The Transformative Journey of Going Paperless
In recent years, many organizations have undergone the transformative journey of going paperless, by organizing their files using document management systems (DMS). Going paperless has become an everyday reality, but it's not always easy for the organization and its employees. A successful implementation necessitates a strategic approach within the business and a mental adjustment for employees.
Certain organizations harbor apprehensions about transitioning to a paperless environment. Their lack of familiarity with digitalization leads to concerns, particularly regarding security. There's a fear of potential mishaps leading to data loss and organizational paralysis. Additionally, some organizations become fixated on the financial aspects, worrying about the costs associated with implementing a new system, often neglecting the broader advantages that such a project could bring to the organization.
Organizations that recognize the advantages of modernization and transition towards a digital system, frequently meet with opposition, especially from seasoned employees who struggle to let go of long-standing habits. This change can be particularly tough for employees nearing retirement age, demanding a considerable amount of time and effort to adapt to the new ways of working.
During previous JOIN's DMS implementation projects, I encountered occasional resistance. One poignant example of the emotional impact of this change involves an employee who initially struggled with the mandatory adoption of a digital platform, JOIN. Despite undergoing training, the individual felt overwhelmed and doubted their ability to adapt. In a gesture of empathy, I offered personal support by working alongside the employee for two days. This hands-on assistance proved instrumental, as the employee gradually gained confidence in navigating the application and overcoming initial apprehensions. The emotional transformation from initial resistance to newfound competence was so profound that tears of joy were shed.
Let's explore the concept of "The transformative journey of Going Paperless," which entails minimizing paper usage within an organization and transitioning from printed files to digital documents, facilitated by document management systems like JOIN. The paramount advantage of this transformation lies in efficient time management. No longer does an employee have to sift through storage for files or wait for colleagues to bring documents for review or approval; everything is accessible in the system when needed.
Additional benefits of going paperless include:
- Enhanced Transparency: DMS categorizes and indexes documents, simplifying the process of locating and retrieving information swiftly.
- Advanced Security: DMS offers access control, ensuring sensitive documents are accessible only to authorized personnel, thereby enhancing data security.
- Cost Savings: DMS can reduce expenses associated with physical document storage, printing, and manual document handling.
A key piece of advice for organizations transitioning to a paperless approach is to refrain from simply replicating existing processes in a digital format. Instead, conduct a thorough analysis of the organization's workflow, taking the time to understand how employees currently handle their daily tasks with paper. This not only aids in strategizing and setting realistic deadlines but also fosters employee engagement in the paperless project, fostering a more positive attitude toward the impending changes.
Following this analysis, create a comprehensive project plan that outlines the optimal workflow, document management system, and paperless office policy tailored to the organization's unique needs. For larger organizations, it may be prudent to divide the project into manageable sections.
To me, going paperless is not merely an option but a fundamental shift in the way we operate in the modern business lifecycle. It's a holistic transformation that redefines how organizations function and interact with information.
About the writer:
Gina Francisca is a functional consultant and JOIN application manager at Ictual Curacao. With a decade of experience since completing her MBI in the Netherlands, Gina guides organizations in their digital transformation journey. This includes analyzing the current state of affairs and transitioning to more digitized processes.
JOIN's DMS offers your organization higher efficiency, significant time savings, and a substantial quality boost. Whether it's managing documents, emails, invoices, contracts, or mail handling, you can easily create, store, share, edit, retrieve, and archive all types of documents.