As companies in a variety of sectors see the cost saving benefits of going paperless, more government agencies are also adopting electronic document management solutions so that money can be better allocated toward more useful operations, such as marketing campaigns or product innovation.
San Jose Mercury News reported that the Contra Costa, Calif. county board of supervisors passed a resolution to move toward a paperless system of document management in 2007. Since then, the county has made significant strides in reducing paper use for birth records, marriage and death certificates, business permits, building inspections and health histories. The source revealed that previously, copiers made duplicates of records to distribute them throughout the county's offices. Now, even staff agendas and minutes are being exchanged electronically. Board of Supervisors' meeting packets, which could be as long as 1,500 printed pages, can now be viewed from an iPad. As a result of the transition, San Jose Mercury News noted that the county saves $35,000 on those packets alone.
More productive staff
Reducing paper not only saves money, but it also drives efficiency. For example, as Clerk of the Board staff no longer has to spend hours compiling the meeting binders for supervisors and other officials, these workers can concentrate on other responsibilities/duties, such as ensuring the accuracy of information.
Another long-term advantage of these sustainable practices, the San Jose Mercury News explained, is that going paperless opens up new opportunities to see if digitization can be applied to other operations. The source noted that building inspectors can now file reports from the field, the Sheriff's deputies don't have to travel to headquarters to use a desk computer and customers can download applications from the Internet for a variety of procedures.
Bank Systems & Technology cited Great Western Bank in Sioux Falls, S.D., as one institution that has seen the benefits of a digital content management system. Great Western's Senior Vice President of Operations, Tim Houdek, revealed that the bank sought a document imaging system that could be integrated in a relatively quick amount of time for faster benefits. He stressed that the decision to go paperless was not only made to lower costs, but also to minimize the risk for fraud that comes with a paper-based system. He also pointed out that the bank has been able to cut operations staff by almost 10 percent since implementing the digital solution.
Organizations that embrace new technologies for electronic document management can realize all of these advantages, fueling a competitive edge.
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