whether it’s one department or several impacted by going paper-free, there are tools out there to help you quantify the potential and understand the benefits. And how to craft a roadmap to success.
Thanks for taking the time to learn about World Paper Free Day this week! And here’s to all of us having more time, free!
 Turning Documents into Data: Using Data Capture to Improve Document Processing. AIIM 2014.
 Bridging the Information Worker Productivity Gap: New Challenges and Opportunities for IT. IDC 2012.
 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management, Karen Hobert, et al. 31 October 2016.