Q: I’m handy with stuff. Can I do this effectively by myself?
A: No. There’s just too many considerations such as data security, compliance with federal and state laws governing customer information, etc. You’d need a degree in computer science and a year to build a system that would do everything you needed it to do. Don’t re-invent the wheel.
Q: Are there systems out there now that are easy to implement and use on a daily basis?
A: Yes, but there are some very cumbersome, expensive systems too. Be sure to ask what the brain damage and expense is to get started and use it.
Q: How much does it cost to go paperless?
A: A Paperless Office should cost considerably less than traditional paper filing, storing and retrieval. Costs would include the scanners, necessary software and training for complete electronic document management for any type of business. Use this calculator to see what you are spending now, not being ‘paperless’. The payback (ROI to go paperless) should be in 1 to 3 months to break even (if you implement the right system).
Q: Do you own your data if you use an outside company?
A: In most cases, yes, but with some companies that provide these services, you may have to pay a hefty price for your data if you leave them. Be sure to ask this question up front as you look for a provider of this service.
Q: What happens to my data when I leave a company that provided my Electronic Document Management system?
A: In many cases you will be offered a total ‘back up’ for a price. Find out what that price is up front. Then in the same breath, ask them if you will be able to access and read your data. Some companies provide you your data in non-proprietary formats such as .pdf, some don’t.
Knowing the answers to these questions are critical to your decision to go paperless. If you would like to see a system that answers all these questions favorably, please go here.