Optimizing Paper Processes with Digital Documents
It’s surprising in the Digital Age how many organizations and businesses continue to rely on traditional paper filing practices. Many receipts, forms, and invoices are dominated by hard copy, and that often incentivizes businesses to steer towards hanging onto these clunky traditions despite their inefficiencies. However, it’s surprisingly easy to take a paper filing system and convert it into a much more efficient digital one. Saying goodbye to your paper processes will improve productivity, as well as provide numerous other benefits. Understanding how and why to make the change can demystify the process and make it easier to pull the trigger.
Digital Document Management
At the heart of all modern filing systems is the concept of digital document management. It comes in many shapes and sizes, but the essence of this solution is that all critical documentation is digitized and stored electronically. It’s an essential step to going paperless, but even companies that don’t have that ambition cannot hope to compete without investing in document management. The advantages of eliminating paper have been tracked for decades. Digital documents are more accessible and easier to follow, they lower the burden on physical resources like space and cost, they save substantial amounts of time, and they open the door to powerful analytics. There isn’t a strong argument against digital documentation at this point. The only thing holding back organizations on the fence about making the switch is the cost of implementation. However, is this a valid concern?
Cost concerns are reasonable for some businesses, because of the various document capture techniques available. They range in scope as much as the businesses that use them. Many people visualize document capture devices as massive office machines that can scan, digitize, and organize files for you. Those are perfectly acceptable, but modern technology affords far more options than just large machinery. Document capture can be as simple as a smartphone app that can rapidly scan files and convert them to any preferred format. Based on the size of your company and its needs, implementing digital document management does not have to include a massive up-front expense.
More importantly, the switch to digital is mostly a matter of planning. For some businesses, it makes sense to bite the bullet at the start and get everything digitized at once. For many others, the conversion is best made in stages. Documents can be converted methodically, one filing cabinet at a time. If the planning is sufficient, each step towards digitization will incrementally improve convenience and efficiency in all aspects of document management.
Of course, many businesses already have digital documentation in place. Their struggles are inverted: they still require paper at some stages. When looking at this concept from the reverse direction, the emphasis is on smart printing or output management. Resources like PaperCut MF provide robust solutions to common printing issues. Intelligent print management allows a wide range of devices and formats to share centralized printing stations efficiently. The management software can be customized to support individual business initiatives and prevent printing projects from undermining goals. If you want to be green, print management is imperative. If you want better security, the same holds true.
What we’ve listed here is only the beginning—there are too many ways to approach digital documentation to list here. Some of the solutions we offer to help transform your paper processes include Process Matters, Web Form, Nuance Equitrac, PaperCut MF, and Objectif Lune Planet Press. If you would like to know more about any of these or others we haven’t listed, contact All Copy Products today to facilitate that conversation.