By BJ Johnson
World Paper Free Day (#WPFD) is November 6th and like many companies we’ve taken the pledge to reduce the amount of paper we generate and to drive paper out of our business processes. Most companies strive to be paperless because it improves efficiency, reduces risk and it’s good for the environment. Those are certainly some of the reasons our company continues to reduce the amount of paper we touch each day, but going paperless is also what drives our business.
Archive Systems provides document management technologies and services, integrated and packaged as complete customer solutions. We help companies eliminate paper from their processes, and one of our secrets to success is that we “Eat our own dog food”. If you’re not familiar with this slang phrase it’s used to reference a scenario in which a company uses its own products. We use our FileBRIDGE™ platform cross-departmentally throughout our organization to make us a better company by improving our processes. I want to share some of the ways we’ve reduced paper because these are common places to start paperless, or “less paper,” initiatives.
All invoices are scanned upon receipt by our conversions services department with the required metadata extracted and loaded into our accounts payable workflow solution. FileBRIDGE routes invoices for approval and prepares a feed for our financial system. No data entry for our AP folks; invoices paid on time and voila - no more paper!
Client contracts, amendments and statements-of-work are loaded into FileBRIDGE to improve access to key information needed by Sales and Account Management. Team members can receive advance notification of the expiration of contracts. Our Sales and Account Management teams are located in offices across North America and no matter where they are, as long as they can access the internet, they can access contracts. Both groups spend a good portion of their day working in Salesforce CRM so we use the FileBRIDGE U-Call feature to allow read-only access to contracts from within Salesforce. Quick access to contracts, proactive notification of contract expiration and no more paper.
All employee files have been digitized and are managed by FileBRIDGE for HR, but that was only the start of this group’s journey to paperless. When we need to distribute sign-off documents for things like Handbook acknowledgements, HIPAA training or the Whistle Blower Act it is all done electronically. Self-audits? No problem! The Compliance Monitor feature continually checks employee files to ensure that we have updated versions of all required documents. FileBRIDGE is also managing the retention of all employee documents. Compliant record keeping, onboarding, updating employee documents and (you guessed it) no more paper.
Record Center Operations
Okay so most of you don’t deal with record center operations but I had to include this on my list. This is the team that manages physical paper records for our clients and there’s no way I’d leave them out of a post about reducing paper in the work place. We used to issue paper certificates of destruction when we destroyed paper records for our clients. These are now created and delivered digitally to our clients with a copy stored in their FileBRIDGE application. When we picked up boxes from clients the drivers would carry little portable printers to provide a receipt of boxes they picked up. Not anymore; clients get digital receipts now. Clients would also get a copy of a paper work-order that summarized the service they requested - which is usually a pickup or delivery. Now our drivers capture electronic signatures on their handheld scanners and clients have a digital copy of their work-order available immediately in FileBRIDGE. The Operations team eliminated a big chunk of the paper they were creating and stopped creating more paper for our clients to file.
In each case I covered we increased efficiency, lowered cost and improved compliance. We have an edge on some companies because we “Eat our own dog food” and it’s tasting pretty good! On World Paper Free Day take a minute to look at any area in your company that has a business process dependent on paper and you’ll have found where you should start your journey to paperless.
To learn more, view our webinar Overcoming Your Fears of Going Paperless.