Transitioning From a Paper-based to Paperless Office System

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A Document Management System is crucial to steer business processes and to ensure that people have access to the right information; whenever they want and wherever they are. This white paper describes a successful transition to an (Electronic) Document Management System.
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Transitioning From a Paper-based to Paperless Office System

  1. 1. Transitioning From aPaper-basedto PaperlessOfficeSystem
  2. 2. Organizationsaround the globe are striving towardseverexpandinggoals,tryingtoachieve more while simultaneously decreasing the amountofresourcesused.Formanyemployees, keepingtheirheadsabovethewatersofdaily workflows can be a hassle, as they are overwhelmedwithinformation.Theflow ofthis vitalvitalinformationisconstantlybeingimpededby inefficientpaper-basedbusinessprocesses. Inless-paper-basedoffices,workingbecomesmoregracefulandflowswithmoreefficiencyby changingmanualprocesses,andmakingrepetitivetasksmorecomputer-driven.Recenttechnological trendshavecreatedademandtotransitionintoapaperlessera,makingitanimportantgoalfor companiestostrivetowards. PaperlessPaperlessofficesoftware,ifadequatelyinstalledandimplemented,helpsemployeestoswiftlygain accesstoneededcontentsandfacilitatesthem incompletingtasks,aswellasprovidessecurityfor saveddata.Itdeliversthem from difficult,time-consumingtasks,andthetortureofnotbeingableto findneededinformation. ItItislikelythatmostofyourassociatesalreadyhaveinstalledelectronicbasedsystemsintheiroffices. Thisshouldsolidifythefactthatgoingpaper-lesshasdominatedyourlargerbusinessecosystemmore now thaneverbefore.Youwillnotjustbetransitioningtoadigitalsystem,therebydigitizingyour internalpaper-basedprocesses,butyouwillalsohavefreeflowingdigitalinteractionbetweenall associatesthathavegonedigital. WhenWhenyoufindyourselfinanentirelycomputerbasedenvironment,purchaseorders,processingof invoicesandserviceordersarefarmoreaccurateandquicklycompleted.Forinstance,ifyoursupplier sendsyouinformationelectronically,yourpaperlessofficesoftwarewillautomaticallyextractthedata from thosefilesandforms,preventingredundantdataentry.Thisallowsyourworkerstoconcentrate onreviewingthedatainsteadofspendingtimekeyingitin. Thereareaninexhaustiblenumbersofreasonstogopaperless.Thefollowingareafewreasonswhycountless organizationsarestrivingtotransitiontheirofficesfrompaper-basedtopaperlesssystems: 1
  3. 3. Theabilitytoaccessinformationwithjustaclick means you can easily route and distribute informationtoalargenumberofpeopleacross variousdepartments,officesand systems.This swiftaccesswillgreatlyimproveefficiencyina varietyofcontexts,suchasapprovalprocesses. Accounting departments greatly benefitgoing paperless, especially when it comes to collections.Amajorchallengeforanycollections departmentisaccessingdocumentswhileonthe phonewithacustomer.However,withtheECM system,vitaldocuments are retrieved easily, helpingreducethecollectionscyclewhichinturn improvescashflow.improvescashflow. Withyourcompetitorsstrivingtokeeponestep ahead,theagilityandefficiencythatyouroffices willgainfromgoingpaperlesswillallowyoutostay intherunning;toremaincompetitive,youhaveto gopaperless. In addition to making tasks faster, digital environments provide a secure working atmosphere.Accesscontrolsand data security makes it easy and inexpensive to maintain compliance as wellas curtailthe chances of misplacingfiles,whichcouldleadtorevenueloss. Ascomparedtopaper-basedsystems,enterprise contentcontent management (ECM) helps maintain office/businessconfidentialityforinformationsuch ascontractdetails,andpatientoremployeedata. 2.Greateragility 1.Smooth-running workflows 4.Improved collections Thereisgreatertransparencyinuseofdigital systemscomparedtopaper.Ithelpsmanagement monitortheprocessesandmakesiteasiertotrack tasks, spot shortcomings, and create opportunitiesforimprovement. Goingpaperlesshasagreaterimpactonyourlarger businessecosystemthaneverbefore. 5.Increased transparency 3.Cut-downLower businessrisks 2
