Most organizations are attempting to go paperless. Filing and storing documents and looking for the information you need in a paper-based system is extremely tedious and a waste of time and money. Converting documents to electronic format lowers administrative cost and boosts productivity. Creating a paperless system is important for staying current and competitive in the dynamic business world. However, before you embark on the transition process, having a well thought-out plan on how to go about achieving a paperless office is important.
Going Paperless – Decisions to Make
The first step is to decide on the type of file structure and how it will be organized. Conducting brainstorming sessions with representatives of each department can help determine the right type of file structure. During the session, consider the following:
- The types of documents you have currently in your filing system
- Which documents should be stored electronically
- Which documents need to be accessed often
- What internal documents should be stored in electronic format
- Fixing a schedule for the digitization process
Operational Level Planning
Organizational: The role of each employee should be properly defined before considering a paperless office. It is important to determine who will be responsible for who will scan and index documents, who will maintain the file structure, and who will train other staff members in managing documents.
Hardware and Software: When implementing a paperless environment, businesses should consider the hardware and software required to accomplish the task. In terms of hardware needs, factors such as storage space requirements, scanning needs, and type and number of scanners and other equipment required should be considered. In terms of software, they would have to consider the type of OCR software they need.
Data Security: Ensuring the security of data or documents is a prime consideration when going digital. Security measures such as routers, firewalls, password protection and antivirus software are necessary to prevent unauthorized access or accidental modification or destruction of documents.
It is advisable to implement your paper-to-digital conversion project on a departmental basis though professional service providers can also provide excellent enterprise-wide solutions.