Are you tentative to initiate the transformation to a paperless office? I’m not surprised, many organizations are. As a society we’ve been so heavily reliant on physical paper documents that we are unsure if ridding our paper usage is even possible. Let me be the first to tell you, it is. And I’m not just referring to your personal use. I’m talking about enterprise-wide, major corporations who have turned their companies paperless; and they’re laughing all the way to the bank.

Yes, I said bank. Going paperless will save your company money! Equipment maintenance, ink, toner, paper, payroll, storage, and security measures are reduced expenditures once your office environment turns to a paperless solution. Interested yet? Make the change. The following tips will help you take your office paperless with the help of a document management solution.

Look around your establishment. How many documents do you currently have in storage? How many more do you accumulate each day? Take a nice hard look around and fully take in the considerations. Are your files capable of being shred, or are they irreplaceable? Start with the elimination of your current documents to better prepare to take actions for all incoming paper. Overwhelmed by junk mail? Unsubscribe. Still receiving paper statements? Electronic payments are easy to sign up for, they’re convenient, and PAPERLESS! Flip the switch and consider billing customers with e-invoices. You no longer need to depend on paper checks and statements to maintain your business.

Spread the word. Make sure your entire organization is aware and educated on what “going paperless” really means. Begin to discourage photocopies, faxes, and printing. As hesitant as your staff may be, in the end reducing their paper usage will simplify their everyday tasks. Don’t keep the transition a secret. Spread the word internally, and also to the outside world – it’s a great publicity tactic. Creating an eco-friendly marketing plan will boost your brand reputation and possibly bring in new earth-conscious customers.

Scan, scan, scan. Within an office environment, a scanner or multifunctioning printer/device has become a necessity. They’re so simple to use, anyone can do it! Have your intern scan all stored documents to start building the electronic database in order to keep your administrative staff focused on essential tasks. Create an office wide habit: scan, store, and shred. You’ll be running “paperless” in no time. Improve collaboration by sharing documents through a cloud-based service, with mobile access to reach those out of office.

Proper storage. OK, so you’ve done all this work scanning and shredding and now the entire backbone of your company is digitally stored. But, what if disaster struck? Fire! Storm! Flood! Have you thought this all the way through? Before you start piecing together millions of shreds of paper, do not panic – simply back up your digital data. By keeping a copy of your database on an external hard drive, online recovery system, or a cloud-based service, you will never lose accessibility. So really, forget about those filing cabinets; all documents are organized, indexed, secure and easily searchable within your document management software.

Going paperless does not mean eliminating every instance of paper in your office, of course paper will still be a part of our standard workday. I will tell you first-hand: the switch is not immediate; it takes time. Start simple. Reduce paper clutter throughout the workplace. Slowly implement scanning. Let others know of your paperless efforts and reap the benefits. Save time, money, and increase productivity by turning your office paperless today.

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