So, you've finally taken the leap - office management has made the decision to eliminate paper from the day-to-day and replace it with far more efficient document management software. The printers are being dragged from the office, the copy machine you've cursed the name of so many times is being hauled into a dumpster, but what happens when the dust settles? When you're transferring what may be years of data into a paperless document management model, ensuring it's done in an effective and organized way is the top priority for any project manager, and a daunting one at that. Here are some simple tips to keep your team on task and make the much-needed transition to a paperless work environment as smooth as possible, which can improve electronic workflow for years to come.
Implement an effective scanning system
Scanners, when purchased cheaply and without a lot of research, can be just as frustrating an experience as your old enemy, the copy machine. Make sure that your office elects to use a high-powered machine that is capable of scanning documents quickly and without any issue, and those who make use of the paperless documents on a daily basis will be thankful for it. After all, this is the future of your business at stake, and no corners can be cut when it comes to preserving important data.
According to a recent New York Times article, optimizing your office's scanning process and increasing document management workflow can even be accomplished with your own phone. Writer Kit Eaton wrote about some highly efficient emerging mobile solutions.
"Document scanner apps can capture an accurate image of a paper document, save it securely as a PDF, email it and in some cases even recognize the printed text," Eaton wrote. With a hardworking team on your side, it can be simple and inexpensive for a project manager to expedite the process of document scanning without sacrificing its quality.
Make your document management software work for you
Well-scanned images aren't especially useful without a system to keep them organized. Fortunately, part of a document management software provider's job is to develop a process that allows that to happen - especially when there are important financial documents involved, a distinct line of responsibility should be set up within the company to avoid any misplaced or lost data.
Office lifestyle blog Officiency mentioned a number of important factors to keep in consideration when organizing a small business's data with paperless document management.
"It is best to create an electronic file hierarchy structure that is parallel to your email and/or paper file structures," recommended writer K.J. McCorry. "This keeps data organized under one structure instead of trying to maintain multiple structures."
Whether a new structure is implemented or not, ensuring that all employees are trained and feel comfortable with electronic document imaging is also a crucial part of the process. The better your planning is as you launch a paperless office life, the better the employees' happiness and electronic workflow will be as the years go on.