Not long ago, the revolution of digitization started and many of the industries started moving towards paperless technologies for efficient management and optimal use of the resources. With the advent of cloud storage and digital document management, creating and sharing of the virtual documents have become the new norm. The papers are being replaced with the shareable documents that can be stored, shared, and signed digitally to completely avoid the hassle of physical document management. But there are multiple industries like legal, finance, healthcare, and banking that still employ the traditional paper-based document processing and that leads to increased costs and inefficient management of the documents.
Going paperless not just contributes to saving the environment but it also helps in making a complete shift in information sharing and processing in an organization. As the industries are realizing that the management of paper-driven information is expensive and not reliable, the shift towards electronic information management is paving its way. The advantages of going digital are numerous but the shift doesn’t happen overnight and may require a technological overhaul and changing the key business processes to adapt to the new culture.
Practical Strategies for Paperless Office
Some of the practical strategies that will help in making a shift and reducing the paper load in the industry are discussed below:
1. Redefining Business Processes:
To reduce the volume of paper in the industry, the first step is to identify the processes that are heavily reliant on the paper and then create alternate processes to reduce paper usage. Starting with the internal documents that are circulated inside the organization and then moving towards the external ones like contracts and proposals. As digital signature has got the same validity as the traditional one, using the electronically signed documentation can optimize the documentation workflows. Making digital copies of the meeting notes, handbooks, product manuals on the notes, and cloud will reduce the need for hardcopies and will also improve the sharing of information between departments.
2. Making a Technological Change:
Every change comes with a better and equipped system to alter the processes and the transition to the paperless culture is possible by opting for the technical solutions which can optimize the unstandardized processes. As an influx of information and data is generated in industries every day and most of that is unstructured making it almost impossible to channelize it for resourceful purposes. People in the accounts and finance department are flooded with the paper-based invoices and payment orders and manual processing leads to delays and reworking.
By upgrading to the latest technologies (like Intelligent Data Extraction and Intelligent Document Processing), it becomes easier to handle the information and also structure the processes. Artificial intelligence and machine learning-based data extraction technology can automate the invoicing and payment order processing, reducing the need for paper-based invoices and receipts. Klearstack is based on intelligent document processing technology and has a self-learning model to increase the accuracy of the data extraction to 90% in 90 days. To support the goal of paperless culture, making a shift in the infrastructure is imperative for every organization.
3. Taking Everyone With Change:
Without taking everyone on board, it won’t be possible to bring a change in the organization. Clearly define the objectives behind the change and convince everyone in the team to engage and support the activities. If the employees think about the paper-reduction as just another exercise, it won’t drive any result. The management has to put the effort into educating their staff about the purpose of reducing paper processing in the industry and the benefits they can reap with the new technologies. Setting actionable initiatives and engaging everyone to reduce the use of paper to create efficient processes, eliminate redundant data-entry tasks for a sustainable work environment. Finally training the staff to use the newly employed software for data extraction and processing and setting a familiarity with the newly laid processes will help in paving a way to paperless culture in the industry.
By simplifying the workflow with psychological and technological change in the organization, maximum benefits can be derived. Taking ideas and feedback from the staff about the change in the workflow and involving them in the process will lead to higher returns. However, no organization can completely eliminate the papers but by improvising the system with intelligent data processing and electronic document management system, the use of paper can be greatly reduced. Switching to AI-based data extraction models like Klearstack will automate manual processing in the office. To know more about Klearstack solutions, download the free e-book now.
It’s high time that organizations across all domains and irrespective of the organization size should adopt such AI based tools to reduce the wastage of resources and leakages in the cash-flow.