Three steps to celebrating World Paper Free Day

By: In: World Paper Free Day On: Nov 06, 2015
Three steps to celebrating World Paper Free Day

Streamline Your Business on 6 November

Today is World Paper Free Day, although judging by the results of a recent survey conducted by AIMM, it won’t feel like that to many. Nearly a third of respondents still describe their offices as piled high with paper and bogged down with paper processes.

In our last post we discussed the benefits of being paper-free, and today is as good a day as any to start making the change. But where to begin?

Steps to removing paper

1.  Look at how paper enters your business, where it slows things down, and where it clogs up processes. Highlight the role that paper-free information systems can play in speeding up customer response, improving customer experience and saving back-office costs.

2. Get a firm commitment from senior management. Without this, any initiative is likely to be at best marginal and at worst doomed to failure. You can start by identifying who is in charge of radical process review and seek their endorsement.

3.  It’s a good idea to go for a few quick wins. An ideal place to start is where electronic copies are being habitually printed as part of the workflow – for reference, for review, for signatures or for file copies. Consider investing in an e-signature solution.

If you have no existing paper-free processes, pick one to trial, but be careful not to become locked in to a single-point solution, such as from your finance system vendor. Rationalise your records scanning and records digitising systems with a view to servicing multiple processes and sites.If you are unsure of your expertise, get a team member trained, or if you need some external input, consult a document process outsourcer such as Iron Mountain and tap into their experience in your industry.

Once you have a system in place, you need to position it  as a digital mailroom. Scanning and digitising everything that enters the business is the best way to shield your offices from paper and help to ensure the quickest possible conversion to digital.

Above all, imagine how you will compete if in a few years’ time if you are still running your business at the speed of paper.

See how much digitising can save your business with our business case calculator.

Get the complete AIIM report, Paper-Free Progress: measuring outcomes

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About the author

Elizabeth Bramwell

Elizabeth has overall responsibility for the Commercial Function within Iron Mountain UK. In this capacity she leads the business development and customer retention activities on behalf of Iron Mountain UK. She is also responsible for ensuring that Iron Mountain continues to develop propositions that respond to customer and market demands and maintains its position as a leader in records and information management. Elizabeth joined Iron Mountain in November 2014, after more than 20 years in the IT & Telecommunications industry. In her last role, as Sales Director at Kcom she was responsible for leading a £230m revenue business with a team of more than 170 people, covering all aspects of the sales function within the Kcom b2b brand. Prior to this she spent 11 years at Cable & Wireless where she undertook a number of senior sales leadership roles. These included managing the Systems Integration business and leading the Strategic Accounts team which was responsible for the retention and growth of client accounts across all of the key vertical sectors for C&W.