Transitioning to a Paperless Office.
The use of paper has increased in the
past few years thus this has increased the production cost for the company, and
some changes need to be effected to address this.
This is primarily attributed
to the growth and expansion of the company. The size of the business has grown
from a mid-sized company to a regional firm thus an overall increase in the
number of operations. Before the company used less paper but as services, such
warehousing and distribution from other distribution companies have doubled.
Most shipping companies use a lot of paper for the recording of goods delivered
thus need to make a transition to less or minimal paper use unless necessary.
If the company is to grow to a global firm and compete on a global level, there
is a need to cut down on paper use to reduce the production cost that can be
used to improve the efficiency of the service delivered. (Rothaermel, F. T,
2015). With the growing pressure for companies to go green due to climate
change, many have been considering going paperless and have realized that it
might also reduce overhead expenses. However, even with this up to 80% of
organizations are resistant and still using paper due to different challenges
including the complex regulations involved in going paperless security and
training problems. My business is part of this 80%, even as a manufacturing
based company; we use paper for things such as invoices and insurance and
shipping agreements. Upon evaluation, it seems that throughout the years the
usage of has been increasing even with all the technological advancements. The
purposes of this report is to:
the need to go paperless.
the reasons for resistance.
the advantages of going paperless.
the best strategies for transitioning to paperless.
recommendations to implement those strategies.
I have researched the
negative impact the use of paper is having on the company profits and
operations. I also looked at the reasons for this increased paper use in the
To: CEO Ohio Manufacturing
With the growing size of Ohio
Manufacturing Inc., there has been an increase in paper use which has resulted
in increased production cost. There has been a global campaign towards
environmental conservation and the green agenda thus for the company to expand
into regional markets there is need to portray a positive image of the company
by cutting down on paper usage. Also completion from competitors thus the
company should use innovative and up to speed systems to be able to compete
with other global firms. For such a change to be effected, it requires an
executive decision from top management for it to be implemented across all
departments. Transitioning to paperless has many advantages for the company,
our customers, and workers.
to a paperless office.
Going paperless is advantageous to any
company or business as it improves on efficiency and productivity.
Transitioning to a paperless office has been a challenge to most corporations
who can’t fully make the transition to an office environment operated without
the use of paper. It’s quite expensive to effect such changes since employees
would have to be retrained to use software. The concept of developing a
paperless office has been around for decades, but we have certainly made
progress. An average office employee uses up to 45 sheets of paper according to
the Green Office Guide produced by recycling experts in 2013. Going paperless
is something almost all organizations have aspired to be as it communicates
innovation and sends a message that there are drivers of the green agenda. (Rothaermel,
F. T, 2015). To fully go paperless it would require collaboration between
employees and the management of a particular firm to implement recommendations
made by the organization. Moving away from the use of paper can be costly for
any company, but they are financial benefits that are coupled with it. The
storing paper takes a lot of space in the office or off-site but going
paperless can improve on efficiency which can trickle down to business
Going paperless has so many advantages
for any company and organizations should strive towards moving towards that
direction. First, a paperless office is more efficient and smooth in service
delivery. Workers can complete their office tasks on time and reduce the
lengthy queues in government offices such as hospitals where every event has to
be documented. Use of paper takes a lot of time as the papers have to be filled
out manually which is quite time-consuming.
Also, paper records are
expensive to maintain and are prone to recording errors as compared to
electronic devices. In offices departments, such finance which use a lot of
paper storing and maintaining the papers can increase the cost. Hence an
organization that transitions to a paperless office would save on office space
and cut down on the number of hours spent recording. Also, an organization
that's paperless would cut down on some employees thus saving on production
costs. Customer service will improve and the number of hours spent waiting to
be served would reduce. People have reported that responses to customers can be
speeded up by getting rid of the use of paper by four to ten times by cutting
down on the number of papers sitting in storage trays and the ones awaiting
processing. (Miles personal communication, November 3, 2013). Use of paper
leads to environmental degradation as the papers are made from trees hence
going paperless would drive the green agenda and fewer trees could be cut down
thus conserving ta environment. Hundreds of tons of trees are cut down and
processed into paper every day. Some organizations such as learning
institutions use a lot of paper due to the nature of their operations. Such
organizations should identify areas where there don't need to use paper or can
reduce on its use to reduce the demand for paper. Also, the same organizations
should drive the campaign for going paperless and should be at the frontline to
drive the green agenda.
Another major reason for going paperless
is it would improve the speed of conducting business transactions between
business partners or companies. The use of paper limits the speed of transactions
in organizations with many departments, (Rothaermel, F. T, 2015). Where the
approval letter for any transaction has to be circulated across the office to
be signed by the relevant approval managers. In such a scenario having software
that links all the relevant workers in an office would speed up the transaction
hence more business transactions would be transacted.