  4. 4. CouldYouBecomeAPaperlessOffice IinLessThan90Days? 3 Setting a goalofachieving a paperless office in less than 90 days gives you a quarterly targetto address and hitwhile helpingtomaintainmomentum.Thesooner youreachthatdeadline,thesooneryoustart enjoyingthebenefitsofgoingpaperless. IfIfyouareplanningtogopaperless,itisvery importanttocreateatimeframefortaking thisboldstep.“Paperlessin90days”isa worthy and achievable goal for any organization, and brings your company togetherasateam,working on thesame page. WhenWhenyouthinkaboutwhatwouldneedto happenin90daystoconsidertheinitiativea success,itboilsdowntosettinggoalsfor digitizingthreeareas: 1.Capturing information Your organization receives correspondence in diverseways,includingfax,e-mail,mail,andforms. Eachoftheseentrypointsmustbedigitalized. AsAsthecorrespondencecontinues,theburdenof scanningisreduced,butcapturinge-mailishighly important.Creatinga“smartinbox”enablespeople toeasilyfeede-mailtotheappropriatechannelof yoursystem byputtingitinacentralfilerepository orusingittostartabusinessprocess. ThisThisistoensurese-mailsarecapturedusinga method thatmakes tasks fasterinstead of receivingallincominge-mailtoindividualaccounts. Informationreceivedthroughyourpaperlessoffice should berouted throughtheorganization.The goalhere is to substitute papershuffling with smooth-running digitalworkflows that contain programmed processes to route,review,and approveofficedocuments. 2.Distributing information
  5. 5. Afterthedatahasbeenrouted,itneedsto bestoredinwaythatenablesquickretrieval andmanagingaccess.Youwanttobesure thatdocuments are wellcaptured and correctlytaggedandnamed,sothatthey areaccessiblewithjustaclick. UsingUsingtheaccountingdepartmentasacase study,letus see how the digitalizing processworks.Ifyouoperateonalargely paper-based accounts payable (AP) process,therearenumerousoptionsfor extractinginvoicesinelectronicform. Youcouldaskyourbusinessassociatesif theywouldsendelectronicinvoicesinplace ofpaper. WhetherWhetheryou use electronic invoices or paper documents, there are indexing capture tools that read your files automaticallyandextractvitalinformation suchascustomername,invoicenumber, andamount. TheThe ECM system now uses the digital workflow toroutetheinformationtothe appropriate channels, allowing the capturedinformationtobeprocessed. Thisensuresthatallinvoicesaredistributedto the appropriate persons/ departments/ organizationsforreview inapre-programmed approvalprocess.Finally,thedigitaldocuments andotherdataarestoredintheECM’sgeneral documentstorage,andarealreadyindexedfor easyretrievalwhenneeded. ThatThatisjustanexampleofwhatcouldhappento a department that turns to a paperless environmentin90days.A majoradvantage here is thatthe invoice processing time is greatly reduced.This saves employees the stressandtimeofmanuallyenteringdatainthe indexfieldsasitcan now automaticallybe extractedextracted bythe system.Instead ofhaving duplicatedocumentsflyingaround,youhavea single reliable record which can easily be accessedanywhereandanytime,reducingthe effortthatemployeesputintomanagingpaper files.ThepaperlessECM system capturesit once,processesitonce,andstoresitonce! Having the appropriate paperless office hardwareandsoftwareisvitaltoachievingyour 90-day target.Breaking thatgoalinto six smallerstrategicprocesseswillmakeitfarmore manageable. 3.Retrieving information 4
