Steps for a Seamless Transition to Paperless

You’ll read in our blog about best practices, practical solutions and how to choose the right service provider for going paperless.  With new technologies, software and nearly every data management provider claiming to have the best solution, many businesses are anxious to jump right in.  However, doing so without a clear picture of the process that lies ahead can be dangerous.

ILM always encourages clients to realistically envision their company as a paperless environment, from inception to completion, and carefully plan goals and milestones for along the way. It’s important to understand the paperless transition as a process, not a one-and-done service.  The conversion over to a paperless, or rather less paper-consuming, affects day-to-day business operations.  As with any big business change, consider the process as a whole, not just the end result.

There is a commitment that comes with deciding to go paperless.  ILM supports our clients by carefully assessing their current business model, evaluating how the transition will affect processes and communicating the disadvantages and advantages.  Here are a few of the key points we help clients uncover in the beginning stages of their transition to paperless…

  • Identify how and where paper is causing your business the most pain.  Looking at the paper path and document lifecycle will reveal some of these challenges.  Ask yourself if any of the following factors is lacking or represents a waste of valuable time…looking for documents, sharing documents, on-site physical storage, compliance with industry regulations.  These components are the foundation for establishing how paper use negatively affects your bottom line.
  • Determine the most paper-centric processes within your business model. Most paper documents are generated from email, fax or within the company. These are high volume paper processes. From here, analyze how the paper use in these processes can be eliminated.  Document management solutions encourage anything on paper to be immediately scanned, with the paper version archived or discarded.    This way, when a specific document is revisited all future edits are on the electronic version.
  • Document how your current filing process works.  Yes, that’s right; document it on paper, to get a clear image of how your system carries out. This filing sequence and workflow will be the basis for devising a paperless strategy.  The benefit of this step?  Users will already be somewhat familiar with the framework of the new system because it reflects existing methods.
  • Create a prioritized list of must-haves.  Here are some examples of priorities…Quickly search and retrieve, review, edit and approve, control security, regulate compliance, and sharing inside and outside of the company.  Think carefully about what features you want from the new system.  ILM’s team will establish the most efficient ways to implement these needs.

Contact ILM today to get started with our free, no obligation trial.

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