Archive for February, 2012

The Paperless Office Reduces Operational Cost

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Steve Breault, CEO & Founder, Vircosoft

Paperless office, as the name suggests, is just that, an office where no paper is used to store and communicate information and data. However, many offices are yet to achieve a complete 100% paperless environment. In fact, even after the arrival of computers and document management applications, the uses of papers has only increased and not decreased. There are various reasons behind it. The first is that most people still trust the paper more than the digital documents. Many have grown up with the paper documents and it is difficult for them to switch to computers that also requires going through some learning curve. However, the advantages of going paperless are too many to ignore.

Put simply, a paperless office environment is achieved in three ways. The first is to digitize existing paper documents by using document imaging and conversion options. The second step is to switch to using digital documents. It requires asking customers, clients, suppliers, resellers and employees to send, use and receive information and data only in digital format. The third option is to start using only the digital documents. It involves minimizing conversion of digital documents into paper documents. These three options are the basic and most effective methods to make an office achieve its goal of going paperless.

When it comes to the idea of a paperless office, many people only think of the advantage of an office that is clutter free. While that is a big advantage, there are other important benefits as well. A big advantage is that the business process speeds up and becomes more efficient and cost-effective. Documents can be stored and retrieved as and when needed. For example, a customer may enter the office and the deal may require fetching a document. Now, if the document has been kept in paper format then some time would be spent in searching the required document and fetching it from the storeroom. However, if the document was kept in digital format then it can be retrieved and viewed immediately with a few simple clicks. It is obvious, which option would be preferred and admired most by the customer.

Many business owners think that going paperless is expensive and risky. They think the job would involve hiring additional employees, hardware and software. They also believe that important documents must be kept on paper because documents stored in servers may get deleted. However, all these concerns are unfounded. It is especially clear from the success of companies that have gone paperless and in the process saved lots of money.

The fact is, in a paperless office, there is less need of employees and hardware. Documents can be stored, retrieved, edited and duplicated easily. A big advantage with the digital documents is that these documents can be sent and received immediately through the networked computers or Internet. The documents instantly become available to everyone across different locations and regions.

Documents are safer and more secure in a paperless office. The only thing is that each document must be backed up when it is received and after every instance of editing. This can be achieved easily by setting up a standard procedure for every employee. Initially, the cost of document imaging and document management software may seem expensive; however, when considered in the long term, digital documents are very cost-effective compared to the paper documents.

Planned Document Imaging Improves Office Efficiency

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Steve Breault, CEO, Vircosoft

Electronic document management involves the storage of documents in digital form for ease of use and accessibility. Through document imaging, it is possible to automate an office environment through conversion of all hardcopy documents into more manageable digital formats such as pdf and others. Large volumes of hardcopy documents are not only hard to manage, but also consumes large office space. It is therefore evident that, planned document imaging plays an important role in improving office efficiency.

Ways through which planned document imaging program improves office efficiency.

* Improved document accessibility and security: digital documents can be kept in a document management system where they can be accessed quickly from any office computer if the documents are shared. This means that many matters or customers can be handled within a given time, thus increasing services efficiency. In addition, it can be defined who gains access to particular documents. Sensitive documents access may also be set to ask for authentication such as security passwords.

* Enhances automated processing: matching and merging capabilities enable different departments in a certain firm to populate fields automatically. In addition, there is software that can process scanned documents and get all the required information quickly. Also, when data is entered in a document management program, it is easy to carry out computations and analysis such as producing charts and graphs. Finally, automated processing eliminates human errors.

* Dependable file backup up: documents stored in a computer hard drive can be duplicated easily through a copy-pasting action. Other documents could be stored in removable storage devices like DVDs or external hard discs. In addition, documents can be stored in online repositories and be accessible anywhere in the world where internet is available. Having file backups eliminates inconveniences and delays caused by lost or damaged documents thus improving office efficiency.

* Enhances collaboration: multiple office workers can work on the same project from different computers. This
promotes team work and saves time; for instance, if a given worker only fills part A of a given document, while
another worker fills part B of the same document, the two could do it simultaneously. This saves time and builds a compact workforce thus improving the office efficiency.

* Improves external communication: with a well planned document imaging program, stored documents can be sent through emails and the required transactions carried out quickly. In addition, the general documents can be shared in a company’s website for interested users to download or preview.

* Increases office space: elimination of large files and filing cabinets saves office space and makes it look
tidy. In addition, rented file storage is also eliminated. Enough office space and a tidy look promote workers

freedom and ensure to proper air circulation thus making activities to run smoothly.

* Enhances Versioning:  Versioning refers to the ability to have different document versions depending on changes. This helps in work follow-ups and timely documentation. Record keeping and record management is every important in any office. The efficiency of processes in any office depends on the methods used. When modern good electronic document management programs are employed, things can be simplified. We can therefore comfortably conclude that, applying planned document imaging program improves office efficiency.


How to Develop a Document Management Plan for Your Business

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Management of documents is a big and complex subject that needs careful consideration. It is an expensive proposition so everything must be planned carefully before implementing any software or process. There are two types of document management systems. The first involves storage and management of paper documents, while the other system refers to the digitization of the paper documents. Nowadays most companies prefer the electronic document management system because of various advantages associated with it. Under this system, details of the documents can be captured, processed and stored using a combination of hardware and software.

There are two ways to do this. The first is to keep the scanned copies of the original documents. The second is to convert the text matters printed on the papers into digital format. This not only makes it easy to retrieve the required information quickly but the data collected takes up minimum space on the servers. Images have to be scanned into image format and take up large server space. When the data present in the documents is converted into digital format, it becomes easier to retrieve, process and use the information and records. The required number of documents can be retrieved quickly as and when needed. This is simply not possible with paper documents that take up lots of space.

A company that relies on paper documents has to hire employees to handle the whole setup. The manual setup proves an inefficient method. It is difficult to store, process and retrieve documents. This problem simply does not exist when electronic document management system is used. Business owners interested in implementing document management system have to consider several things. The first is to be sure about the requirements. Different types of documents, such as invoices, bills, contracts and other documents are generated during the course of the business. These documents relate to sales, account, buying and selling. The document digitization goal must clearly identify how the documents must be stored. One should be sure about the techniques and processes that would be used to convert documents into digital format.

Developing an effective plan for document management is the most important thing. If documents are stored incorrectly under the wrong headings then it creates a big problem for the future. It is important to use document management software that is reliable, secure, and upgradable with all the required features. The business owner needs to be careful of using an application program that requires regular annual payment. The applications should be able to validate and upgrade over the Internet. It ensures that only the latest version of the software is used.

An important part is to plan the budget for the whole setup and process. In some cases, it may require hiring additional employees or temporary workers. They are needed to convert the paper documents into digital format. Initially, workers are needed if there are lots of documents that require scanning and handling. The document management setup is an integrated system that involves a combination of hardware, software, techniques and processes. Correct implementation of document management system speeds up the business process and makes the company more effective, efficient and economical. It becomes easier to authenticate, index and retrieve the required information with a few clicks.