The dream of the paper-free office has been around for decades, with many people believing it would be achieved with the rise of computers and other digital devices. But the transition to paper-free offices and organizations hasn’t been quite as smooth as people once predicted it would be.
The Association of Information and Image Management (AIIM) recently released a report on the status of paper-free progress in organizations. Although it appears some headway is being made, organizations still have a long way to go to achieve their paper-free goals. For instance, only 17% of survey respondents said they work in a paper-free office, and 31% reported that their offices are piled with paper documents and processes.
For those who have implemented paper-free processes, the return on investment has been promising: 84% of respondents said they achieved a payback from their paper-free projects in less than 18 months. The biggest benefits from establishing these paper-free processes were faster customer response, productivity and compliance, and better monitoring of workflow.
With such positive reports on the ROI created by reducing paper processes, why aren’t more organizations hopping on board?
According to the report, 49% of those surveyed said lack of management initiatives was the major barrier to paper reduction in their business, and 39% cited a lack of understanding of paper-free options as the culprit.
Although paper-free progress isn’t perfect, it’s important to remember that it’s a process that can span over several years. The figures on ROI are an encouragement for organizations striving to reduce their paper processes and become more efficient. Here are a few of our recommendations for successfully making strides toward a paperless office:
- Start in one or two departments and scale up. Trying to tackle multiple areas of your organization at once can be overwhelming and might end up hurting your end goal. If you can successfully transform the processes of one or two departments and show a good ROI for your efforts, there’s a good chance other departments will want to get on board. And with a document capture solution from PSIGEN, you can easily scale up or down depending on your organization’s needs, without spending money on any features or licensing you don’t currently need.
- Don’t implement a document management solution without capture. As beneficial as ECM systems are, they don’t offer the essential scanning and capture functions that are necessary for workflow automation and, ultimately, the reduction of paper in the organization. Document capture is the key to getting the most out of your document management investment.
- Thoroughly vet the solution for adoptability and ease of use. Aside from helping your office reduce paper, a good document management solution should make your organization’s processes easier and more cost-effective. The solution should help improve productivity, meaning it shouldn’t be tedious to use. A complicated, laborious system will discourage user adoption and will probably have a negative effect on your overall results.
Want to learn more about reducing your paper processes and increasing efficiency in your organization? Contact a PSIGEN sales representative today or check out more of our blog posts on business process improvement.