Everyone is talking about “going paperless.” Get rid of the stacks on your desk. Empty the dust-collecting vertical and lateral files. Embrace the digital world! These statements are fine and dandy to the idealist, but how do you set the movement in motion? As you look around your firm, what do you see? Are you taking steps to reduce paper?
In the article linked below, “Scanbition” is a term coined by the author describing a firm’s ambition to move from a culture of “casual scanning” to “scanning with a plan.” While I promise not to start throwing scanbition into my regular vocabulary, I agree with the steps Steve Irons lays out to implement firm-wide scanning. Going paperless has to start somewhere, and the scanning process is just that place.
Scanning starts with managing your documents. Does your firm already have an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system or is everything stored in separate locations? ECM software, like OnBase by Hyland, takes a variety of content (emails, PDFs, scanned documents, etc.) and stores them in one database for easy access.
Next, what type of image is your scanner producing? If you spent months scanning files to be stored electronically and never made sure you were saving searchable PDFs, you might find yourself in a pickle when you need to search for the document. With Optical Character Recognition (OCR), type and printed text becomes encoded text. This allows you to search for words or phrases within the document rather than just the file name.
Finally, don’t jump the paper ship too quickly. If you have a proven method for saving paper documents it might not make sense to just scan all of them at once. Establishing standard procedures and an overall transition plan to go paperless will set your firm up for success.
Many people are intimidated by the magnitude of a project like this in the legal profession. Contact Phillips Office Solutions to see how we can address your needs through our hardware, software, and records management offerings.
By Steve Irons | May.09.12 | Daily Dispatch, Legal Technology, Productivity