Making the switch to a mostly paperless office is more important than ever today. It’s not the just pressures of keeping day-to-day business paperwork under control that we face. We’re also surrounded by contracts – expiring contracts, renewing contracts, under-performing contracts, contracts we’re not sure about, fledgling contracts, contracts we’re considering, contracts we’ve not yet dreamed of…
A paperless office supported by contract management software could be the change you need to take back control of your business. Going paperless is a very attainable goal, and provides countless benefits, but knowing where and how to can be tough. Here are some things to consider as you embark on the road towards a paperless office.
Pick a Conversion Method
Consider how you’ll transform your paper document into an electronic version. If you have a photocopier, most of them have scanning options and can be connected to a computer or portable hard drive to store your files. If you don’t have a photocopier, then a simple desktop scanner can accomplish the task. If you’ve got a lot of documents to convert, spanning back several years or decades, it might worth hiring some outside help. Many companies offer digital conversion solutions, and they can make the whole process of going paperless much faster.
Don’t Keep Everything
Determine if a document is still relevant and needs to be digitised. How frequently is each document used? Can you skip some and remove them from your records? Eliminating what you don’t need anymore can save you a lot of time and storage space. Of course, if any paper documents are no longer necessary, be sure private documents are shredded and destroyed.
Mimic Your Current Filing System
Consider how your existing paper-based filing system works, as well as your electronic files. Basing your new paperless filing system on a similar structure will help you create a digital filing system that everybody already knows. It’s also important to prioritise, to find out which documents ought to be digitised right now, and which ones can wait until a later date.
Route Document Work Flow
Study the day-to-day workflow of your employees and learn just how different documents move around your organisation. For instance, it might be one employee’s job to handle all inbound and outbound mail, while the sales department handles invoices and contracts by your legal team. Having your new paperless system set up to automatically route documents to each specific department can significantly speed up productivity, rather than wasting employee time hunting for files.
Restrict Access to Sensitive Files
In your current filing setup, it’s likely that not every employee has access to every type of document. Consider how much document access each employee needs, and password-protect any sensitive files. Some areas that generally require more security are accounting, human resources, payroll and any private correspondence.
We’ll Help You Realise the Benefits of Paperless Contract Management
At Four, our consultants can support you in your quest for paperless contract management by deploying Cobblestone’s Contract Insight, software used by Fortune 500 companies. Contract Insight is configurable, scalable and can be up and running in days. Many customers see a dramatic return on investment within two months.
What Contract Insight Offers
- Cross-company shared workspace
- Document authorisations
- Simple scan and file
- Advanced reporting and analysis metrics
- Sophisticated document workflow and alerts
- User defined metadata, data tables and dashboards
- Data tables and dashboards
- Secure repository
- Electronic signature.
A smooth transaction
Going paperless doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Take it step-by-step, piece-by-piece, and by following these tips and deploying our automated contract management system, you’ll soon have a streamlined, fully functional, paperless office.