How can I reduce paper in my B2C organisation?
Written by: Tim Myatt
Publish Date: Jun 16, 2020
Read time: 8 minutes
Do you long for a paper free office but are not sure where to start? After all, the benefits of digitising documents and communications are now well-understood: speed, accuracy and better productivity can all be achieved by reducing the amount of physical paper changing hands in organisations.
A paper document needs be taken out of a folder, physically read by a human and manually taken on to the next stage of a process. When information needs to be re-entered into a system errors can creep in, destroying the organisation’s capability of having one golden version of the truth.
Once it is digitised, a document can be used as a single source of data, no matter who is accessing it and for what purpose. Digital documents are more conducive to collaborative working than paper, especially when people are working remotely or in different locations from other team members.
So it may be that your decision to reduce paper is triggered by a specific event, such as an office move or refurbishment, a merger or acquisition, a change in legislation or an external event such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
But before simply ditching your filing cabinets and emptying out your staff’s desk drawers, it pays to think about what paper-based processes you still have, why you have them and which teams make use of them.
Does the paper create an action that is linked to it, and can that be replaced with a digital process that is more efficient? By carrying out a detailed audit, you can work out exactly which paper documents you can get rid of, where it’s safe to digitise and begin understanding how much space you can reclaim.
Start with the (digital) mailroom
Your audit will undoubtedly show that one of the best ways to reduce paper is to eliminate it at source, when it enters your organisation in the mailroom. Mailroom automation, or digitising paper on entry to an organisation, means staff do not have to handle incoming paperwork at all.
Mailroom outsourcing means you can divert post to a third party PO box number attached to a processing centre where it is opened, scanned, classified and routed to the right team.
Digital documents give you an audit trail, can be searched for and accessed by authorised members of the team, easily shared with customers and partners, or routed and processed using automation techniques.
A digital mailroom is the foundation you need to kick-start your digital transformation journey and gives you a basis of better working practices.
Whatever the reason for deciding to reduce paper in your organisation, the good news is that resources are at hand. EDM can help you with your business case, help you to identify which documents or processes would benefit from digitisation and assist you with retention to ensure you are only keeping documents that are required for GDPR compliance or indeed are ready to be destroyed and should no longer be kept.
If you are interested in eliminating paper with a Digital Mailroom - we are offering a free mailroom health check. Find out more here >> https://www.edmgroup.com/digital-mailroom-free-healthcheck-request