If you are here, it is because you have seen the paperless light, and you want to go paperless. You understand that electronically managing your documents and going paperless can have astronomical results for your organization. But there is one catch – you have to convince your boss.
In this article, we will arm you with information in order to help you convince your boss to go paperless. We will cover common fears associated with going paperless, the benefits of going paperless, and other tips to help you prepare.
Convincing Your Boss to Go Paperless
Many organizations have made the decision to manage their documents electronically. Unfortunately, a majority of companies are hesitant to pursue electronic document management solutions. Executives will remark how document scanning and electronic management can improve their business processes…yet it is often pushed aside for what they believe are more important tasks. Some common paperless fears include:
- Fear of Change: The only thing worse than an issue is an unknown issue. Companies have a tendency to fall back on tradition. Sure, their current system may not be perfect, but a known danger is always less intimidating than an unknown threat. However, with the right company to assist your document conversion project, there is nothing to fear!
- Training Commitment: Training employees can be costly and potentially risky. In addition to the training costs, companies might face some employee pushback from a change in the norm –fears of change run deep in any company. However, many solutions can be implemented with little to no down time at all.
- Document/Information Security: Will my information be safe? Document and information security is a primary concern for any organization, which is why choosing a reputable vendor is critical in outsourcing any document scanning project.
- Initial Investments: Making an investment is hard – especially if you are unclear on the ROI that will be provided. However, the money required to transition to a paperless business is a paltry sum when compared to the amount of money that can be saved in the long run.
The Paperless Benefits:
Avoid Costly Errors & Disaster: In order to avoid human errors and keep your documents secure, you need to go paperless. Not only can your information be stored and saved in the cloud, it will also be easier to search and prevent the accidental deletion or loss of files. Natural disasters can also be a problem for your physical documents. Floods, fires, or any other natural disaster could completely destroy your data. By scanning and managing your files electronically, you are safeguarding them from the potential wrath of Mother Nature.
Enhance Accessibility: Having access to your files anywhere at any time is extraordinarily beneficial when discussing efficiency. Not only are documents easier to access and share, they are also easier to secure and track. Having the ability to share important documents in real time without the security dangers that traditional systems pose is a large benefit when discussing a paperless enterprise.
Improve Productivity: As we stated above, enhanced accessibility is a driving force behind increased productivity. Going paperless will enable your employees to do more with less.
Increase Space: Commercial property can be expensive. Storing documents onsite means less space for your employees. If you are storing off site, then there are ongoing fees to deal with. Going paperless means you can free up valuable office space while reducing common maintenance costs associated with traditional filing systems.
Improve Regulatory Compliance: Are you in a heavily regulated industry? Not only are electronic documents great for reducing costs – it can also help you maintain regulatory compliance. From HIPAA regulations to Lean Manufacturing, it is easier to keep your critical documents compliant in a paperless office.
Reduce Costs: Going paperless will reduce labor costs, storage costs, and above all else – the costs associated with paper itself. Paper based expenses include current storage costs, filing supplies, ink, toner, shipping costs, and the cost of the paper itself. According to Alison Haynes from Green Lifestyle Magazine, going green means saving green. In her paperless article, she mentions how, “…a $4000 photocopier left on for seven years will cost $1,500 in electricity, $24000 in paper, and $15,000 in toner.” In addition to labor costs associated with paper, the savings associated with going paperless can account for a large return on your investment.
Enhance Security: Want to keep your documents safe? With the right document management software, you will be able to access audit trails, protect files with administrative rights and passwords, and encrypt your data to keep it safe in transit.
Finding An Ally:
Before you set off to change your company’s paper policies, it is best to start this discussion with your peers. If your coworkers see the same value in going paperless, or are experiencing similar issues with your current system, then you are more likely to convince management that going paperless is the right choice. Asking employees how their work can be improved is a great way to discover potential solutions or bottlenecks in a process.
Focus on ROI:
Illustrating a return on investment is the single most important piece to your paperless argument. The good news? ROI is easy to illustrate. From decreased costs to improved security, there are a number of measurable benefits that illustrate the potential for long-term returns.
As with all new initiatives, your boss is going to question your proposal – especially if management is resistant to change. Run through discussion points and have your co-workers look for any potential objections. Preparing for these questions with accurate and detailed answers will help you convince your boss that going paperless is a great move for your company.
Need help justifying a paperless office? Email me today