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As exciting as the idea of a paperless world is, it still feels a long way off and for the time that we continue using paper-based document workflows, there can and will be issues, regardless of company size or industry.
Modern businesses have spent years moving towards digital documentation for a number of reasons; the ability to access information quickly, the ease of creating multiple copies, working on collaborative documents, backup and security of documents, to name a few.
But moving to become entirely digital is a risk in itself and not necessarily one we advise, but instead, digitising certain processes and document workflows - perhaps the most error prone or wasteful ones - can reduce cost, wasted time and even increase productivity.
So, if you’re struggling with the decision of whether or not you should start digitising some of your common document workflows, here are 4 benefits for doing so:
1) Improved customer experience
Seventy-two percent of business leaders agree that improving the documentation process increases customer satisfaction. Not only that, but it’s also likely to increase brand value.
Think about the times you have been subject to poor customer service where documentation has played a significant role. The contract is in the post but it never turns up for you to sign. Your paper receipt is lost so you have no proof of purchase.
By transforming to a digital document workflow, your customers will benefit from a faster service, and word of your efficiencies will spread - quickly.
2) Increased employee productivity
We now work in a world where the ability to share and digest information quickly is vital. Without this ability, employees will fall behind on tasks and see their productivity take a significant hit.
Sharing a key piece of statistical information or employee feedback that is stored only on paper is a slow process, unless the person happens to be sat next to you. Working collaboratively on a document is harder still - paper has no version control or audit trail tracking. By digitising document workflows, such data can be shared throughout the business, instantly, and productivity can increase as a result.
3) Reduction in overheads and increased revenue
“By digitizing information-intensive processes, costs can be cut by up to 90 percent and turnaround times improved by several orders of magnitude.“ (Accelerating the digitization of business processes, McKinsey & Company)
That’s a large cost reduction and it’s not unthinkable for many industries as so much of what’s currently being done on paper can be digitised.
When taking this approach, it’s important to identify the processes, which would benefit the most from digitisation. This isn’t an easy process but is definitely worth while as it will allow you to quantify the time and money you can save by digitising a particular process.
A good MPS provider can guide you through this process to ensure you make the most out of it and get the highest return on investment.
4) Improved compliance and security
Remaining compliant is a constant challenge - particularly with an increasing number of laws and industry-specific regulations like the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Security can often be a roadblock for digitisation based on compliance and the fear that data being stored digitally can somehow be hacked or accessed. In fact, storing data digitally can help a company remain compliant with data protection laws so long as it’s set up properly.
As digital documents can be locked down, have a clear audit trail and can be backed up in multiple secure places, they are actually very secure.
There have been stories over the years of paper documents being left on trains with confidential information and you may have even come across confidential documents being left on the paper-tray of the printer. Had these documents been digital and securely kept behind lock and key (or password and two-factor authentication), then they might not have been accessed so easily.
It’s also important to remember that digital document workflows allow for business continuity if a disaster happens, where paper doesn’t.
By using a reputed MPS partner, you can be assured that the service will meet compliance targets and government legislation and help to disaster proof your processes.
There are many challenges surrounding the digitisation of document workflows, some of which lie within the culture of the business, others are based on time and cost. However, if the four benefits above resonate throughout the organisation, businesses stand a far greater chance of fostering a culture that invests deeply in digitisation.