Going Paperless? How to Take Charge of Your Paper Problem

Posted by Jess McWeeney on Mar 25, 2015 12:56:20 PM
Jess McWeeney

Have you struggled with going paperless in the past? Perhaps your office has even experience something like this...


(Hat tip to The SIGNiX blog for the video share!)

It doesn't have to be that way. 

How to Begin Going Paperless, Painlessly

Rather than trying to toss out all the paper in your office all at once, start by evaluating which paper processes would benefit most from a switch to paperless.

Choosing Which Process To Take Paperless

Teams are mostly likely to actually use paperless options when those options making doing their job faster, easier, or less tedious—so, to start, look for paper processes that slow things down, make things more difficult, or are exceptionally time consuming.

For example...

Do your employees in the field need to stop by the office each morning to manually pick up paperwork for the day, then stop by again at the end of the day to drop it off again?

Or perhaps there's paperwork that someone manually retypes into a computer (a pretty tedious task), that sometimes ends up being illegible or filled out incorrectly, and collecting it digitally would save time and improve accuracy?

Either of these processes would be a great place to make the switch to a paperless process.

Evaluating The Paperless Option You Need

Once you've identified a process you want to take paperless, the next step is deciding how to accomplish that.

There are a number of options and tools available to help you, including:

  • Mobile forms
  • Electronic Signatures
  • Survey Apps
  • Web-based Forms & Surveys
  • Intranets

It's important to think carefully about the use case you have and figure out which is the best fit.

For example...

Is the process you chose one that involved emailing out contracts that then have to be printed, scanned, and emailed back? Maybe you want an electronic signature option.

Is the process survey-based, where you're collecting data from customers or prospective customers in person or via the web? Maybe you want a kiosk survey solution or an online survey form option.

Is the process a matter of employees filling out paperwork in the field and then making that data digital so the company can actually use it? If that's the case, mobile forms are exactly what you need.

Need shared documents and your own internal company social media? An intranet might be a good option. (And the choices don't stop there, though those tools should cover most use cases.)

Testing Out A New Paperless Process

Once you've chosen the process and the solution you'll try, it's time to set up a pilot test—by implementing the new process with a small portion of your team you gain a chance to make sure paperless really offers the benefits you think it will and to overcome any issues that may come up.

You get a chance to create paperless advocates, people who will champion the cause because of the value they personally saw from using the new process.

And you get a chance to prove to any upper level management (or if you're the boss, yourself) that it really can work.

Are you going paperless? Share your experience, or the process you want to take paperless, in the comments below!

Topics: Mobile Forms, Going Paperless