  6. 6. toCreatingYour PaperlessOffice6Steps 5 Thesearesomevitalstepstotakeinestablishingapaperlessofficein90 days.Thoughitmaybetemptingtotakeshortcutsinachievingthistarget, eachofthesestepsplaysavitalroleinsucceedinginyourquestfora paperlesssystem. Step1 Developinga LeadershipTeam The firststep to take in going paperlessis creatinganinternalECM team.Themostbasic necessityforsuccessisgettingbuy-inC-level executivesanddirectors.Thiswillgoalong wayinfacilitation,attaininggoalsandwillaid instayingintherightdirectionforachieving theinitiative. TheThe team should be made up ofcompany leaders, representative stakeholders, and expertswhoarewillingtogivefeedbackfrom a variety ofdepartments in regards to the opportunities and probable challenges they face going paperless. It could also be necessarytoinviteanexternalECM expertto thethe team,an ECM vendorora third-party consultant,to offerguidance regarding the feasibilityofthesystem. Thisistoensurethatalldepartmentshavea say in the initiative and shave concrete knowledge ofthe process,objectives and feasibility.Intheselectionofstakeholders,go foragroupwhocaneasilyexplainandrelate thisvision to thewholeoftheorganization. The selected representatives should be top rankingranking in the organization so thattheyare abletoeffectivelyfacilitatetheteam’sagenda, whetheritis to increase efficiency in file processingorimproveoverallcashflow. Intheabsenceofsuchateam,theendgoal maybedifficulttoreachbecauseofthelack oftop managerialsupportand frustration duetoconflictingagendas. CareCarein choosing thisteam can neverbe overemphasized;variousdepartmentsare essentialfor this project,and directors usuallyhavetheirownideas,problemsand interests.Somedepartmentsmaymakethe mistakeofresistingchangeinthewaythat business is conducted while expecting otherother departments to conform to their ideals. In the event of such a situation, an executivebeingontheteam helpstokeep thegoalinfocusandactsasamediatorto reconciledifferencesasthesystem isrolled out.Usethisteam approach,and aim to bringaroundgreatimprovementsbygoing paperless.
  7. 7. 6 Step2 Creating Awareness Now thatyourteam hasbeencreated,you needtosharethevisionofthisteam tothe end users. Such awareness is vitalto effectivelymanagetheupcomingchanges. ItIt is naturalto observe some levelof resistancefrom users,astheymaywantto continue using the paper-based systems with which they are familiar. However, clearly sharing the end goals of the initiative, and having support at the executivelevelwilldiminishtheamountof resistanceresistancebysuch users,and strengthen connectionstotheoverallmission. Wewanttoavoid makingusersfeelasif they have been forced into a business processchangeinwhichtheyhavehadno inputintothesystem design.TheECM team willoftenputmoreemphasisontop-level organizationalbenefitsofthesystem,and on departments like human resources or accounting,accounting,butforgettorelatethebenefits totheendusers. Endusersaremorefocusedontheirdaily tasksand therefore paylessattention to company-wide strategies. They tend to judgetheimportanceofthepaperlessoffice basedontheimpactthatthesystem hason theirjob.Hence,theyareoftenreluctantin adoptingthesenewmethodswhentheECM system isrolledout.system isrolledout. The earlierthe goalsofthe initiative are madeknown,thebetterthecompanywill be.Introducinggoalsearlyonwillhelpin warding offobjections by allowing users enoughtimetoadapttonew ideas,aswell astimetodevelopabetterperspectiveof thelikelybenefitsontheirdailyofficetasks. OneOne effective way of spreading the information is by circulating YouTube videos or other documentation that presentsthesystem inpositivelight.Itcan beextremelybeneficialtocreateacontent library which specifically focuses on the benefits ofgoing paperless,and raises awarenessawarenessoftheeffectivenessofECM in specificbusinessareasoftheorganization. With this early awareness being created, users can become acquainted with conceptsand goalsbefore the system is finally unveiled.This prevents employees from feelinglikeanalienconceptisbeing forcedonthem.Initially,thebenefitofdoing thismaynotbeevident,however,itwillbe asasyouprogressinintroducingthesystem. Having everyone geared towards the directionofgoingpaperlessin90dayswill be instrumentalin the success of the initiative Transitioningtoapaperlessofficeinless than90daysrequiresacarefullycalculated six-stepprocess,andtherighttechnology. WithoutthesupportofanECMleadership team,itis likely thatyourpaperless initiativewillcollapse.
