Coordinated Business Systems Blog

Fighting a Losing Battle With Paper -- Is This You?

Have you ever heard of document management or the “paperless” office? 

As we talk to our existing customers – as well as potential new ones – we are often surprised at how often smaller offices have given up on the struggle with using paper.

The world is increasingly digital and online, but you wouldn't know it from a look around offices with paper files stacked on desktops and stuffed filing cabinets.

There's a myth that document management software is a budget-buster for SMBs.

DM, combined with workflow and document capture tools (and your copier), enable businesses of every size to shrink their use of paper and streamlining various business processes.

The ROI for this technology is proven.

The rest of this post is mostly a bunch of questions. As you read through, if anything makes you nod your head in agreement or wince in annoyance, there's a solution for you.

Has This Happened to You?

You have physical, paper documents all over your office with no way to control versions – so sometimes time is wasted working on out-of-date versions of documents. 

You need to be compliant with various regulations, but there's no controlled business process to ensure that workers are in compliance (signing off on new safety regulations, for example) or that documents are safely stored according to compliance regulations.

Everyone wastes time walking to and from a central file room to retrieve documents.

You have document management, but you have multiple repositories and they don't like to talk to each other. 

You accounts payable and receivables are entirely manual – and you're getting tired of licking stamps.

There's no naming consistency for documents in the case of lawsuit or legal issues.

Files are misfiled and lost – leading to fines or recreation of work.

Have You Considered Document Management?

If you have considered DM, what do you want to accomplish?

  • Do you have any return on investment considerations in mind?
  • Do you want to improve a business process (reduce errors, speed it up)?
  • Which departments are candidates for using DM? Or are you considering a roll-out for the entire company?
  • Do you have many documents stored digitally? Are they used in business or approval processes?

Think About Your Documents and Processes

I want you to think about how various documents flow (or don't!) through your business.

Do you have remote workers? Can they access information from wherever they are (securely)? How much more productive would they be if they could?

  • When a customer calls, can you answer their question quickly on the phone? Do you have to call back? How long does it take to get them an answer?
  • How long do you have to keep documents?
  • Do you scan? Why?
  •  How often (if ever) have critical documents been lost or misplaced in your office? What were the consequences?
  • Can you find the documents and information you need when you need it?
  • How do you process standard human resource requests like leave requests?
  • Do business processes slow to a crawl when employees are on vacation or unexpectedly out for a sick day?
  • What one piece of paper would you get rid of?
  • Do you have to use storage company like Iron Mountain to store your paper documents? How much does that cost? How much do you spend to retrieve documents each year? Have you ever missed a deadline because it took too long to access a box stored off-site?
  •  How much is convenience worth to you? How much is your (and your co-workers' or employees' time) worth?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that many of the answers to these questions have left you feeling aggravated, frustrated, or like you're missing out. 

Document management is a way to quickly improve your business processes. Don't delay.

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