In the 1970’s in the IT sector we optimistically talked about the “paperless office”. Since then I have seen so much paper in my working career that it could fill 20 Olympic swimming pools. Much as I love reading documents I firmly believe that we must all convert to digital or be obsolescent. There are both significant efficiency and environmental imperatives (all of those valuable trees wasted). As Chairman of PNORS Technology Group and Datatime Services, one of our solutions is to help organisations automate and digitise their data so they can reduce costs and gain a competitive advantage.
So why do we keep an archived history of your documents? In most cases, it is for the ‘just in case’ scenario. The ‘just in case’ scenario implies that you keep them just in case you get audited by the tax office, or if you conduct a company audit and so on. Some of the offices I have worked in and some of the companies I have consulted with, have rooms and rooms dedicated to archived documents for the ‘just in case’. I can tell you right now, these boxes collect more dust than my home gym.
The reason we collect these boxes of archived company documents is because we are following dated business processes which tell us that for legal reasons, we should have the last five years of paper trails on hand. But do we need them in hard copy?
Time for a change
If you look at the evolution of modern business, it’s not hard to notice that quite a few things, which are now the everyday ‘norm’, were completely different a few years ago. For instance, we no longer use a typewriter, we can work from anywhere with the rise of the virtual office and everything is becoming automated. We are seeing the rise of the paperless office as modern business environments no longer require hardcopy documents to operate.
We have adopted many changes in our business processes throughout the years and the paperless office is growing stronger each year. The requirement of paper is quickly becoming obsolete, yet we still operate the old fashioned way even though the technology is there.
Here are 5 reasons why you should convert your documents to images.
1 - Your data is centralised in a format of your choosing.
We all have things we like and things we don’t. I don’t like Apple computers, but I love my iPhone. I personally like office docs instead of PDFs and I like everything in the cloud. Our document scanning and imaging services convert your hard-copy documents into a format of your choosing and centralise the data into a location of your choice.
Our flexible processes allow us to tailor the output to the requirement of our clients so that there is no kink in business processes and they can get the most out of their archived data. At Datatime we always hear, ‘I don’t care about the document, I just need the data’. Why do you need the hard copy documents when you have the data you need?
2 - You no longer have to search for the data that you need.
Again, everyone does things differently. I have worked with the most anal people who have created these elaborate systems of storing, managing and finding their documents which I struggled to follow. And if they were to leave, and the ‘just in case’ happened, I would have been stuffed!
When it comes to the end of the financial year or if you are conducting an audit, or even if you need to find that HR document from an employee working 5 years ago, converting your documents creates one centralised easy to access and search location.
3 - Regain your office space.
Almost every office has ‘that room’. A dark and grungy room that is allocated to boxes of archived documents for the ‘just in case’. Being snowed under by archived documents causes high overheads and wasted office space. Let’s put it this way; you wouldn’t have a room filled with old computers that serve no purpose except for the ‘just in case’ scenario. There is no need to waste precious office space with stuff you don’t use. Maybe these rooms could become a gym for your employees or a new meeting room.
4 - Reduce your costs.
Let’s be honest here, storing, labelling and archiving documents in a pain in the ass. When you need something, it is not where it should be, or someone has labelled it wrong. And this all takes time which costs money. If you’re paying someone to manage your documents, or you are allocating your staff to this task, chances are you’re wasting money that could serve a higher purpose.
5 - Your risks are minimised.
If your office caught fire, or flooded or got broken into, what would happen to your business? Would your business still be able to operate without the hard-copy archived history that you have collected over the years? Are your private files susceptible to the prying eyes of the public or employees? What about the ‘just in case’ scenario?
When you convert your hardcopy documents to images, you minimise all associated risks. We convert these documents to images that are allocated to a safe virtual location that you can access at any time.
I recommend you to have a look at your archived documents. Determine how much time and resources are spent to maintain them and factor those things into your overheads. Now consider where you would be if you lost those documents. Converting your documents could create enormous benefits for your business and improve your bottom line.
Images: Deposit Photos
Richard Llewelyn – Chairman, PNORS Technology Group
Richard has held many senior management roles at General Manager, CEO and Vice-President level, primarily in the financial services and IT&T sectors.
In 1996 Richard co-founded Nextec Corporation, a boutique investment banking organisation. Richard has successfully managed many major corporate advisory and funding projects with a total value in excess of $1 billion.
In July 2007 Richard founded Howitt & Co to provide corporate advisory and investment banking services.
A Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and Foundation Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Richard regularly publishes articles on technology and management and speaks at many forums internationally. Richard has been on the Board of PNORS since August 2015 and has made a significant impact, guiding the company to further growth.