Are You Drowning In Paper and Losing Documents?

Many organizations are struggling with paperwork issues. Whether you are manufacturing toys or engineering skyscrapers, I can guarantee that there is paper involved in your processes. Paper is one thing that all companies typically have in common.

If your office is like most others, the thought of clearing out the clutter is probably a daunting task. The amount of paper that we use today is incredible. Documents, invoices, receipts, credit card statements, and expense forms can add up to thousands or millions of pieces of paper, an actual paper overload.

Storage (and management) can get very expensive to manage, regardless of whether you use filing cabinets, drawers or boxes. It’s also unsafe to store your documents in paper forms since they could fall victim to natural disaster or misplacement. Plus, they definitely slow down any business process. Those rows and rows of filing cabinets are taking up your valuable office space and not doing you much good.

So, in the spirit of setting resolutions for the new year, how about pledging to reduce and redefine your company’s paper processes?

If you answer “yes” to these questions …

?   I save everything.

?   I am drowning in a sea of information.

?  I am challenged with ensuring that my records are purged according to our retention schedules.

Changing the way we do things always starts with educating ourselves and changing our mindset. If you’re trying to reduce paper consumption and storage, start by addressing specific areas where most of the paper is used. Once you identify what processes are the most paper heavy, you can plan alternatives. This is where technology comes in and, with enterprise content management (ECM) solutions, you can revolutionize how your organization operates.

Now that we covered some of the challenges of storing your paper, let’s focus on some challenges of managing it all. Perhaps you’ve lost an important document, receipt or file. It happens. You search for it, retrace your steps and, as a last resort, try to recreate it. The chance of human error is always present when you’re dealing with paper.

However, did you know that you can run the risk of losing digital files? This scenario is possible if you don’t have a content management system or program where you can centrally store all of your content.

Have you heard these before?

?   I can’t easily find all the content I need when I want it.

?   I need to be able to respond to requests quickly.

?   My staff needs fingertip access to all relevant documents to keep them efficient and productive.

?   I am tired of manually determining where records are in my business.

?   I need a better way to classify my documents during the scanning process.

Think back to how much time you’ve spent searching for a document in your filing cabinets or attempting to get a new copy of the document you couldn’t find. It can add up to a significant cost to your organization. There must be a better way to manage your documents and information, right? There’s always room for improvement. We shouldn’t be limited to outdated business processes just because that’s the way you’ve always done it.

The solution is ECM. Never lose another document or waste time searching for a file. With an ECM solution, you’ll be able to store documents in one central location and grant access only to the people who need it. This improves both the time it takes to track down your document and the security of your information. Instead of slow turnaround times to find wanted documents, you can pull up any document or piece of information by doing a simple search and retrieval in your ECM system.

The benefits of a content management solution include increased efficiency and cost savings from using less paper and consumables. This will pay for the solution itself rather quickly.

It’s a win-win situation both for the environment and for your business.

Joanne Novak is a program manager at Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. and is responsible for program development with the company’s Business Intelligence groups, including the Intelligent Information Management (IIM) practice. Her responsibilities are to build sales and customer-facing educational and thought leadership insights as well as strategic initiatives for IIM.