The Elusive Paperless Office: Saving Your Organization Time and Money

May 22, 2017   //   SharePoint, , ,

By now, aren’t we all supposed to be enjoying the many benefits of the proverbial Paperless Office?  Shouldn’t we have already sorted and scanned all the old paper documents in the bankers boxes and file cabinets and captured them into a modern document repository (like Microsoft SharePoint)?  Weren’t we all supposed to have instantaneous access to all our archives by some time back in the late 1990’s?  Well, according to  Microsoft SharePoint)?  Weren’t we all supposed to have instantaneous access to all our archives by some time back in the late 1990’s?  Well, according to  The Paperless Project (as of 2014), the average office worker still uses a staggering 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year, and 45% of the paper printed in offices ends up trashed by the end of the day.  Scan-print-scan processes are still prevalent in many organizations.  Other studies suggest that employees can spend 20% to 40% of their time looking for information that is locked in email and filing cabinets.  It would seem that the Paperless Office remains elusive for many (or even most) organizations.

That begs the question: Why?  There are many obvious potential benefits to going paperless, including saving substantial time and money, reducing risk of data loss, and saving trees.  Why haven’t more organizations gotten to the ‘panacea of paperless-ness’?   Well, in our experience, there are two main reasons: #1 is that functional solutions have been too expensive, and #2 is that solutions have been too complex.  If the ROI isn’t clear enough and soon enough, then business leaders will balk at spending money (as they should), and traditionally such solutions have had big price tags.  If a solution IS delivered, and it isn’t easier for all participants than the legacy paper-based processes (by A LOT), then people won’t use the solution and will stick with what they know.  Hello, Paperville.

SWC’s approach to delivering cost-effective and easy-to-use solutions for document scanning, processing, and retrieval has evolved significantly over the past 3 decades.  We have worked with many tools and technologies, and have seen dramatic improvements in capabilities even as prices have fallen significantly.  Microsoft SharePoint provides the foundation platform for document storage, retrieval, and workflow processing, with additional features that can enhance collaboration and productivity.  SharePoint (especially SharePoint Online with Office 365) offers flexible and powerful navigation and search capabilities, which often far exceed those of more traditional document management systems, for a fraction of the cost.  And, Microsoft continues to invest heavily in making SharePoint (and Office 365) more user-friendly and intuitive.

But what about that pesky ‘document ingestion’ problem?  How do we get all those paper documents converted to a usable digital format and loaded into our SharePoint document repositories?  Microsoft doesn’t really provide solutions for advanced automated capture, indexing, and storage of documents into SharePoint, so a third-party product is required to fill that need.  SWC believes that PSI:Capture from PSIGEN offers the most powerful and cost-effective document ingestion solution available today.  And, it is priced in a manner that is especially attractive for SWC’s typical mid-market customers.

Streamlining and automating paper-based processes doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.  Microsoft, PSIGEN, and other vendors offer modern, affordable tools that can help make the transition less disruptive, and ultimately more successful.  SWC can help you understand how to make it happen, now.