Reasons for resistance
paperless does not come without challenges and to effect such a change would be
costly for the company. The first use of paper is still the best option for any
organization. In the recent past although many tools and systems used in
organizations have gone digital some such as the use of paper have remained
analog. (Rothaermel, F. T, 2015). Through the paper, companies can maintain
their touch with a customer base. Also, the use of paper is convenient as it
does involve risks such as running out of batteries, the need for upgrading and
security breaches that come with the use of the software. The paper will remain
to be the best option for any organization as it’s quite widespread around the
world, and almost everybody is conversant with the use of paper.
New systems for paperless use are not
designed for every user. Many people are not familiar with iPad and the latest
computers and asking them to change from the use of paper that's been ingrained
in their traditions and way of communicating might not work. The key is to meet
customers right where there are rather than asking them to adopt to
technological changes there are not accustomed to. (Maud, & C., B, 2013). Systems should be designed for everyone and
not suiting some while leaving some out. A survey conducted on health insurance
found out that many enrollees don't know how to use a web service only to apply
for health insurance and many spend a lot of time in person or on the phone.
Going paperless is not a smart goal.
Evolution and not revolution is the sensible path forward according to smart IT
experts. But for the case of paper they have not been an evolutionary path
available. The choice to many has felt black or white, to go paperless or not.
In fact, the best choice is both, and these have been enabled by new
Throwing out paper would result in
project failures for legacy processes. When digital systems are used, and paper
is thrown out, what happens when the system fails? Often digital systems fail
which results in turning back to the use of paper which creates a back log. For
instance, the Veterans Benefits Management system created to replace paper
processes. When the system breaks down which happens regularly, patients have
to turn back to the use of paper thus burdening the legacy paper processes. . (Madu, & C., B, 2013). Systems that integrate both digital and paper
processes work best where the files are baked up in a backend store and
increase both efficiency and productivity.
Valuable data remains on paper. Many
advocates for moving to paperless overlook a critical fact that vital
information is still stored on paper. When we think of information that we can
easily access such as on websites or blogs, we are missing the point. Private
and public companies need system tools that help them organize data in a
logical manner. This idea of going paperless is a false dichotomy. . (Madu, & C., B, 2013). Data comes in both forms digital and
paperless, and we need to embrace the data, not the form it comes in. As we go
paperless, we need to center our thinking around how to integrate both digital
and paper rather than fully getting rid of paper.
Transitioning to a paperless
Training of office workers to work in an
office environment without or with minimal paper use. Since many office workers
are not well trained on digital systems such as software, they would require
training to ensure a transition to a paperless office. Moving to a paperless office would be a major
shift for any office worker and regular customers also would take the time to
adjust to the changes.
Also, the organization should conduct a
survey of its employees to test the waters before effecting a paperless office
as such dramatic changes will influence the efficiency of workflow and
productivity. Some office workers might oppose such a transition and thus will
not be willing to learn and implement the change to a paperless office.
Another issue to implement for the
effective transition to a paperless office is wider use of tablets among the
office workers and those working remotely to collect and record information.
Some tablets are user-friendly and are not cumbersome to use. For office
workers who have poor digital skills, there can use the tablets to learn a few
skills before the entire office goes paperless. Thus every worker could be
accommodated. (Madu, & C., B, 2013). Data
can be captured there and then with photo images stored close to documents if
necessary hence there is no lag time for the back office to process papers.
(Brooks Duncan, personal communication, August 6th, 2014).
Training of office workers to work in an
environment that's paperless. This can be achieved by putting the office
workers through a three months training the program on the expected new running
of the office once implemented. The employees would be equipped with skills on
how to use digital platforms and to identify problems when their arise in the
office. Also for workers who already have some skills these skills would be
The organization intending to go
paperless should supply its office workers with tablets to collect and record
information. . (Madu, & C., B, 2013). Such
a move would give the need to go paperless a try and would give the
organization on the best system to use such as an electronic filling system.
Also, a survey should be conducted and
the organization should study the success a paperless office where it has been
tried in other organizations. The survey should be done to get the ideas and
opinions of making such a transition and the effect it will have on their work
efficiency and productivity.
Also reducing the number of equipment's
facilitating the use of papers such as printers. A reduction in the number of
equipment would discourage the use of paper.
In conclusion, I found out that an office
run by use of paper is very expensive and a reduction in paper use would cut
down on the production cost that could be used to hire more workers. Further,
it would improve efficiency and productivity of every office department. I
gathered that the increase in paper use is attributed to the growth of the
business thus as the business grows and expands its, operations other business
partners such as ware housing and distributors don't use papers the transition.