Traditionally, paper has been a critical piece of the business process. It's difficult for an organization to run smoothly without the ability to record information and share it with colleagues in an effective manner. Issues arise in the office when that information needs to be stored for an extended period of time or needs to be shared quickly with team members in different physical locations. For these reasons, among others, many companies are switching to an electronic filing system for storing, managing and sharing documentation around the organization.
Halfway To The Moon
It may not seem like a lot of paper gets wasted around the office, but you may be surprised. In a recent article from The Wall Street Journal, Christopher Mims writes;
"Every year, America’s office workers print out or photocopy approximately one trillion pieces of paper. If you add in all the other paper businesses produce, the utility bills and invoices and bank statements and the like, the figure rises to 1.6 trillion. If you stacked all that paper up, it would be 18,000 times as high as Mount Everest. It would reach nearly halfway to the moon."
A bit startling, isn't it? By the end of 2016, we could reach the moon by simply stacking the paper American businesses produced over the past two years. Now, how to make a change?
Show Me The Value
It can be easy to recognize that your office is using a lot of paper, but it can be much tougher to convince management to make a change. It's important to remember that creating paper waste not only hurts the planet - it also significantly affects a business's bottom line. Paper process are slow, out-dated and incredibly inefficient. Moving to an electronic filing system can actually save a company money and produce a big bump in staff productivity.
A good way to start looking at electronic filing is by identifying the most paper-heavy departments within the organization first. Many times, you will find that the Human Resources office is an area that sees TONS of paper files. Although a lot of employee data is now recorded in HRIS solutions, much of the actual documentation for the employee is still printed out and filed in bulky, disorganized filing cabinets. Many organizations still have all of their staff files on paper. For a tenured employee, you can imagine how thick these files can get. Being able to identify this within your own business is essential because the offices that handle the most paper will see the biggest value in taking their files electronic.
Keeping It Practical
For a paperless strategy to work, you need a practical approach. Even if you take all of your existing files electronic, you'll need a way to digitize your pen-and-paper workflows to ensure you're not just adding more paper to the pile. For this reason, it's important to look at electronic filing systems that include a few key features:
These tools are designed to work with your electronic filing system and allow your team to take a shortcut to paperless files. Scanning automation tools will help automate the conversion of your current paper files to electronic format. They will also help you deal with miscellaneous paper coming into the department on an ongoing basis because - let's face it - you'll still have staff coming into your office and handing you a paper document.
Online Forms, eSignatures and Workflows
From onboarding new employees in the HR department, to approval workflows and contracts; these features help your team go from pen-and-paper processes to completely digital ones. Replace paper forms with online forms that can be delivered to the recipient immediately and completed in a fraction of the time. Electronic signatures or eSignatures can be used to sign off on these forms from anywhere, at any time and they are just as good as ink. Finally, digital workflows can deliver your forms to the next person in the chain automatically once it is their turn to review, approve or sign. The best part is, once the workflow is finished, completed and signed forms can be automatically filed in your electronic filing system.
Tell Me More!
DynaFile is an electronic filing system that has been helping companies achieve a higher level of efficiency for over fifteen years. Our unique scan-to-cloud tools work directly with DynaFile to allow you to automate the conversion of paper files to digital format and easily handle miscellaneous paperwork on an ongoing basis. Once in DynaFile, you can retrieve files instantly from anywhere, report on required and expiring documents and segment access for different staff roles and types of documents in the system. Finally, our integration with DocuSign allows your team to replace all of your pen-and-paper processes with online forms, esignatures and digital workflows. Once forms have been signed, they can be automatically published in the correct folder back in DynaFile.
Would you like to learn more about going paperless with DynaFile? Contact us today for more information and free demo!