Do you know how much paper your business is using? According to a paper facts statement by Canotec.co.uk, based on a findings from government backed ‘Envirowise’… “The average office worker will use 1584 sheets of paper per month.” That’s a sobering thought, don’t you think? The paper cost is huge and the environmental impact even more so.
The smarter thing to do to reduce the amount of paper your staff go through daily would be digitise as much information as possible.
That’s made possible by employing the right technology. While you cannot replace your workforce with machinery, you can improve their workflow with efficient technology that helps them lower their cost to your business, whilst also reducing the amount of man hours spent on manual filing, retrieval and processing of paper documents.
That’s Where the Office MFP Helps
…Here’s 9 reasons why
- New employee on-boarding
During times of growth, even if it’s only seasonal for your business, there’s always going to be a need to bring aboard talent into your organisation to help cope with growth.
The cost of recruitment is significant itself, but once you have the ideal candidate selected, it’s never a good idea to let them run loose on their first day. They need on-boarding, and that’s something every business does differently. Some will have induction weeks, while others may use a buddy system.
Whatever process you have for on-boarding new recruits into your company, chances are you will have some sort of handbook issued. This usually includes your code of ethics, responsibilities, health and safety information, and the dress code expected.
All pertinent information your staff needs to know to successfully blend into their new position can be issued in an employee handbook. By having this centrally located on a digitised system, your HR, or a supervisor can simply click a few buttons, send the document to the MFP, and provided it has a binding feature, the entire handbook can be printed, ready for issuing in under 10 minutes.
“Operating a business without a handbook is tantamount to saying to your employees that not only do you not care, you aren’t interested. This doesn’t drive productivity, engagement, or respect for your business, which means your employee turnover will be high, your recruitment costs high, and your bottom line – miserable.”
- Handling changes
This is another benefit to your HR department, as those often come with high operational costs. Bear in mind that HR does not add to revenue generation by their nature. The only thing you can do with HR is minimise expenditure. Employee records may be kept for up to seven years, so if you have a high staff turnover, chances are likely that you have a room full of filing cabinets for storing the files, or perhaps even putting some into storage.
For existing employees, the files will need amending occasionally to include things such as performance reviews, flexible working requests, reducing or increasing hours, and changes to employment contracts. All of these can be time consuming to first find the right documents, as they can and are misplaced in many cases. With OCR scanning, employee files can be scanned and added to a searchable database.
“An AIIM survey found it can often take 37 minutes to find one paper file.”
- Maintaining employee performance reviews
In micro businesses (<10 employees), employee management is much easier, because each team member has direct communication with every member of management, and their co-workers. When a business grows to the SMB stage (up to 250 employees), employee management becomes more difficult. The company culture changes because not everyone is communicating with every department as often. Things become departmentalised and when that happens, line managers and HR staff need a way to keep employees engaged with the business and committed to delivering as much service as possible.
Performance reviews are one of the key strategies that help drive employee engagement with each business. These can be conducted as often as quarterly or less frequently on an annual basis. Whatever frequency you use, the records need to be maintained to track performance, and know when it’s right to give a raise, demote, promote, or dismiss an employee. If the latter is the option you choose, it’ll be imperative you have the appraisal documents available should the decision to dismiss be brought to a tribunal. In which case, with an EDM, the records will be easily found, and then printed for use.
“Employees who have a personal development plan, and who have received a formal performance appraisal within the past year, have significantly higher engagement levels than those who have not.”
- Contract management
In any service based, and indeed in some supplier based businesses, contracts are the hub of revenue generation. For every client agreement, a contract is issued, terms agreed and the document filed.
How do you address scope creep?
Scope creep, if you don’t know, is when you agree to initial terms, and then the job/service then grows to include additional services that are outside the scope of the initial contract agreement. You could be a freelance web designer working on a fixed fee rate, and still on the project 8-months later because a logo changed, or some other details changed the scope of work.
Dog walkers could agree to walk a pet owner’s dog for one hour a day on weekdays, then find themselves working at 7am on a Saturday morning because the client had to work overtime.
Or, you could be a growing business, needing to bring in a construction firm to expand your base to cater to additional staff with more offices, in which case it’s far better to have oversight over all the costs and the project at large.
The University of Portsmouth demonstrates this when they made the move to EDM
“The next phase of the programme will test wider areas where EDM will bring benefits. From September, we will begin work on the following:
- Creating and retaining contracts within EDM, to satisfy our duty to have oversight of all contracts.”
