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6 Organization Tips For a Paper-Intensive Business

6 Organization Tips For a Paper-Intensive Business

Running a business requires paperwork—lots of it. It’s a reality for all firms, and more so in paper-intensive businesses, such as logistics, healthcare, legal, finance, education, and many others. Documents can quickly pile up and bury your employees, unless they step away from their desks. If all you see on their desks is clutter, it’s a sign you have serious filing issues.

Managing documents is likewise tricky when your business is growing. An innocent coffee mug can be a threat, while an open window or nearby trashcan can make anyone anxious, especially when it’s audit season. Your precious files can get stained, torn, misplaced, or, worse, thrown away. Recovery can be a painstaking task, and failure can mean lesser revenue or hefty fines. If you’re constantly losing files or having trouble managing them, it’s about time to move away from paper-based to paperless.

Organizing Your Paper-Intensive Business

There’s a simple solution for all your document management woes. All it takes are basic organizational skills to tame your document stack. Check the list below so your employees can do more on their desks and with their time.

1. Start With Your Desk 

Before you can ask your employees to clear their desks, make sure yours is a model of cleanliness. It’s your duty as an owner to show them how to manage paperwork efficiently. Tidy up your office and have only essential papers on your desk.

If you have a filing system that works for you, you can probably replicate it on a larger scale. Create a plan to sort data into various categories (customer information, account number, year, etc.) or have departments accountable for their files.

Spread the word and ensure that everyone complies with your filing system. You may even include incentives to encourage employees to take part in your campaign.

2. Convert Records Into Digital Images 

Hard copy files can accumulate over time and may even get damaged when they’re not stored correctly. You’ll need document capture solutions for mid-sized businesses that can convert papers into digital images. Invest in a portable machine, and assign one or two employees to work the scanning station to speed up the process.

Scanned records not only create electronic duplicates but also ensure faster retrieval. These also secure documents by restricting access and creating a timestamp for audit purposes.

3. Provide Ample Storage 

Going paperless can take some time, especially if you’re starting the transition. While you’re clearing out your backlog, you can provide employees with shelves to keep their files organized. Vertical storage helps maximize office space. It also lessens desk clutter so you and your employees can use their desks for more productive tasks.

Scanned documents are the first step towards going paperless. You can keep the hard copies in off-site storage, while digital ones can be transferred to the cloud. This will not only drastically reduce your paperwork, but also ensure efficient document management. Cloud storage is secure, and it also comes with additional organizing features, such as writing notes or organizing files.

Organization Tips

4. Download Additional Tools

Depending on the nature of your business, you can also take advantage of various organizing tools to keep track of your expenses, organize your schedules, and automate other paper-extensive tasks.

You can download software or mobile apps to help you digitize purchase orders, employee onboarding, safety procedures, and audit preparation. You can use these programs to optimize workflows and spot discrepancies before they get out of hand.

5. Use File Sharing Software

Aside from keeping digital copies of all your business files, you can also share them with your employees or business partners. File sharing software provide easy access, without having to download them. Aside from permissions, file sharing can also come with additional features, such as data backup, user accounts, or automation, so you can seamlessly manage your digital files.

6. Share Your Paperless Initiative

Aside from improving your documentation processes within the company, you can also involve customers and business partners with your paperless initiative. Send them an email to explain the benefits of paperless transactions and encourage them to send digital copies of contracts, agreements, etc., using e-signature services.

Conclusion 

Handling documents can be a daunting task, especially when you’re in a paper-intensive business. You not only need to protect files, but you also have to ensure that they’re available for everyone. Business owners should be at the forefront of effective filing systems so employees can understand the importance of organizing and keeping documents safe.

Going paperless is a cost-effective solution for a currently paper-intensive business. Apart from scanning, current technologies, such as cloud storage, file sharing, and mobile document management apps, can help you digitize your filing system and ensure your documents are accessible, safe, and secure.

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