Stage 3: Why We are Going Paperless

When a company is ready to consider incorporating an electronic document management system, an essential step is to determine which system would work best with your company.   With many on the market to choose from, the first step in narrowing your decision is to examine your company’s specific needs, functions, and workflow.  In addition, you will need to determine the role you want the new system to have.  Will it be used solely as an electronic filing cabinet or are you looking to add additional functions available may help increase productivity and improve workflow?

Another factor to consider is whether or not your organization’s server is capable of communicating with the management system.  Depending on your processes, this can eliminate many manual entries and decrease the amount of human errors.

When analyzing the workflow of your company, one must not only look at the organization’s current process, but now is the time to consider whether or not the current course of action is also the ideal course.  With the multiple functions offered by an electronic management system, specifically allowing people to view documents at the same time, processes may be revised.  The new opportunity allows for simultaneous use, thus increasing productivity and decreasing completion times.  Keeping this new flexibility in mind, now is the time to reshape your business process map and optimize the organization’s workflow.

After selecting a few providers and conveying your company’s functions, needs and growth plan, the provider’s management team should present you with an ROI (Return on Investment) along with pricing.  Keep in mind additional costs such as leasing versus purchasing, maintenance fees and whether or not it is capable of being managed  with your current available IT resources.

Of course there are other factors to consider such as whether or not employees will receive training? Does the supplier have a credible history within the industry? Can you build onto the initial program allowing for company growth?  Most importantly, how is your relationship with the provider.  Are they willing to visit your place of business, learn your processes and help you streamline the new systems?  Do you feel they will be responsive and able to meet your needs?  Hopefully when considering all of these factors, the right provider will become evident.

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