5 things you need to get rid of paper

December 4th, 2014 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Document and Information Capture | Document Management

Going paperless isn't instant, – any decision-maker in the office that is considering this route should consider the tools necessary to do so beforehand. 

There a number of different systems and devices that you will need in order to rid your business of paper. If you don't know the difference between a flatbed scanner and a specialty scanner, or if you don't know the first thing about digital document storage, then you should take some time to think about how you're office will go paperless. The following is a list of 5 things you will need to go paperless:

1. A scanner
Some documents you can take care of with a flatbed scanner or a multi-function printer, but in an office it's likely you'll need something better, PC Mag explained. Specialty scanning hardware can make the whole conversion process much easier. For example, if you have a huge stack of business cards to scan, you're every day home scanner isn't going to do the job. You will need a scanner that has an efficient feed function and works quickly. Find a scanner that is specifically targeted toward people and businesses trying to go paperless.

2. Cloud storage
Document storage solutions are a must for businesses going paperless, and the cloud is one of the better ways to make sure your files are safe and easy to access, according to Business News Daily. Increasingly businesses are turning to cloud-based content management services in order to make sure their documents are stored in the best way possible. Find a service that ensures your files are always accessible. In addition, look for features such as automatic syncing, which updates file edits in real-time. Also make sure that the document storage solution that you choose has sharing tools that make it easy to collaborate with co-workers on documents. 

3. Email clients 
Provide customers with the option to switch off of paper-based transactions and only deal with your company via digital documents and email. Business 2 Community suggested a repeated and consistent message across all forms of communication with clients regarding a switch to email service. It's not enough to rely on a tiny link or button suggesting a switch to email communications. If your emails are getting low response rates, then consider redesigning your digital communication strategy in order to increase client engagement and get them to switch off of paper with you. 

4. Digital signatures
Digital signature products are also useful for getting rid of paper, one digital signature expert wrote on LinkedIn. Many industries require client signatures, which is a reason why they stick to paper. A digital signature service can change that. Emily Maxie explained that digital signature technology these days is much more secure than traditional signatures. Additionally, it's easy – with digital signature technology, a document can be signed from any device with internet connectivity. 

5. A recycling bin
Place recycling bins around the office in order to make sure the paper you're getting rid of leaves the office. Recycling at Work recommended carefully considering the number of bins you place around the office and where you put them. Make sure that the bins are set up near desks, high traffic areas and the lobby to ensure that they get used. Consider the size and type of container you use for each location as well. 

If you're considering a digital switch for your company, then think about the above four devices in order to ensure that going paperless is a smooth process. 

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