by Christopher Zybert | 4/1/15

It is generally understood by the business world that going paperless plays an integral role in reducing costs and improving services. However, it is important to note that becoming paperless should not be the main focus. Instead, the ultimate objective is to optimize processes – and eliminating paper is the first step in doing so. Companies of all sizes, across all industries, are beginning to realize the true potential that going paperless can provide.

(Note: This is the first in a series of blogs, and can be found here in its entirety as an article in the April issue of The Imaging Channel. The rest of the series will appear on this site).

In this six-part series, we will be providing you a detailed transition guide for any company considering a paperless future. Throughout this guide, we will be covering the entire process of going paperless – from understanding the benefits, to planning and executing your first document conversion project. We will include tips and best practices to help ensure your success as you look forward to implementing an Enterprise Content Management system and reaping the rewards.

Benefits of Going Paperless:

In an ongoing attempt to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and reduce environmental impact, companies are beginning to transform their operations to paperless processes.

While document management plays a large role in a paper-free workplace, there are plenty of reasons to go paperless beyond just eliminating your dependence on physical files. Whether you would like to make your documents more accessible, free up costly storage space, or streamline paper intensive processes, there are plenty of reasons to consider implementing a paperless business solution.

SECURITY

When it comes to managing your sensitive information, security should be top of mind. Depending on the document management software solution you choose, there are a wealth of security benefits to be found when going paperless. These security benefits can include:

·       User Level Security Controls

·       Password Protection

·       Account Lockouts

·       Session Timeouts

·       IP Address Limiting

·       Function Level Verification

·       Data Encryption

·       Disaster Protection

·       Disaster Recovery & Automated Backups

·       Audit Trails

REGULATORY COMPLAINCE & AUDITS

In today’s world of heavily regulated businesses, there is a pressing need for organizations to remain compliant and reduce friction when undergoing an audit. Not only is going paperless great for reducing costs, it is also fantastic for helping maintain regulatory compliances. From HIPAA to ISO, it is easier to minimize risk of litigation and stay compliant with a paperless filing system.

Regulation and audit related benefits can include:

·       Auditing Costs

·       Create, Manage and Destroy Documents

·       Monitor, manage, and Reduce Risks

·       Decrease Regulatory Response Time

Some common regulations that benefit from going paperless include:

·       Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX)

·       International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

·       Security & Exchange Commission (SEC)

·       Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA)

·       Department of Defense (DoD)

·       Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

POTENTIAL COST SAVINGS

Now for the most important set of benefits that accompany going paperless – cost savings. When evaluating your potential for return on investment, be sure to consider the following costs and how going paperless might alleviate them. 

·       Labor Costs

·       Cost of Paper

·       Space

·       Errors, Misfiling, Lost Documents, Fines, and Fees

OTHER BENEFITS

·       Improved Efficiency

·       Improved Customer Service

Now that you are aware of the benefits that going paperless can provide, you are ready to begin evaluating your current processes. Be sure to watch for our next installment of the Paperless Transitional Guide, in which we will discuss how to measure your current paper processes, organization, and policies.

 

Christopher Zybert is the marketing & media coordinator for New England Document Systems, a document scanning, storage, and workflow automation service provider based in Manchester, NH. With a background in social media management, inbound marketing, and search engine optimization, Zybert has married his passion for digital advertising and writing with his newfound knowledge of business process solutions and the document management industry.