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Going paperless? Look for more than a scanner

Does your business still heavily rely on information and data being recorded on paper? Are you considering making the shift to a paperless workplace? In a digital-first business landscape, going paperless is an obvious option for many businesses, but is it a beneficial move?


From information management to change management training, learn about what’s needed to make the shift into a paper-free workplace.

Written by Michelle Kermath

Michelle is Head of Consultancy & Technical – ECM at Crown Records Management with years of experience in the field of Enterprise Content Management (ECM).

What does it mean to go paperless?

Going paperless means reducing the amount of paper used and swapping out printed pages for digital documents and processes.

Some key benefits of going paperless include improving your environmental footprint and your organisation’s efficiency as a whole. Cutting serious costs and automating workflows for heightened output and security.

When thinking about making the switch for your business or learning more about the process, it is important to understand the full implications of going paperless and why much more than a scanner or document scanning is needed to do this.

In this article, we’ll explain what it means to achieve a fully paperless workplace.


What are the benefits of going paperless?

Leaning into more efficient and cheaper digital solutions can help your business automate processes and enjoy a range of benefits.

K.J. McCorry is an expert in efficiency and the author of Organize Your Work Day in No Time (2005). McCorry dedicates her time to finding solutions for businesses and explains that the average company will spend approximately £6,000 on paper for each employee every year. This includes buying, copying, printing, distributing and storing paper documents. If you have 100 employees that’s more than half a million pounds spent on paper and document management alone every year.

Going paperless gives your business the opportunity to find better systems, platforms and solutions for every department in your organisation. From intuitive dashboards to personnel platforms for your HR team, Crown has a range of streamlined solutions for your business.

Along with efficiency and cost savings, going paperless holds some positive implications for your company’s carbon footprint. The Environmental Protection Agency says that the average employee will use approximately 10,000 sheets of paper annually and will spend 30-40% of their time looking for files locked in email and filing cabinets.


What do you need to consider when going paperless?

Going paperless means moving from traditional paper-based processes and replacing them with digital solutions. The minimisation of paper is an important first step, but another key characteristic of doing away with paper in the workplace involves implementing digital alternatives for creating, managing, sharing, and storing information within your business.

Reducing reliance on paper and embracing digital technology aims to improve efficiency, save costs and be a more sustainable option.

When reflecting on your alternatives as a business, going paperless will most likely feel like an obvious solution. However, it’s important to be well-informed and equipped with the necessary tools to undergo this migration.


Key considerations before making the switch from paper to digital:

  • File sharing: effective file sharing is crucial to any business. This makes it easy for employees to access information, documents or records they need to complete projects and collaborate. Finding an effective cloud-based platform allows your team to collaborate seamlessly while ensuring data is being accurately and securely managed.
  • Security: when making the transition to paperless operations, it is important to ensure data security is a top priority. Implementing robust security measures including encryption, backups and software updates will help your business stay in check with industry regulations.
  • Change management: moving to a paperless environment means everyone needs to be on board to implement and be successful. Providing employees with comprehensive training programs and giving them adequate information on the reason for the change will make the transition and adoption of this new system more fruitful and cost-efficient.
  • Information Management Systems: finding the right solution to manage your documents allows you to adequately locate documents within your company. At Crown, we’ve developed various document management systems solutions, making the shift into digital more seamless for businesses.
  • Integration: it’s important to consider how new information management systems will integrate with your current digital ecosystem.


How to go paperless?

Now that we’ve outlined what it means to say goodbye to paper, as well as the benefits and considerations any business needs to take when making the change – here are the key steps on how to go paperless:

  1. Set goals: make sure you set clear goals for your paperless targets – detailing what departments you will start with, and the timings you have envisioned that your organisation will need to make the switch.
  2. Discover digital solutions: finding the right digital solution for your business will be paramount. Take time to audit and understand your current landscape and find the digital solution that will best fit your business needs. Crown offers digital transformation systems for businesses looking to digitise their activity and reach for more sustainable options.
  3. Communicate changes: provide the necessary information for your employees so that they can fully grasp the reasoning behind the digital transformation. As well as training to help your team feel confident using new tools and platforms.
  4. Test and learn: in going paperless, every business will have differing needs and requirements. It’s important to continuously test and learn as you go. From customer satisfaction to employee buy-in, these tests will help your organisation evaluate the benefits of saying goodbye to paper.

Focusing on digital first solutions and going paperless can benefit any organisation but can also have setbacks that should be carefully considered and managed.


We’re here to help

Crown is helping businesses to accomplish workflow automation by aligning with the ever-evolving digital landscape and providing the necessary support.

Discover how we can help your organisation go paperless by speaking to Ben Elliott, our Business Development Manager. Ben will help you to achieve a successful, efficient and cost-effective paperless workplace wherever your team is based.

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