- Managing all accounts
Ledger numbers, invoices, accounts payable and receivable, and cost analysis are just some examples of the documents accounting departments, and accounting firms need access to. The GAAP, (Generally Accepted Accounting Principle), requires at times for documents to be retained for up to ten years. That’s a lot of documents to store traditionally, which is why the digitisation of accounting documents is becoming pertinent.
This is an area that MFPs are assisting by using recognition software to index files into a searchable database… freeing practices up from using rooms of filing cabinets, or even cardboard boxes for paper filing.
“Scans can be routed to the cloud by either ftp, Google Docs, Drop Box etc. reducing postage and fax costs and freeing up your time.”
- Reduce operational costs
Has your company ever been audited? It’s a time consuming process for those using a manual paper-filing system. With files stored only in paper format, it is going to take a lot of time for staff to sift through boxes and cabinets of files to find all the pertinent accounting files required for auditing purposes.
The same goes for any files you need, such as invoices, or a warranty for some of your office equipment, or any machinery. As the AIIM Survey highlighted, it can take someone up to 37 minutes to find one file. Can you imagine the time it takes to find a bunch of files?
With that comes the overtime expense. If your staff are salaried, they are not going to be happy with the extra hours they will need to put in. A digital filing system will allow your staff to be more productive, and more importantly, will help your staff achieve a far better work-life balance.
“Storing important documents onsite will incur a number of ongoing costs, all of which will quickly mount up. Staff time taken up when finding physical documents and cost of extra space needed to store a growing amount of onsite documents are just two of the issues faced with companies choosing not to convert their files into a digital format.”
- Speed up communication at enterprise level
Businesses of all sizes can benefit greatly from increasing the level of communication. From small businesses scanning incoming mail to route to the addressee, to larger enterprises with multiple offices being able to scan and distribute information electronically, reducing the time it takes in comparison to courier services, and even reducing fax costs.
That’s only touching on interoffice communications though. There’s even more improvements can be had by using EDM to allow your customers to access files stored on your servers. You see this repeatedly with e-commerce businesses. It’s the “My Account” feature, which provides your customers with all their historical account data and make any amendments themselves.
“…Document, information and communications management services help to cut costs, drive efficiencies and dramatically improve document security…
- Enhance security of all documents
For any office with boxes, or even rooms filled with paper files, there is no way to tell which information has been viewed, or who has viewed certain documents without seeing the hard copy in someone’s hands.
That poses a risk for confidentiality breaches. EDM systems mitigate that risk by giving an audit trail detailing who has viewed what, where they accessed the file, the time it was opened, and in certain systems, there can be notes attached to the system to provide log details for the reason why the file was accessed.
There are robust solutions for EDMs and not all are equal. The most simple solution is to employ is permission based file access. This will require user privileges to be set by administrators, which will mean only those authorised to view confidential documents will be able to access them. That is not so easy to do with a paper filing system. The only thing preventing unauthorised access is a door with a lock on it.
“Document security is critical to protecting sensitive business information, and essential to maintaining a competitive edge, regulatory compliance, and productivity.”
- Manage projects collaboratively faster with Cloud print
Corporations can have a challenging time with document management, because multiple offices, teams, and even contractors require access to shared documents. Traditional cloud print is one solution that helps everyone collaborate more efficiently, however, for printing documents, security needs to be enhanced.
With file sharing on the up, the addition of user authentication helps ensure the right documents reach the right hands in a timely manner.
A range of MFPs and additional software drivers from OEMs put more control in the hands of users and enable project management to be streamlined.
“…You can store, share and retrieve all of your digital files – Word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images, videos and anything else you want – in ‘the cloud’. “
The only equipment you need is a Multifunctional Printer with business centric features – CopyLogic’s Speciality
If your business is bogged down with hard copies and dominated by the associated storage problems of each, it’s definitely going to be beneficial to swap your hard copies for soft copies. The only thing you need for that to happen is a scanner. Since you will need the hard copies of documents at some point, it makes better business sense to have your scanning and print outputs combined into one device. Or how about a MFP that does a lot more than that? Like print your own employee handbooks to assist with on-boarding new employees, or helping your HR department streamline their record keeping?
Whatever your print, scan, and digital storage requirements, we can assure you; the right technology will help you manage your documents more efficiently.
Copylogic.co.uk have been around since before the digital era became mainstream. We have installed and deployed numerous MFPs and could do the same for your business.
Contact CopyLogic and discover the technology your office(s) may be missing, and contributing to higher than necessary operational costs. We can help reduce those costs. Call us on 020 8901 4700 and ask us how.