What does the number 80 million mean to you? No, it’s not the amount of paper sitting in your office.
How did we get here? With new technology and better means of communication, storage, and data use how is paper still a major player in our modern lives?
Kristi Cauvin, Sr. Business Systems Analyst, Johnson, Kendall and Johnson
Q: Why did you go to etfile’s document management?
Well, we had a ton of paper and a bunch of cabinets that we needed to get rid of. It was on employee’s desks, it was on the floor, it was on top of the cabinets, everywhere! So in 2005 we took our journey and decided to go paperless. We did very well to start by creating our naming convention – by doing the policy term year, what kind of policy it was, then the description. This way when we sort or search in etfile we know exactly where and how to find it.
Then 2008 hit, and we decided to move locations. Well, we still had a ton of cabinets that had old documents in them that we decided we needed to get rid of. But we didn’t want to archive them and send off-site, we wanted to get rid of the paper. So we hired a bunch of interns, and we scanned over 300 file drawers full of paper into etfile keeping our naming convention which our interns were able to access and input into the system. It was done in an order so that you hit the description, and it lines it up by policy so you can find what you need.
Agencies always ask – can I go fully paperless, and how can I make the process as painless as possible? It’s important for organizations to keep in mind to be realistic when it comes to making the switch. Paper requirements in our society are taxing on every organization. Not to mention the customer needs or legal and regulatory requirements that can also be transformed electronically.
There is a way and it’s worth it – creating a process and taking small steps to transform your organizations mind-set makes it possible.
- Track how much paper you use on a monthly basis, and how much it costs to print and store it.
- Track how much time is wasted searching for a document filed in a cabinet or physical folder. This will help employees get on-board with the idea of change, and realize how much time and money is wasted with paper use.
- Re-format Business processes to replace physical signing with e-signatures, reproduce internal documents in e-formats, and enable your staff with dual monitors for easy cross-reference with multiple documents are just a few steps to help along the way.