Do You Have a Paper Problem?

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Keywords: imaging, paper documents, capture, scanning

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Do You Have a Paper Problem?

At some point in your business and office routines, you may realize that paper documents are not efficient and are causing problems for a variety of reasons. The pace of your business has picked up, but paper-based operations have become a bottleneck and may be costing you more money for storage, personnel, and lost efficiency. You may have realized that you can’t keep growing the number of people that handle the paper and remain within your budget targets and SLAs. The list below may help you to decide if it is time to look more seriously at a document imaging and management system.

  1. Are you sending documents off-site to free up primary office space?
  2. Are you beginning to look for additional on-site document storage space?
  3. Have you noticed an increase in misplaced or lost documents?
  4. Are workers complaining about the length of time it takes to retrieve a document?
  5. Are document input volumes increasing causing SLAs to be missed for some operations?
  6. Are users finding that documents they need for work are not available?
  7. Are available documents becoming illegible due to usage and either need to be copied or regenerated? Is the overall quality for older documents poor?
  8. Are users having a hard time locating documents because the indexing level is either too general or non-existent?
  9. Have documents in folders become jumbled and out of order because users and file clerks no longer have time to re-order the folder after is has been used? (For large files this can be a real time killer when looking for a specific document.)
  10. Document based workflow operations are totally manual with no tracking or reporting.
  11. Security of documents is non-existent once they are removed from a file or mail room.
  12. You have workers taking documents on-the-road or to their home for the weekend.
  13. Disaster recovery for all paper documents is non-existent if there were a catastrophic event such as an earthquake or fire.
  14. The cost of making and distributing copies of paper documents in terms of FTE time spent and copier costs is becoming a prohibitive.
  15. File/Mail room costs are rising each year faster than normal company expenses.
  16. The cost of sending paper documents via courier services is becoming prohibitive, or was already prohibitive years ago…
  17. Because indexing of paper documents is very high level, documents needed for regular business operations are not being found and used. This leads to the either recreating the document or entirely missing the subject contents of an existing document. Your “corporate knowledge” is not being exploited and used as it should be.
  18. More people are working outside of the office, including home offices, and this requires more paper documents to be missing from the files for longer periods of time.
  19. You are having trouble tracking documents as more people exchange documents among themselves or simply keep documents locally and do not submit them for initial filing.
  20. You are spending more money on outgoing telephone and fax costs due to our inability to answer customer-related questions while the customer is on the telephone.
  21. We increasingly need information that is resident on the paper document and we are using data input services to input this information. This is both time consuming and expensive as the data has to be 100 percent accurate.

Document imaging has the capability to address every issue listed above. Depending on your individual needs and application, there are many successful document imaging implementations that have transformed how a company does business on a daily basis.

Bud Porter-Roth
www.erms.com

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Comments

Shiraz Ahmed

Capture superior to mere computerization

That was a comprehensive checklist, Bud. Indeed, if organizations study the trends across departments, they will see a pattern emerge that makes a strong case for building a digital archive of documents. I especially liked point # 21, because a lot many people believe that because they are computerizing records, their data is safe. But it is not so. Repetitive work done over a long period of time can increase the possibility of human error. Scanning documents leaves no room for human error when it comes to capturing the data contained in the document. Of course, that is only the first step. The more desirable solution is to not only scan documents, but also manage them electronically.
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James R. Clawson

Paper Problems and Electronic Invoicing

Another viable solution is Electronic Invoicing. Paper can eventually be eliminated. Electronic invoices can be matched or routed to the appropriate user for approval. There is no data entry and no vendor phone calls. Every invoice is accounted for with savings of time and money!
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This post and comment(s) reflect the personal perspectives of community members, and not necessarily those of their employers or of AIIM International