If you’re thinking about switching to a paperless office, then read these tips before implementing any new procedures or software.
Creating A Paper-LESS Office
Just because your office has used paper and filing cabinets since its inception, it doesn’t mean you have to keep operating that way. Instead of getting bogged down in inefficient methods of organization, it may be time to consider upgrading to other methods that can save you time and money, such as a digital document management system. By going paperless, businesses often can increase their bottom line and streamline workflow. Learn some of our crucial tips if you plan to convert to a paperless office.
Get management involved from the beginning.
While you and your fellow C-suite executives may have made this decision, it’s the mid-level managers who run each department that will drive the switch and train employees to stay on top of the new paperless office initiative. You’ll also need to be an example to those mid-level managers and demonstrate your commitment
to this change, as well as explain to them how this can help them do their jobs more effectively.
You may even want to consider giving out bonuses or some other type of employee incentive to departments that complete the switch both accurately and efficiently. Without employee buy-in, it will be more difficult to make it happen.
Find the right document management software for your company.
In order to go digital, you’ll need some form of document management software. This software acts as a digital filing cabinet for your organization, keeping all documents in one secure place. You’ll need to consider a few things when looking at document management systems, such as:
How will your remote employess access the system?
What level of copmliance does your organization need to adhere to?
What amount of security will you need to protect your digital data?
How can other software programs you use integrate with the system?
Will you need to capture electronic signatures?
Do you have to audit your documents?
While some companies may advertise their product as a document management system, the fact is that a true DMS will have all of these capabilities and more. A reputable DMS software will have all the tools needed to help you monitor compliance, set up secure access, and even customize each employee’s access to the system. So, for example, an employee working in sales likely would not need access to human resource documents. Content Central by Ademero is one of those systems that has all these capabilities.
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Set up your file organization before you start uploading documents.
Once you have your chosen document management software, you’ll want to create an organization for your filing system. It’s important that everyone who will be uploading documents has a clear picture of where they’re going and why. The accounts payable department will need a strong file organization
in order to keep track of invoices, payments, and any documents that they need to carry over to other software such as QuickBooks. Your human resources team has to keep certain employee information secure from others, and your legal team needs to follow certain compliance rules as well. So long as you have the organization set up beforehand, uploading of documents is likely to go much more seamlessly.
Communicate with your clients to tell them you’re going paperless.
If you serve a lot of clients, then you’ll want to inform them that your office is turning into a paperless office. They’ll need to know if there are any policy or procedure changes after the transition, and they also have the right to know how you are ensuring that their data is protected. For example, any medical practice needs to have a document management system in place that offers tools to help create a level of security that will shield patient data from the threat of security breaches. Your patients may be concerned about that, and you should inform them of your new system and keep communication a priority.
Measure your savings in time and money to ensure you’re getting a good ROI.
By switching to a paperless office, you can save thousands of dollars each year. But don’t just take someone else’s word for it. Make sure to measure the amount of time and money you’re saving once the system is fully in place and you’ve walked away from using paper all the time. You may find that you’re saving even more than you originally thought you would, giving you not only a good return on investment, but a great one.