If you intend having a paperless office, you should be aware that there are several factors that will come into play. Scanning documents requires time and effort besides money, but the success of your endeavor will depend on your objectives. Hence, it is important that you take time to first define your objectives.
Identifying Your Objectives
You need to be clear why you want to move from a paper environment to a paperless environment and what steps you would have to take to ensure a return on your investment. There are many advantages to switching to a paperless workplace and the main objectives of such a move may differ from one office to another. That is why before hiring a service provider for scanning, you need to identify which department in your office will reap the maximum benefits and then sit down and list the benefits that the departments will notice.
Some of the tangible benefits that you may want to list down could be as follows:
Saving Space: There is no doubt that having paper records and documents will require a lot of physical space. When a department (or business) opts for electronic document management system, it can reduce the storage space substantially, as the documents can get scanned and stored digitally. This not only saves space, but also helps to save money by reducing the amount of space an office leases. If your office is located in a high-rent area, you should serious consider scanning your documents to save space and rent money.
Better Tracking and Retrieval: Paper documents are often filed haphazardly and this can make it difficult to track, search and retrieve the documents when needed. On the other hand, when you digitize documents, searching, tracking and retrieving is not only quicker but also easier.
Stress-free Disaster Recovery: Theft, fire or flood can cause you to lose your important paper documents. This can create obstacles in the day-to-day functioning of your office or it may damage your reputation when the news leaks out, especially if you have lost a lot of client-sensitive documents. However, when you have your documents digitized, disaster recovery is simple and easy. It will give you peace of mind.
Better Security: When there are paper documents, you cannot control who accesses these documents. This increases the risk of allowing wrong people to get access to confidential documents. Scanning documents will allow you to have a system in place where you can give access to a select few employees and this access is password controlled. You can track the date and time of access for each password. As a result, you have more control over the access and distribution of documents, ensuring better security.
Improved Collaboration and Distribution: In some offices, certain documents are shared internally and also externally. When you have paper documents, you will not be able to control distribution of the documents, so any and everyone could gain access to them. However, by opting of document scanning, you can reduce the cost of distributing and also ensure that distribution occurs correctly. This will help to streamline your distribution system in the office and ensure better collaboration with the parties involved.
The Bottom Line
There is no doubt that document scanning can help different departments and business units of an organization. However, it is important to identify your objectives and then list down tangible benefits for each department or business unit. If your objectives are clear, you should not have problems highlighting the advantages. And, once the advantages are clear, you will automatically realise that digitizing your documents will help improve your internal business processes, get quicker return on investment, improve customer satisfaction, have better customer retention and perhaps gain competitive advantage over your competitors.
Article by Kushal Mevada