Going paperless may be the ultimate goal, but even today, it is really and truly possible? Depending on the type of business you are in, there may be some obstacles to surmount before completely ditching the printer. However, with new advances in technology and applications that make obtaining digital signatures and securing confidential documents easier than ever before, it is very possible, and even probable, that we are all headed towards that inevitability.
Mobile has already facilitated a major disruption in the way we work, and the rise of the mobile office is a major predictor of the paperless movement. If everybody was working remotely, why would we need office space at all? to house your paper files? Sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?
Some of the benefits of going paperless include:
- No need to store files onsite – space can be reallocated to something more productive
- No lost files anymore due to misfiling or misappropriation
- More secure file storage through encryption and password access – better than a locked cabinet in a room anybody can access!
- Let your administrative staff do more important things than create, file and manage paper files
- Save trees, save the planet, more oxygen to breathe
What do we need paper for anyway?
Obsolete? Sure, you may still receive faxes, but they are mostly just advertising you don’t want anyway. Scanners edged out fax machines ages ago, and it’s likely that with no paper to scan, pretty soon they won’t be much use either.
Useful things, contracts. But for the most part, they can all be stored and accessed and stored digitally. Even lawyers, who are notorious tree-killers, are beginning to do away with paper contracts. Many law firms are virtual now, anyway, and depend on digital signatures and cloud storage for all of their contractual needs. This gives them and their clients’ greater flexibility in accessing documents, and reduces the need for terrestrial file storage – something that before would fill several file cabinets and take an entire administrative staff to manage. No more lost documents, no more filing … the amount of money they are able to save could easily translate to lower cost to the client (but it probably won’t).
Yes, those bills and receipts keep coming. But this one’s easy: ask for paperless bills and receive your statements via email. Most utilities and services already offer this option, and many will give you a bonus simply for switching over. Receipts are hard to escape, especially if you need them for reimbursement. However, there are apps that allow you to scan receipts with your smartphone and will automatically categorize them for you, saving you a lot of time and eye strain when it comes time to submit.
Business cards may never completely go away, but there are apps that help you organize them and will even add them to your CRM so that you don’t have to input a thing. Simply connect the app to your CRM, scan with your smartphone and there it is.
Tips to help you get started going paperless
Scan everything you think you need to keep
Many scanners can be connected to file storage apps, CRMs, Office 365, One Drive, and other productivity apps like Evernote, so your vital information can be sent exactly to where it’s supposed to be without a lot of fuss. Scannable is an extension of Evernote that helps you do all that.
Digital signatures and digital form fill
DocuSign is an app that allows you to pull in documents to sign digitally, and then send them on to wherever they need to be. Adobe Fill & Sign is an extension of Adobe Acrobat and does the same for both forms and documents that require a signature. Install the app, and either task can be done easily from your tablet or smartphone.
Get started with Office 365
Microsoft Office 365 enables your entire network to create, share and collaborate on files in the cloud, so passing paper back and forth is largely unnecessary.
If going paperless in 2017 isn’t a part of your strategy, it ought to be. The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages, and if you’re looking to work smarter, be leaner and greener going forward, going paperless is something you should plan to do. If your Melbourne or Sydney business is ready to go paperless, call Greenlight-ITC today. Our technicians can help you get you on your way to a paperless future.