  8. 8. 7 Step3 DiggingIntoYour BusinessProcesses Ifyourbusinessprocessesarenotcleartoyou, and you are unsure whatis needed when transitioningintoadigitalenvironment,youmay beheading down thewrong path.Thiswill resultinunjustfeelingsofdissatisfactionabout thesystem.Missingavitalstepcouldmakeyou lose revenue and carry your present inefficienciesovertothepaperlesssystem.inefficienciesovertothepaperlesssystem. Spending enough time evaluating your processesenablesyourECM team tohavea fullunderstandingandgreatervisibilityintoyour presentbottlenecks.Thereisagreatneedfor the “discovery process”,as end users are generally more familiar with the process inefficiencies ofwhich executives may be ignorant.ignorant. Atthisstageyourgoalistosuccessfullygo throughtheprocesses,andnotethevitalsteps andshortcomingsofthecurrentsystem.Proper documentation ofthese issues willhelp in addressingthem lateroninthedesignstep, andalsohelpsendusersgetinvolvedinthe process. AsAsyoucarefullyanalyzethepapertrail,youwill discoverbottlenecksandinefficiencies.Begin by going through the history ofa specific documentorbusinessprocess,andasksome ofthefollowingquestions: How didtheprocessbegin?Bye-mail, throughphonecall,orwalkin? Whodoestheprocessinvolve? Howistheinformationcaptured? Whereisthedocumentordatabeing routed? Whoreceivestheinformation? Howandwhereisitstored?Howandwhereisitstored? How isthestoredinformationretrieved whenneeded? Asyoutrytoanswerthesequestions,users maybehelpfulinidentifyingissueslike,“Iwish itcouldhandlethis,”or“it’sawastethatwestill havetodothis.”Profferingsolutionstothose userconcernsasyoubuilddigitalworkflowswill helpincreaseefficiencyandjobsatisfaction. Assumingthatyourteamhasgreatvisibilityinto yourbusinessprocesses,youshouldbeginto workwithanECMconsultantorvendortodraft a paperless system thatwillprovide great solutions to the bottlenecks and otherin capabilities.Key issues to be considered includehow tolinkupfiles,wheretoshare information,information,andwhatindexfieldstobuildinto thesystem.Thiswilldeterminethefeaturesand componentswithwhichyourpaperlessoffice shouldbecreated. Step4 Designing theSolution
  9. 9. 8 Step5 DeployingYour ECM Solution Theaimofthedesignphaseistoreconcileyour businessvisionwiththeprofessionalismofyour ECM vendororconsultant,believingthatthe expert’ssolutionwillbringyourideastoreality. If,however,the solution falls below your expectationsinsomeaspectsdon’tpanicyet; thereisstilltimetorethinkandreconfigureuntil yourexpectationsaremet.yourexpectationsaremet. This step allows users to foresee how the changewilltakeshape,andthebenefitsthat theycould derivefrom such change.When convinced,thiswillgenerateexcitementand eagernesstogoingpaperless. Ifthepreviousstepswerereligiouslyfollowed, theendusersarenowpartoftheprocess.At thedesignstage,usersbecomecuriousasto how soonthesystem canbeinstalled.They havehadtheirsayinthedeliveryprocess,and thedesignhasshownthem expresslyhowthe system willaddress theirpains.They have foresightofthevision,andcan’twaittohaveit!foresightofthevision,andcan’twaittohaveit! Theenthusiasm isn’tjustfrom theendusers alone;even top levelmanagementwillbe exciteduponseeingthetime-savingbenefits and higher-leveltasks that can now be performedwithyourpaperlesssystem. IntegratingyourECM system intotheoffice maybeginwithatestsystem oraseriesof phases.Youwillhavetostarttrainingforthe new system -yourIT adminsmustclosely monitortheECMexpertsduringinstallation. WhenWhenthesystem isinstalled,test-runoneof yourprocesseswithasamplefileordocument whichcanalsobeusedasatrainingmodule. DeploymentDeploymentfinalizesallearlierplanningsteps.If thestepshavebeenfollowedcorrectly,youare set to begin