Recordkeeping will be made much easier, and you will have better control over all of the documentation that you have in your office.
Now that you have decided to get rid of paper, what are you going to need to look into to make the move? What hardware, software and other services are available to you? Let’s take a look at some of the solutions that you can use in your office to get the most out of going paperless.
Just because you have decided to go paperless doesn’t mean your customers or clients have. This means you are going to receive paper from someone at some point. Being able to handle the paper is what is going to determine the success or failure of your move to a paperless office. The first thing you are going to need are good document scanners.
Document scanners will let you digitize any paper that you need to keep around into the format you prefer. A good document scanner will also have character recognition software that will turn your scanned documents into searchable ones. This can be helpful for archiving, filing, indexing and document retrieval.
Scanners can come in all shapes and sizes. You might want to provide everyone with a small desk sized model. Another option is to set up document scanners where your copy machines used to be. They can also double as fax machines if you need them to. There are several different options for scanning solutions, so be sure to do your homework. Don’t feel like you have to settle on one type, either. You may want to have a mix of options to remain flexible.
Electronic Stamping and Signing Software
Along with electronic documents, you are going to need a way to sign those documents. For legal reasons, even electronic documents can still be required to be stamped with a date and signature. That’s where dynamic PDF stamps come in.
PDF stamping software not only lets you enter a hand signature and date, it also allows you to stamp documents using an electronic stamp. If you have a business need for an accept/reject rubber stamp on your documents, this software can handle it for you.
The best part is, you can customize the software to give your stamps and signatures any look you wish. You can even select where on the document that the stamp is going to appear so it retains the look of being hand stamped and signed, not electronically modified.
Document Management Software
Think of it as a virtual filing cabinet. If you want to avoid having file folders scattered all over countless hard drives, you are going to need to have some form of document management software. There are many options available to you based on the size of your business and the volume of documentation that you wish to keep.
Most of the software packages are customizable in both function and size, so make sure to check with the software vendor to see what would best match up to your needs. You should also make sure that the database allows other software to interface with it. That way you can take advantage of some other paperless solutions.
Standard applications, job quotes, request forms and all other manner of form that used to be filled out by hand can be changed into an interactive PDF form. This means that the form itself cannot be modified like a document file could. The form remains the same while only the fields you wish to be edited are edited.
PDF forms can be programed to leverage a document management system. They can be dynamically generated with data that is pulled from the parent database. They can also change based upon the answers that are given to certain fields that are modified while they are being filled out.
Finally, PDF forms can be programmed to dump their data directly into your document management or any other database that you wish. Just like a web based form, you can have the responses that a customer gives go right into a quote generating database that notifies a sales person. The best part is that they are fully customizable and can be tailored to any application that your business needs.
Automated Workflow Scripting
With paper, you had to rely on the receiving agent to make the copies of the paper and put it in the inboxes of the appropriate people who had to respond. A paperless office is much more streamlined. When a document hits the system, all responsible parties can be notified automatically so that all aspects of the work can begin in parallel instead of waiting for a chain of events to set it off.
PDF forms and documents can all be modified to include custom scripting that will automate any tasks that you desire. Automation can also be used to do form data validation. This can save time by allowing only the real work getting to the people who need to do it. Spam and other forms of junk will automatically be filtered out so that precious time isn’t wasted.
Tablets and Stylus
Replace the standard notebook with a tablet and stylus. No longer do you have to worry about translating notes scribbled on the backs of envelopes, steno pads or sticky notes. Employees with tablets can take all the notes they need and with the right software have the notes typed and ready for a report almost immediately. Tablets can also speed up access to documents they need as well as leverage your PDF forms and scripts.
Going paperless might seem like a daunting task, but with the right software and hardware it can make your office run better than it ever has. Contact us today for paperless PDF and Stamp solutions!