As many people who work in an office can attest, paper is everywhere; from memos, to-do lists, emails (especially the emails), reports, manuals and more. Often, we feel “buried” in paperwork and overwhelmed with panic when we cannot find that most important piece of paper that we need NOW! If this has happened to you, ask yourself this question...
Do we really need that piece of paper, or just the text that’s on it?
According to Wiktionary, the definition of a ‘Paper Trail’ is …
paper trail (plural paper trails)
1. (idiomatic) A written record, history or collection of evidence.
Keep a good paper trail in case anyone asks you why you arrived at that conclusion.
2. (idiomatic) The records left by a person or organization in the course of activities.
Can we really transform our way of doing business, from cabinets or desks filled with folders and paper, to having the documents we need at our fingertips whenever we need them? The answer is, YES YOU CAN!
While it may seem an overwhelming task, it’s actually quite easy to begin the process. So, take a deep breath, and start with a vision. Just remember the time (possibly hours) you have spent looking for that one piece of paper that you needed. That thought alone will energize you to take the next step.
Implementing a course of action does, however, require planning and a good understanding of your company’s organization and goals to identify a unique path in your paper reduction costs.
Every day you work, paper is generated from your multi-function device (MFD), your printers and even the U.S. Mail. And, when all the paper ends on your desk, what do you do with it? Well, of course, you immediately file it so you can find it, right? Not likely! It may sit on your desk, with more added day, after day, after day. Do I have you in panic mode again? Oh sorry, let’s change that!
- If you have a document in your hands, turn it into a digital document by scanning it using your office MFD (or MFP) . You can scan to a USB device, scan to a network folder, scan to email, or scan to a software program*. The scan destination possibilities are endless, and your MFD is one of, if not the, most important piece of equipment in your office.
- If it’s already a digital document, you can easily save it to any destination with a click of the mouse at your workstation.
Both Kyocera and Sharp MFDs offer secure software to send documents to jump start your document workflow; Kyocera Pinpoint Scan and Sharpdesk.
Now that you’ve scanned your documents, you are literally at that important next step, which is determining how to find them at any given moment.
For example, if you scanned your documents to your workstation or network folder, you can search by the name of the document to find it. And that may be all that you need. However, if you are not in your office or working remotely, or need to process this document by making changes, approving & forwarding to another individual, a simple and affordable document management system with minimal IT intervention may be the solution for your business.
Finding the document you need.
Let’s look at AirBase by Hyland, the leader in document archival / retrieval. Your digital documents are securely stored, where you can access, organize and manage them within a private cloud. Authorized users can add documents from the web, mobile devices or selected MFDs, and perform the necessary functions to keep your document workflow process moving in the right direction. This eliminates bottlenecks, decision processes and assures customer satisfaction. And, by the way, you and / or your employees are not wasting time searching for that missing piece of paper!With AirBase, your company will:
- Minimize the need to manage documents (paper files, network share drives)
- Eliminate the challenges of paper-based documents / processes
- Assure your team is accessing the most current / up-to-date documents
- Manage user security and view historical processes
As you and your management team utilize the AirBase solution, you may determine that you need to take the next step and move to OnBase by Hyland, which allows even more latitude with your document workflow.
Having a paper trail is expensive to every organization, and eliminating that “trail” is a process. The investments you incur in paper storage include filing cabinets and floor space for the cabinets, labor costs for staff to process, postage to distribute to outside sources / vendors / customers, and efficiency in (again) locating documents. When you review the time and costs involved, you will want to take action as soon as possible and begin the conversion process. A sampling of the solutions provided above and our commitment to assist you, will ultimately reduce your operating costs, ensure your company’s privacy and security, improve your organization’s efficiency and ultimately lower your stress levels. A win / win situation.
That being said, there are some organizations (you know who they are) that will NEVER ACCEPT a paper or digital COPY. A classic example is a Birth Certificate. I dare you to try! I remember the embarrassment on my son’s face as we stood in the registration line for Little League. To his dismay, I was carrying “My Baby’s First Seven Years” memento book, with his birth certificate glued on one of the many pages. It was the ORIGINAL, which is what they REQUIRED, and that’s all I can say in my defense!!