Kristina Russell of Kefron looks how to go paperless and embrace automation in the workplace, ahead of the introduction of the GDPR.
While some companies are completely digital with no reliance on paper, for others it can seem impossible to imagine going just one day without paper.
No matter which camp you’re in, with the Government’s pledge to go paper free by 2020 and the impending GDPR, going digital will increasingly become a focus for organisations. However, AIIM research has found that despite more awareness of digital solutions there is still a way to go. It found that 34% of important business information is still filed and referenced as paper, with 42% of respondents using paper to sign contracts, orders and booking forms.
So why do we continue to cling onto paper? For many people paper is comfortable, familiar, quick, safe and secure. However, it may not be the essential work mate you think it is when you look at the bigger picture. Simply misfiling or misplacing physical documents wastes hours every week across the UK. Filed documents are not always secure as they can be accessed by those who may not have the authority to do so.
Of course, secure filing cabinets can be used but human error leads to them being unlocked or losing the keys. And if someone really wants those documents they can always physically break in to the files or remove them all together. When the GDPR kicks in in May this will no longer be acceptable practice for documents containing personal information.
If you’re now thinking paper isn’t a safe bet, you may be thinking what alternatives are safe and secure as well as efficient. There are many solutions available to businesses, it’s just a case of finding the best one that suits your individual needs. However, one that Kefron recommends and works across a host of companies and departments is M-Files. This system allows a business to find, store and manage files without relinquishing any responsibility.
M-Files allow you to automate a number of business services including policy setting, contracts, accounts payable, HR and quality management. In addition, you can choose the type of system you want to operate based best on your needs. For example, a cloud based system is ideal for a large company that has employees based in several offices or those who work remotely.
If we take accounts payable as an example to help demonstrate that there are multiple benefits M-Files can offer.
The service works through data capture and scanning, allowing the information to be uploaded automatically and eliminating the need for manual input. As a result, the invoice processing times, paper or digital, are decreased leading to cost savings.
The automation process also improves accuracy as it decreases errors associated with human touch points. This streamlines the process and gives customer satisfaction and confidence that invoices are accurate.
The application provides complete and instant visibility to anyone authorised to view the documents. Anyone with access can immediately view the invoices and approve payments, increasing visibility, accountability and providing greater control of the AP process.
The paperless system also saves on physical office space as there is no longer a need for paper invoices to be stored. The data capture and scanning system means that there are fewer duplicate invoices and fewer that are lost or misfiled.
I would urge anyone who is still a paper user to look at the alternatives as not only will it help with compliance, it also brings so many benefits to a business. Once you have an automation system in place, you will wish you did it sooner!
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