For years the use of paper documents and filing cabinets have been the most common way for businesses to store information. As we continue to delve into the digital era it has become more apparent that paper processes are not only expensive, but inefficient. Everyday more companies are making the decision to transition to a paperless environment. Are you ready to transform your business from paper based to digitally focused? Transitioning to a paperless office is no small task, and you’re probably wondering what you’ll need and where to start. We’ll discuss some of the simple ways your company can effectively reduce reliance on paper usage by implementing technology and managed print services.

 

Where Are Paper Based Business Processes Costing You

  • Choosing fax over email
  • Printing emails
  • Printing presentations
  • Note-pads
  • Storage
  • Time searching for proper documents

 

Where Technology Can Eliminate Paper Usage

  • Multifunction Device

Your printers and multifunction devices are the main source of a lot of paper documents. Don’t worry though, it’s not time to throw the machine out just because you want to go paperless. Instead it’s time to start using the full capabilities your multifunction printer offers. The first recommendation would be to implement strict usage rules, for example you can set the devices to default print double sided. Secondly, use your multifunction device to digitize your important documents. The Xerox AltaLink and VersaLink MFP’s offer the ability to use applications that can turn your physical documents into digital with optical character recognition (OCR) or audio. You can even find applications that connect to other software you use every day such as Salesforce, Blackboard, or DocuSign. With these apps at the touch of a button on your MFP you’ll reduce the number of documents you actually need printed because you’ll have easier access to them digitally. You can also gain back valuable time during the day that would be used to organize, find, and retrieve a paper document.

  • Digital Storage

This is where document management software is going to come into play. There is a multitude of document management systems you can choose from, but the results will be the same. You will transform your printed documents into digital files. Using a cloud-based document management system will allow access to documents whenever and wherever. Digitizing paper files with a DMS will not only help reduce your business’ paper usage but it can also lead to office workers being more efficient.

  • Meetings

Meetings can be an enormous time consumer for most employees, what makes them worse is when piles of important documents are brought to the meeting. Finding digital meeting tools to help facilitate meeting agendas, notes, and in meeting document discussions will help not only reduce your office paper usage but also help drive more efficient meetings. The use of digital meeting tools will also facilitate an additional benefit of office workers switching to digital note taking tools. It’s common to see your employees carrying around a notepad or shuffling through loose note papers at their desk, this can add a huge load of unnecessary paper usage. There are a lot of options for notepad applications, and Xerox offers a note converter app so you can digitize all of your teams’ old notes too. The key to implementation here is explaining to your employees how they can use this new digital platform of note taking in conjunction with other applications and resources. Allowing them to share, upload and make notes collaboratively will help to provide the team with transparency.

 

Steps to Transitioning to Paperless

Now that it’s clear where in your organization a large supply of paper is being used and what technically can be used to reduce paper consumption, we’ll share 5 easy steps to transition to a paperless office. 

  1. You’ve made the decision to go paperless – now you’ll need to use data that shows proven benefits to get all employees onboard and excited
  2. Get organized – going paperless is about both digitizing old documents moving forward with less paper usage, before you can start scanning your documents you need to do the work of getting them organized 
  3. Moving forward – now that your old documents are digital, you need to implement your guidelines for paper usage, new software, and training (it’s considered a best practice to perform this step with one department or small group to start)
  4. Tell your clients and partners about your new digital approach and make sure to address any potential security concerns as well as let them know the benefits they can expect to receive 
  5. Enjoy the results

For both large and small businesses going paperless may seem like a scary process, but once it’s in motion it is much easier to stay paperless. The benefits you’ll begin to see around the office space with savings in time and costs, along with an increase in document security there will be no question why you made the transition.