The “paperless office” trend has not disappeared or gone away. While many businesses explored pursuing solutions when this initiative was first gaining and growing in popularity a few decades ago, one of the biggest challenges they faced, at that time, was not being able to completely eliminate paper from their daily operations.
Another limiting factor during this time were the types of technological and digital solutions available. Granted, there were already email, word processing, spreadsheets, and other software applications to make the transition to a paperless office easier, but there was a limit on how much could be shared digitally and easily, due to file size restrictions on attachments and security concerns of sending sensitive business files over the Internet.
Today, things have changed, especially with the development of cloud-based solutions and increased online security. Companies today have access to a wide array of technologies to help them further reduce their paper usage and start to move toward a completely paperless office solution.
Whether you are a newer business owner or it has been several years since you last explored paperless initiatives, here are some useful tips to help get you started:
- Convert paper files to a digital document management solution. There are apps that make managing digital documents easier and allow you to “file” them based upon your current methods, and retrieve them using various search criteria.
- Take advantage of online and cloud-based storage for sharing documents. Google Docs and other online apps like it are great for sharing and working collaboratively with all sorts of files, and eliminate pushing paper versions around the office.
- Migrate payroll processing to electronic formats using finance and accounting outsourcing services. Very few companies actually “print” checks or pay stubs these days. Rather, they electronically deposit funds into their employees’ accounts and provide a digital pay stub online.
- Use electronic faxing instead of paper-based faxing. You would be surprised that many people do not know they can “fax” right from their computers to send faxes. There are even apps available for inbound electronic fax handling.
- Utilize apps on your smartphone and tablet. There are expense tracking apps you can use to store receipts electronically. Plus, many retailers are now offering to email you a receipt for your purchase instead of printing one at the register.
- Create an email account for electronic “junk mail.” Vendors, suppliers, and others like to send paper junk mail. Request they stop sending it and, instead, send electronic forms to a generic email account you have created. This way you can still see current promotions, offers, and other things you might be interested in, but without all that paper, or filling up the inbox on your regular email account.
For more paperless office tips, suggestions, and solutions for implementing them, call Datamark now at 915.778.1944. Let us help you design and develop effective and efficient document management solutions that fit your business needs.
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