Time for a Technology Audit
When did you last perform a technology audit of all areas of your business and business processes? This is a simple check to monitor how you’re keeping up to date with technology. It assesses the opportunities digital transformation has brought and can bring to your organization. If you’re not keeping up with ever-changing technology, then your company is at risk of falling behind, if it hasn’t already.
Surprisingly, despite the digital world that we all live in, many aspects of business are still mired in paper. Many businesses fail to eliminate paper simply because it’s a comfortable, familiar, and a seemingly quick way to get things done. Unfortunately, when it comes to organizational efficiency and business competitiveness the tradition of paper documents comes at a price. Typically, companies that rely on paper documents and paper-driven processes are weighed down while companies that embrace technology are free to grow and expand in ways unheard of even a few years ago. Businesses are no longer tethered to a physical office building, or geographic location. Technology has made it possible for businesses to exist anywhere; in home offices, on the road, in cafes, or even in cyber space.
This incredible change from bricks and mortar to mobile operation has transformed the way we conduct our business, service our customers and retain our employees. How do you take advantage of this digital transformation when you still rely on paper for all or part of your business processes? The plain and simple answer is that you don’t!
The Problems with Paper
Paper and paper-based processes are slow and inefficient compared to automated digital systems. It’s more difficult to capture data from physical documents and reports on paper-based processes are manual and slow to generate. Misfiling or misplacing physical documents wastes hours every week. Human error wastes even more time and frequently wastes dollars as well.
Let’s look at the numbers:
- The average cost of creating a paper document is $20 or more, while a digital document costs next to nothing
- 15% of paper documents are misplaced, with 7% of documents permanently
- The cost of searching for a misplaced document is $120
- The cost of recreating a lost document is $250 or more
- No per-document cost
- Documents can be securely accessed from anywhere, anytime and forms can be filled out from anywhere, and checked anytime
- Fixed, monthly fee for cloud Electronic Document Management
- Scalable expansion as needed
- Support automated processes and artificial intelligence
Research shows that nearly two thirds of office workers spend an hour every day searching for documents, which wastes time and money, and reduces productivity. This wasted time doesn’t include the amount of time it takes to print and file the paperwork either.
But an automated document management system allows users to quickly search for and find the document they need. And removing laborious tasks such as finding misplaced documents can improve employee satisfaction by giving employees more time to focus on their workload.
Going from Paper to Paperless and Beyond
Going digital is a demanding task for any business, so you should strive to make the process as simple and painless as possible for employees and customers. Professional scanning services know how to prepare documents for scanning and group like documents together for more efficient scanning. They also have high speed document scanning equipment with the most modern features in order to create the best image possible.
Depending upon the document type, they may capture identifying data manually or by using full text OCR. Experts in bulk document scanning have the experience to determine what is most efficient and what will provide the best result for you. Once the data are captured, they are electronically stored with your imaged documents using a secure software system that enables you to track, retrieve and manage all your documents from anyplace, anywhere, anytime.
Once you’ve moved to digital documents, setting up automated processes using “software bots” provides you with “digital workers” who can do many tasks, like automating processes and reducing or eliminating errors, while “artificial intelligence” can be “trained” to integrate software programs and analyze data, freeing human workers from time-consuming, repetitive tasks.
The Human Element in a Paperless Office
Once you go paperless and automate processes, your team will spend less time doing traditional paper-pushing office work and more time applying their analytical skills and knowledge of end-to-end processes to the software that ultimately conducts those manual processes.
As more companies adopt robotic process automation (RPA), and artificial intelligence (AI) office administrators and professionals are facing an inflection point: accept the change and learn the technology or risk losing professional relevance. Fortunately, most well-known ECM systems are geared to human use, so the adoption of the new technology is fairly straightforward.
About 53% of companies were using some form of RPA in 2017, and the technology could be almost universal by 2022, according to a Deloitte survey. Accounting is a field that is rapidly relying on new technologies with round 40% of transactional accounting work expected to be automated or eliminated by 2020, according to Accenture.
As an employer, you can successfully implement digital automation in partnership with the people whose jobs at a more short-sighted company might have been replaced by the technology. Your business and your employees can both thrive with the right digital transformation approach.