Our team establishes company goals and individual goals so that we know we are all rowing in the same direction. If your team has been talking about going paperless, but the scanning you’ve been tasked with feels like a hamster wheel that you can’t get off of, it may be time to think about whether you and your team are rowing in the same direction.
Many offices say they’re paperless because they have scanners and scan everything that comes in, but it hasn’t reduced the amount of paper they interact with. Buying hardware and software to convert paper isn’t a solution in itself. Without changing the way your organization interacts with documents so that fewer paper documents come in and are circulated, that approach will only increase the amount of time you spend dealing with documents.
Records Management software and scanners should make your operation more efficient. To go fully paperless, they have to be properly used. To determine where you stand on the spectrum, first consider whether you are doing more or less work with paper (including the scanning process) than you did before you had a scanner. To give you a quick gauge, prepping, scanning, and indexing a box of files can take from 8-30 hours, depending on the age, size, and organization of the documents within the box. If you only scan a few things at a time, this increases the amount of time per standard box because of reduced scale.
Next you should consider whether your paperless digital system is superior to the old paper one. Are your scanned images being dropped into a public folder on your local server without much organization, or are you using a cloud-based storage service? If they are being stored without an interface for organizing and accessing them, you might as well have put them in a filing cabinet. Without a software for organizing your files, you lose the ability to manage retention to reduce your liability and storage cost. If naming conventions aren’t managed, you end up with a disorganized digital mess, not unlike the storage boxes that were created from a departed employee’s desk.
Are you using a digital system for storing documents only, or have you graduated to a workflow solution that reduces the amount of times a single piece of information has to be touched, and increases your data gathering and reporting capabilities? Chances are you haven’t.
If your New Year’s Resolution is to get rid of all that paper, once and for all, let us help you develop a plan.