Q: So, is a paperless office really achievable?
A: a significant percentage of Australian businesses are a paperless office now.
If you look at the quantity of letters being delivered from Australian Post to Australian companies, 90 percent of them are receiving half a dozen envelopes a day for accounts payable and the rest is marketing of upcoming events or subscriptions. The volume is insignificant.
The other 10 percent of organizations that are out there, continue to be very paper-centric, they can certainly benefit from going to a paper-reduced or a paper-less office.
The goal is to actually process their information electronically from images, rather than transferring physical paper throughout the organization.
So, that correspondence, transaction or document is no longer delivered to a person’s desktop and then transcribing information from it. The organisation now actually scans the physical document in a mail room environment or by a bureau service such as Microsystems, and then processing the transaction electronically in a completely efficient workflow-centric way.
This provides them with security, efficiency, and audit ability. They know who transacted that document through audit-controls and logins at that workstation.
The company has disaster recovery effectively handled.
They also have a situation where they’re not being pushed out of the current office environment as they grow the organization because physical records are not pushing them out of that limited space.
So, it may well be that they keep the physical documents for 30 days, 60 days, for a quality-assurance perspective, but beyond that an electronic record is the complete and comprehensive document archive.
Q: Where are they able to start, in order to start to reduce this paper based situation.
A: All Longstanding Businesses will have an accumulated archive, all of that company history being stored as physical documents sitting on shelves or in cabinets. The simple answer in this situation is to undertake a vital records assessment and progressively scan the records over time taking into account cash flow considerations etc.