Drive Growth by Reducing Paper, Streamlining Processes
New customers, daily transactions and skilled employees are the life-blood of your company. But, when these get bogged down in paper-based processes, your company is at risk to lose out to the competition. If you want to drive growth and maintain a competitive stance in your market, then you must stay abreast of current technology and best business practices.
Back in 2014, an article in Wired Magazine stated that, “organizations with an effective system in place to manage their information — whether in the cloud or in on-premise systems — operate at a vastly superior level of efficiency compared to those that still rely on an approach that harkens back to the days of physical file cabinets and traditional network folders.”
This is as true in 2016 as it was when it was written.
Moreover, the article acknowledges that despite a 30-year push for paperless offices, “most organizations will never truly go paperless, or at least not any time soon.”
Still true in 2016.
We agree that the totally paperless office, while sounding great in principle, is not likely to be achieved in reality. There’s always going to be the need for some paper. That’s why, like Wired, we endorse the concept of “paper-lite,” rather than 100% paperless. What, exactly, do we mean by paper-lite?
The “Paper-Lite” Office
The very achievable goals of a paper-lite office are to:
- Eliminate over-reliance on paper for information management
- Facilitate faster access to documents
- Help employees work smarter and more efficiently
- Enable companies to make better decisions
- Enable companies to be more responsive
- Enable companies to better serve their customers
By combining reliable Cloud technologies with process optimization strategies, a paper-lite company is able to drive more growth, reduce costs, maintain a sustainable competitive advantage, and also have a positive effect on the environment.
What Your Company Can Achieve by Going Paper-Lite
When processes are bogged down with paper, there is a constant drain on your people’s time and your organization’s resources. This drain can negatively impact cash flow, employee job satisfaction, and customer satisfaction. Unhappy employees and unhappy customers are likely to go elsewhere looking for a better experience, increasing the negative impact on cash flow. A negative spiral like this can have agonizing results on a previously successful company.
But, by pro-actively streamlining your most paper-laden processes, you don’t have to succumb to a negative spiral.
How to Go Paper-Lite
While you might be tempted to try an internal paper reduction program, it’s been our experience that, for most companies, it’s not a successful venture. Unless document scanning and optimizing business processes is your core business, you’re better off leaving this to the experts. You’ll save time and money in the long run.
Usually, the most economical, efficient way to get started is to request a proposal from various outsource services who specialize in document scanning and business process optimization. Be prepared to spend some time talking to them about the way you do things now and the areas where you’d most like to see improvement. By getting several different proposals, you’ll end up with a choice of solutions and an idea of the cost for each, as well as the ROI.
Your goal should be to find an outsource that has the tools and the know-how to streamline, digitize and automate in order to take the paper out of the process and make the information more useful. Most likely you will want to focus initially on one of these areas for the best ROI:
- Optimize new sales account openings to accelerate cash flow
- Enhance the customer experience at critical touch points to retain and grow relationships
- Reduce transaction costs and increase accuracy and efficiency in accounts payable activities
- Simplify, standardize and centralize employee on-boarding
- Ensure environmental responsibility for you and your customers
Reducing paper and streamlining processes doesn’t have to be difficult or costly and can produce enormous ROI when done right.