A complete guide on how to go paperless in 2022

Going paperless is no longer just a buzzword. It's a necessity in the harsh reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. Simply put, a paperless office is a workplace that eliminates or minimizes paper documents in favor of digital files. But there's a lot more to going paperless than meets the eye.

Going paperless is not just about saving trees and reducing your business's carbon footprint to support environmental laws. It is about enabling remote work, maintaining business continuity in a highly uncertain pandemic, promoting efficiency, and reducing operational costs.

While the idea of a paperless office is not new, few organizations have succeeded in eliminating paper completely. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital technologies in companies across sectors.

Organizations are now looking for lean and mean ways to streamline operations, cut costs, and save precious time. Going forward, organizations will have to re-design their processes and technology stack to suit hybrid working for their employees.

Converting paper to digital files is merely the first step—but to go completely paperless, you will also need to streamline business processes that are document-intensive and automate workflows to create efficiencies.

Change is never easy—and nor can it be achieved in a hurry. So start now and make headway to going paperless in 2022!

We've outlined a series of steps your company must take to achieve paperless operations.

1. How to go paperless? Digitize everything: 

In older days, organizations had no option but to stack files of paper documents in expensive storage areas. Today, you can affordably digitize paper records and store them on office networks or on the cloud.

Paper creates disorganization and can become chaotic as your business scales and document volumes go up. In addition, paper costs money, and handling paper documents adds to the cost. It is also not eco-friendly. Research by PwC indicates that an average company spends $20 on labor to file paper documents, $120 searching for a missing document and $220 to recreate a lost record. That means companies with 1,000 employees are spending $3.5 million annually on issues created by paper. The costs add up!

DRS offers professional document scanning services that mitigate your company's challenges in managing hard copy documentation. Benefits of our scanning services include:

  • Gain easy access to your valuable information
  • Reduce physical document storage
  • Reduce compliance risks
  • Increase data security
  • increase commitment to paperless processes

2. Paper mail is passe: Switch to a digital mailroom

Paper mail that arrives in the organization's mailroom must be sorted through and redistributed to the relevant departments and personnel. It's a tedious task that can delay the processing of documents and create bottlenecks in downstream processes. Especially in hybrid work scenarios, the corporate mailroom is more or less defunct. Paper mail is passe. It's time to go digital. Ask vendors and partners to send bills, invoices, reports, and other documents via email or online apps. Eliminate hard copies of invoices, statements, and other transactional documents even if your vendors, partners and other stakeholders still use them. How? The answer is a digital mailroom.

We retrieve your existing mail or arrange to route all your incoming paper mail to our scanning facility. We then scan all paper documents, including incoming invoices, bills, contracts, agreements or reports. We can deliver the digital copies to you by email or upload them to your document management system.

Talk to DRS to learn more about our integrated digital mailroom services that combine project management, automation of existing business processes and technology that turns onsite paper resources into highly mobile digital resources.

3. Capture data that matters, say no to hand-filled forms 

Remote employees need real-time information at their fingertips. For example, your AP team needs to access invoices from any device or location. Digitize paper invoices as soon as they enter the office premises. Digitally capture data from handwritten forms so remote workers can speedily process them. In hybrid work scenarios, you can access real-time business information on a cloud-based DMS even if you are not physically present in the office to receive a document that has just arrived in the mail. Handwritten application forms received in the office can be scanned and captured into a DMS and are instantly accessible to remote employees. 

DRS has the technology and expertise to capture information from various media formats without re-entering it. We offer affordable, intelligent OCR technology that electronically captures data from forms, applications, images and handwritten records. It is much less labor-intensive than manual data entry, and therefore cost-effective. Reliably capturing information from structured and unstructured documents and forms reduces the costs and errors of manual entries and takes you closer to your paperless goal.

4. Collaborate – with colleagues, partners and vendors 

Sharing data and documents is critical to keep business processes running smoothly. But when your essential business documents are in paper format, it can slow things down. 

Digital collaboration tools not only reduce paper in the office, but they can make it easier to share knowledge and circulate information. In addition, they improve collaboration between team members and support remote and hybrid workspaces. 

Talk to DRS for a collaboration platform like Mercury, an enterprise content management system that stores and classifies digitized documents on the cloud and enhances digital collaboration. Our content management solutions allow you to automate critical tasks by letting you:

  • Analyze your data for making cost-saving decisions
  • Classify your data to meet your compliance requirements
  • Migrate, retain or release data for retention, archival or deletion
  • Generate audit-proof reporting

5. Adopt streamlined digital workflows

Streamline business processes from beginning to end and reliably connect people and information wherever they are with digital solutions. DRS offers workflow automation solutions that automate enterprise workflows via business process automation software. 

Our solutions drive out paper-based processes to decrease cost, increase productivity, and support internal and external compliance mandates.

Use workflow automation tools to:

  • Streamline and automate your paper-intensive departments such as Accounts Payables to run smoother with fewer staff and better results.
  • Keep your sensitive company records in departments such as HR safe, secure and available as needed.

How to go paperless in 2022: Make the switch to digital documents with DRS 

According to 'The World Ahead 2022', the annual special publication by The Economist, 2022 will be the year of adjusting to new realities.

The hybrid future of work features in the major ten themes for 2022.

Go full steam ahead with document digitization if you want to stay competitive in 2022. Data will fuel the enterprise, and workers will need to access information in real-time from anywhere and on any device.

Since 1964, DRS has been exclusively focused on helping companies manage their information to optimize business processes. Partner with us for digital transformation services, including document scanning, enterprise content management, intelligent data capture solutions, facilities management, and more. With major facilities located conveniently throughout the U.S., our operational insight has helped our customers attain measurable results through increased productivity, lower costs and technological innovation.

We'll get you ready for the future of the digital workspace!

Get in touch with our digital transformation consultants and go paperless in 2022!