So, you wanted to go paperless, but here you are still printing and filing paper. What happened? Make a goal to become more organized for the new year by scanning and storing your documents electronically! Once you start scanning, do what you can each day and eventually all of your documents will be scanned. This is the time to get your business organized!
1) Start Small
Yes, you want to scan every piece of paper in your office right now. To make paperless a reality, you will need to make the process easy to start and easy to maintain. Start by scanning and storing in one department to begin. If you work with a lot of accounting documents, start by scanning Accounts Payable checks. When you start in one area of your business you can establish your system and change it as needed without much impact to the other parts of your business.
Remember why you want to scan. Why is going paperless important to you? Deciding your “why” will be the driving momentum to make going paperless a reality to you. Are you running out of space to physically put the paper? Are you passionate about using less paper for the environment? Are you looking for a more efficient way to handle paperwork? Did you want to start storing documents digitally to clear out last year’s files? Start by scanning last year’s files. You will feel accomplished knowing you are on task and will appreciate seeing progress as the filing cabinet is emptied.
2) Order your scanner
A scanner is critical in the quest to going paperless. Choose the right scanner for your needs. Don’t get caught up on the price alone. At Scan123 we recommend Fujitsu fi-series scanners for their speed, durability and price. These scanners can scan double sided documents at 120 pages per minute. The scanners will last you several years with only minor maintenance required. No costly maintenance program required. The scanners can be found at less than $900 each and will save your business that much money in filing, retrieving files and traditional document handling costs such as sending documents via Fedex.
Think about the types of documents you handle every day. Will you be scanning sales files with 30-40 documents or more often will scans include 5 pages or less? If you are handling large scans such as 30-40 documents or more, you will benefit from ordering a scanner like the Fujitsu fi-7160 that scans 120 pages per minute. If you are scanning only a few pages at a time, we recommend a less expensive scanner such as the Canon DR-C225, priced around $350. Both of these scanners are only the size of a shoe box and will easily fit on anyone’s desk.
Think of your long term goal to go paperless and decide how many scanners would be ideal in order to scan all of the documents that come through your office. Does that look like one scanner for every administrative person in your business? Does your budget allow for you to start by purchasing one scanner per department? If not, purchase one or two scanners for the most critical areas to scan. When you are ready to start scanning in other areas, purchase more scanners at that time. Watch ebay for the best scanner deals and buy more then.
3) Choose Keywords
You know how to find a document in your paper filing cabinets but how will you find it when it’s stored on your computer or online? When deciding how to save your documents, choose a naming system that will best suit other users in your business in addition to yourself. You won’t want to be the only person who can find the files later!
When you store documents on your computer, you must remember what folders to search and what you named the file in order to recall it. When using a cloud storage provider, more options are available for searching – file name search and keyword search. When using a specialized document retrieval system like Scan123, you can search by file name, size, date, who scanned the file as well as the endless keywords you tag your files with like customer name, phone number, stock number, check number, etc.
Choosing a naming and filing system that makes sense to everyone will benefit you and your business in the long run. It will ensure you name files correctly and can find them when you are looking for them later.
4) Appoint a Champion
Make going paperless fun and appoint a champion! Choose someone from your team to be the scanning champion – the “go-to” person for the paperless initiative. You have already thought out your plan and the scanner you will purchase, now you need to put it into action. By appointing them as the “go-to” person, your champion will feel special with the new project and your team will have someone to check in with to answer questions internally. What order should the documents be scanned in? How do you handle customer names with a hyphen? Designating one or two people to tackle this role will allow your new process to be built with consistency. The person in charge can explain the importance of going paperless while double checking that everything is being named appropriately and tweak any processes that aren’t working out.
5) Ask for Help
Here at Scan123, we help companies transition from paper filing to electronic document storage. We help employees learn how to scan, file documents and find them later. We have a document retrieval system that will make finding your files online simpler than finding them in a filing cabinet. Anyone in the your business could pull up a document without needing access to the accounting office.
Do your employees need help getting started, organizing files, or learning how to scan/find documents? Scan123 includes unlimited users, virtual filing cabinets, unlimited training and support – we are happy to help you!
Scan123 is an affordable system that will allow businesses both small and large to be successful with going paperless. Don’t take our word for it! Check out what our current customers have to say about scanning and storing their documents with Scan123. Would you like to talk to one of our customers in person? We can arrange that for you too!
What are the next steps to getting started? Request a free 20-minute demo. See how the system works and we’ll go from there!