The Castle Analogy: Core Strategy for a Paperless Office
Build Your Moat and Drawbridge: Document Capture, Digital Forms and Workflow
When you look at the medieval castle, it had all the protective measures to insure the occupants were protected from outside threats. In our modern office, the threat is to efficiency and productivity, especially when examining the flow of paper both in and out. A core strategy is to surround your organization with a virtual moat, that allows no paper to cross. Below outlines the use of 3 technologies to help with the goal of the paperless office.
Document Capture and Scanning – Today, it is almost impossible to forbid inbound paper. Whether it is a small business sending paper invoices, a law firm that sends a FedEx package of contracts or a paper bill of lading for a shipment, paper will still exist for most organizations at some level. The goal here is to create that virtual moat, across which “none shall pass”. This can be your mail room, with a core policy of digitizing any paper for distribution within the organization.
Digital Forms – Forms technology can insure minimal creation of paper, through the use of a “born digital” mindset. Want to request vacation? Fill out a digital form. HR new hire paperwork? Go to the new hire portal and fill out the required electronic forms. This technology can help eliminate new paper creation internally, and can be expanded for external paperwork as well, reducing the need for scanning and document capture.
Workflow Software – workflow provides the ability to fully digitize any work process, and can integrate with both electronic forms and document capture. This provides a powerful multiplier effect, letting you combine the advantages of all technologies, and enhancing your efficiency and productivity to a whole new level. Documents and work can now be digitally routed both internally and externally.
These three technologies can be implemented in stages, one by one to start the improvement process, and begin the elimination of the paper threat. Thoughts?