applying the appropriate technologyto therightbusinessprocesses, therebybecomingapaperlessbusinessentity. Implementingyourpaperlesssystem intothe officeisonlythebeginning–itisnotsomething thatyouinstallandaredonewith.Itisagrowing systemthatwillchangeandevolvetomeetyour needs.Thesystem willsupportthegrowthof yourcompany,asnewprocessesandareasare explored. Therefore,Therefore,thereisavitalneedfortheproper documentationofsolutions,whichwillinclude thefindingsofyourdiscoveries,thedesign process,andtheconfigurationofthesystem. Thisdocumentation should enlisttheadmin users,sothattheycaneasilybecontacted whentheneedarises. ItItwouldbecounterproductiveforanemployee in an ECM leadership role to take overa position,andbeunabletounderstandhowthe system works.Inmostcases,anECM system, whichhasbeeninstalledformanyyears,may stillberunninginthebackoffice,however, peopleareoftenignorantofhowitworksand howhowtouseit.Ifthesystemlackstransparency, and employeesareunsurehow thesystem shouldbefunctioning,theinvestmentwillend upbeingawaste. Keepingdetaileddocumentationofyournew paperless office structure helps to ensure consistency,whichwillhavepositivelong-term advantagesandloadsofbenefitsforbothend usersandtheorganization.Italsoprovidesthe supportteam/expertswithatypicaloverviewof whatwasinstalled,makingitlessstressfulto handlefutureproblemsorsystemupgrades.handlefutureproblemsorsystemupgrades. Step6 DocumentingYour PaperlessOffice
  10. 10. 9 Addressingusers’fearsofdigitalworkflowswillhelptofurther improvejobsatisfactionandefficiency. AssessingtheEffectivenessofthePaperlessOffice Whilekeepingextraneousfactorsinmind,thesesixstepscanhelpanorganizationgopaperlessinlessthan90 days.Buthow doyoumeasurethesuccessofyournew initiativenow thatyouareoperatingapaperless system? Onthesurfaceyourcompanyseemstohaveachievedthelongsoughtaftergoalofgoingpaperlessinlessthan 90days,buthasthepaperlesssystemenhancedyouremployees’efficiencyandjobsatisfaction? Doyoufinditeasytocaptureall ofyourdocumentsintheECM system? Has there been a reductionofredundantcopies? Ifthe capturing is effective, there should be no printed copiesbeingmadeforpersonal recordsandtracking.recordsandtracking. Are documents quickly processed under the new system?Observehow long it takestogetapprovals.Ifthe timeframehasreduced,then thereisanimprovement. Howeasyisitforemployeesto search forand retrieve files storedinyournewsystem?One way to assess the levelof successininformationretrieval is to see how confident employeesareatretrievingfiles atanytimefromthesystem.atanytimefromthesystem. 1.Capturinginformation 2.Routinginformation 3.Retrievinginformation
  11. 11. 10 Keepingdetaileddocumentationofyournewpaperlessofficestructurehelpstoensure consistency,whichwillhavepositivelong-term advantagesandloadsofbenefitsfor bothendusersandtheorganization. Areyounowreadytotakethenextsteptowardsbecomingapaperlessoffice? Havingaspecial,custom-madeplanisvitaltoachievingmaximum returnsonyour investment. LogicalDOChasbuiltahighlyefficientprocesscalled “DocumentManagementRoadMap.”Thisrichand comprehensive guide critically examines the necessarystepstorestructuringyourbusinessand improvingdocumentation,workflow,andemployee collaborationandsatisfaction.
  12. 12. Contactus HeadQuarters LogicalDOC 14-25PlazaRoad|SuiteN-3-5 FairLawn,NJ07410 USA +1(800)6542827 sales@logicaldoc.comsales@logicaldoc.com USAandCanada GermanContact INDUS-VBSGmbH BitzenhoferWeg,3b 86453Dasing Germany +498205969992 GermanyandAustriaGermanyandAustria EuropeQuarters LogicalDOCSrl viaAldoMorointerna,3 41012,Carpi Italy +390595970906 info@logicaldoc.cominfo@logicaldoc.com Worldwide

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