Friday, June 5, 2009

Are Your Filing Cabinets Dangerous?

The first time I read about the concept of the “paperless office” I thought it was a brilliant idea that would revolutionize the way we all do business. Yet despite the obvious logic of the idea, I don’t know of any office that is truly paperless; as a matter of fact, most are just the opposite, swimming in piles of paper documents.
Maybe it’s because most people haven’t figured out how to go truly paperless. Or maybe we simply have some deep-rooted human need to touch the documents we use.

Whatever the reason, these enormous piles of paper that never get filed, get lost or waste hours of our time moving, sifting, sorting and searching through them adds up to a BIG cost that can be hard to measure.

If you are suffering from ‘paper overload,’ maybe it’s time you considered moving some portion of your paper contracts and files to a paperless document imaging solution. The costs of installing such a system have dropped dramatically over time, and often the hard costs can be easily recouped in a few short months. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider going paperless:

Reduce clutter & office space taken up by filing cabinets
Once you get the staff into the habit of scanning documents upon receiving them, you can avoid the endless piles of paper around the office and (eventually) get rid of big, bulky filing cabinets that take up space.

Save time filing and searching for documents
An entire universe of documents can be searched in seconds using simple search criteria, such as a word or number in a document. This means less time wasted in searching through paper files, your office is far more efficient and organized, and you’ll be able to respond to customer requests, orders, or questions much faster.

Reduce or eliminate missing documents
Scanning and filing of documents get them to the right place with few exceptions; that means critical contracts, order forms and files will have much less a chance of getting lost or misplaced.

Faster, surefire recovery after physical disaster
Electronic documents backed up electronically can be reprinted and saved; documents lost to fire, water damage, coffee spills, tears or other physical damage can’t ever be recovered.

You can also streamline business processes by adding process flow tags to new, inbound documents. For instance, you could add a “Current Review Status” field, electronic routing list, or even a “Document Expiration Date” field to a document – items that are often managed with yellow sticky notes or small routing slips.

A document management solution is something that every business should at least look into, especially if you’re still receiving a lot of paper. Call Jeff at (916) 984-6243, x5 if you’d like to discuss how you could benefit from a Virtual Filing System and learn the various options available for your business.