Many companies are finding that the best way to embrace business process automation today is to eliminate a sticking point from their operations – paperwork. Going paperless helps to streamline the flow of information to the systems that need it for automation, while boosting the overall productivity of employees to help expedite these efforts.
While not all businesses are looking to embrace automation, there are many reasons to consider it. Reduced operational costs, increased accuracy of processes due to the human element being removed and the optimized efficiency of workflow around employee efforts all help to streamline processes and get results sooner, turning what may have been week-long processes into daily ones, and day-to-day tasks into mere hours or minutes of the workday.
However, there is more to going paperless than simply eliminating printers and hoping for the best. Companies need to consider both the use of paper in their daily operations, as well as its sources. Paperwork comes from a myriad of places – vendors, supplies and clients all supply invoices while business partners that still use paper could send significantly large document packets on a regular basis. At the same time, internal efforts, such as meetings, performance reviews and the like can all create considerable paperwork that has to be filed and archived for later use or compliance purposes.
Eliminating paper entirely requires several steps. First, a business has to cut it out of its internal operations. Implementing BYOD and other mobility policies can help with this by allowing employees to use tablets and smartphones for meeting minutes and other work. Additionally, improving communications tools to promote the sending of notes and memos via email, instant messages or text also eliminates many uses for prints. Second, a company also has to discuss its paperless efforts with its partners, suppliers and clients. Those that are able to should cease sending paper and convert to digital formats for bills, invoices and contracts. However, this still keeps physical documents coming in from those unable to go digital as well.
Ultimately, in order to completely eliminate paperwork from all aspects of operations, businesses may have to invest in document conversion services to kill the last remnants of a paper world. Imaging solutions can automatically convert incoming documents to digital formats and provide the organization and management needed to seamlessly transition to a better, paperless way of doing business.