The reasons why organizations adopt Paperless Office Software vary greatly. It might be the desire to improve process efficiency through workflow, service levels through better information access, compliance through increased document security or disaster recovery planning through the back up of their paper based files.

While all of these are great reasons for implementing paperless office software, many organizations still have not made the move to a paperless office; many times based on misperceptions about what is involved.

Here are the top three reasons we have heard repeated most often and our response to these objections.

1)  Paperless Office Software is just too expensive.

With the widespread adoption of document management technology, the investment requirements for a full featured solution are lower than ever. The cost of document management software today is around 1/5th of what it was 5-10 years ago. Like any technology, the more mainstream a solution becomes, the less expensive it becomes. The bottom line is that that you can easily start off with a small business or departmental application for as little as $2,000. Even if you bundled in the professional services and technical support costs the cost entire project would be less than half of the cost of an average multifunctional printer or around $150 on a 48 month lease to own program.

2) Scanning documents adds a step to filing my documents which will only slow me down.

When done properly, scanning and indexing documents to a paperless office solution should be much faster and easier than physically filing documents into a paper based filing system. The net result of using document management software is typically a substantial reduction in clerical costs for filing your records. In most cases the process of indexing scanned documents can be highly automated through OCR or bar code recognition. Through these technologies the amount of labor time associated with filing can be reduced even further.

Increased filing efficiency is only one part of the equation however. Combining an automated scanning process with the rapid access to information document management provides and the introduction of workflow automation will deliver real hard cost labor savings to your document driven processes.

3) Scanning equipment is an added cost I just don’t need.

Many organizations already have the scanning equipment they need in place with a multifunctional printer (MFP) that can copy, print and scan.  As a network connected device, the MFP is the natural point of entry for your document driven processes.

Since your staff is already trained in its use, the MFP is a comfortable way to introduce scanning into your organization. Most MFP units support high speed capture at an average speed of 30 to 50 pages per minute or more.  The critical part of any ECM system is the ability to take this high speed input and be able to batch process it using automated separation and indexing tools.

There are cases where a dedicated scanner is a wise investment; especially in high transaction applications like invoice processing. In these cases it makes less sense to have someone standing at the copier for extended periods as it introduces contention into your printing processes. The better fit is an affordable desktop device that can be used comfortably and efficiently. A good, production class (e.g. 40 pages per minute) dedicated desktop scanner doesn’t need to break you however with quality units starting at under $1,000.

These are three of the most common misperception we hear surrounding the implementation of Paperless Office Software. There are certainly others but in many cases these objections just boil down to people’s natural resistance to change. Document processes become entrenched in the day to day routine of your staff and proposing changes to those processes inevitably causes concern. The best way to handle this resistance is to introduce change gradually and manage it carefully. As users see firsthand the many benefits that ECM provides, they will embrace the change and in many become proponents for introducing further efficiency.

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