Looking to take your company paperless? We can help! Give us a call and we can provide some great resources and advice to help you make this transition. Going paperless can make your organization more secure protecting against confidential information leaks, more efficient, given more tasks can be completed on mobile devices with a paperless system and more environmentally friendly. Below are 7 tips to keep in mind as you look take your company paperless.
1. Implement A Culture & Execute Training That Encourages Scanning Everything
A key component to making a successful transition to being a paperless office is to ensure you don’t lose any of the information or documents that are critical to the operation of your business. Instead, you will want to get those documents scanned and filed for future reference. To get employees in the habit of scanning any documents they receive from outside or internal sources requires two key components: training and company culture.
For training, make sure that every training process your employees go through stresses the paperless approach. For culture, you will both need to ensure your upper management lead by example by scanning all documents, and that upper management makes a priority of commending those who consistently scan documents. A great idea is to acknowledge and reward the person that does the most scanning in a given month.
“We needed to purge old documents from our office. Lenny and Victor showed up when they said they would and were EXCELLENT in the service they provided. They took care of everything including helping us tear down some of the boxes after the documents were shredded.”
2. Embrace Electronic Signatures
Documents that require signatures create paper. Unless of course you can use electronic signatures. This is why it is critical you embrace electronic signatures if you are looking to go paperless. There are multiple ways to do this. You can have employees scan their signature as images to attach or insert that into any documents that need it. Programs like Adobe Reader let you sign PDF documents with your finger on a touchpad, and there are apps such as SignNow and SignEasy that let you do the same thing with your smartphone or tablet.
3. Implement Paperless Billing
The more online billing you do, the less it will cost your company. Every time you send a paper bill there is not only the printing cost but also the postage and the cost of the envelope. In addition, sending your invoices electronically allows you to get the invoice to your customer faster, and as a result, you will get paid faster. In addition, most banks offer paperless payment options to remove your customers or your needs to print physical cheques. For both invoices and receipts, you can simply email your customers digital PDF files or use electronic billing software. This will also help to reduce the amount and costs of paper shredding of invoices and receipts your company will need to do.
4. Reward Good Behavior, Limit Unwanted Behavior
If you want your employees to go paperless you need to reward those that do in fact go paperless and limit actions that do not line up with your paperless approach. To reward employees, you can give the recognition in front of co-workers, give prizes for being paperless or grant special office perks.
To limit unwanted behavior, do things such as removing faxing machines from the office, requiring a passcode to print, program the printers to only print a certain number of pages per day, and issue printing passes each month to each department and once they use up their printing passes they either can’t print more documents or need to trade for some from other departments. These are just some ideas, but be creative coming up with ideas to limit and put up obstacles to unwanted behavior.
5. Get Employees To Take Digital Notes
Another major source of paper is taking paper notes. With the range of note-taking apps available, there is not really a need for any employee to use paper notes. The electronic apps are always better at organizing and ensuring that notes do not get lost, so it should be easy to convince employees to use them. All you should have to do is make them aware of what app they are to use and explain the benefits of the app over paper notes, making sure to show them the features of the app. EverNote, Google Keep, Simple Note, and Microsoft OneNote are probably the most common note apps, but we would recommend you search for a few options and pick the one that will work best for your organization’s needs.
6. Invest In A File Document Management Solution That Has File Sharing
In order to run efficiently once you are paperless you will need a place to store and a system to organize all of your company’s documents. If employee’s can’t easily find the documents they scan or the documents they need, they will revert back to a paper system. On the other hand, if you can make it so that the new paperless system saves them time, makes it easier for them to find documents and allows them to get more done in less time they will be eager to jump on board.
We would recommend looking at a bunch of options to determine what solution is the best for your organization. There are really two ways to go about things. One is to create your own organizing system using document sharing platforms like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Drive, CertainSafe and Hightail. The other is to use a document management software suite such as M-files, eFileCabinet, Paperport Pro or PinPoint to name a few.
7. Set Up Fax To Email, Work To Eliminate Fax
Many companies still rely on faxes, and receiving faxes creates paper. Most printers today have the ability to be set up to send incoming faxes to PDFs and email them to recipients. In addition online fax services such as eFax, Fax Zero and MyFax, allow you to send and receive paperless faxes, should allow you to completely remove the need for any paper faxes.