The Benefits of Going Paperless and How To Get Started
Businesses that want to go paperless must figure out an electronic document management method. One lingering question is what to do with all the information that's currently in paper form. A great place to start is to scan documents and convert them into PDF files. If saved correctly, these files are easy to find and work with later. You can also use a PDF file merger to keep all the important documents in one place. With handwritten information, it may still be possible to extract information from PDF documents using optical character recognition (OCR) technology.
Benefits of Going Paperless
Perhaps the biggest benefit of paperless operations is that it forces your organization to come up with an efficient document management strategy. Your business has to develop a taxonomy for its documents so that they're in the correct folder for easy retrieval. Organized electronic storage saves you time during performance evaluations and financial audits.
Your business can save a lot of money by eliminating the need for printing. U.S. companies spend north of $120 billion each year on paper. Most of these documents have no use beyond 3 months. If your business goes paperless, it can delete information that’s no longer useful to avoid racking up unnecessary storage costs. There's also the added benefit of realizing that the organization is doing its part to reduce deforestation.
A major advantage of cloud storage solution providers is the bank-level security they offer. It’s possible to set accessibility limits on documents, including passwords, when sending confidential documents via email. A paperless system is far much more secure than keeping files in cabinets where they're prone to theft and damage by fire or water.
Lastly, electronic document storage unlocks collaboration possibilities for an organization. It’s easier for a team to work on a single document while in different locations. In fact, with some cloud storage solutions, it is possible to store multiple versions of the document as it goes through several editing sessions.
Getting Started With Paperless Operations
There are several tips you can implement in your business to nudge your workforce toward a paperless era.
Introduce paperless meetings. Request staff to bring digital tools to take notes and make presentations. The team should record the main takeaways from meetings and share them electronically.
Pick a cloud storage and backup solution. It should fit your collaboration and accessibility needs and have a suitable pricing model. All resources that employees need for their work should be available on the cloud, including the company profile, training manuals, newsletters, and memos.
Embrace an e-signature solution that integrates smoothly with your cloud storage. This eliminates the need to print and move documents between offices for approval. It sends the clearest signal yet to employees that your organization is indeed serious about a paperless operation.
Be Bold About Going Paperless
Going paperless not only helps streamline your operations, but it saves your organization money. If you implement them boldly, these tips can put your business on track to a fully paperless operation.
To learn more about paperless business, visit your local chamber of commerce to join a network of fellow business people and discover what the chamber does to support local business.
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