It has been over 10 years since we implemented our first systems to facilitate the distribution of documents in organisations. At that point we thought it would take only a few years before paper was done away with in business. Today, as it appears that paper documentation is still alive and well, we have taken the challenge of creating a system which will successfully eliminate paper from all companies.
Paperless. What is it specifically?
Having decided to even slightly reduce the use of paper and minimise related costs, it is desirable to start with activities which are least demanding in terms of investments, that is changes to procedures or introduction of the policy of limited printing.
It is good to start each action with the analysis of what we print at the moment. Even the sole change of the font or document layout may yield as much as 30% of savings in print cost, which in the case of an average-sized bank, printing two million pages a month, saves huge amounts of money.
Another stage is the digitalisation of documents, whose original copies are scanned, while the organisation uses their e-versions. This means that we still incur costs related to printing and archiving; however, they are significantly lower. The last and highest level of the improvement of business processes is when a document, even the one requiring a signature, is not printed out at all. From the legal point of view, it has been entirely possible from July 2016, which was when the EIDAS Regulation came into force in the European Union. This regulation extends the scope of electronic solutions to ensure identification and is a milestone towards the replacement of the traditional signature in favour of IT solutions and e-signature.
From an idea, through a system, to work culture.
The efficient implementation of changes aimed at minimising the use of paper has an organisation transformed on many levels.
Aside from financial benefits, the most interesting are changes indirectly resulting from the lack of paper. When there is no paper, cabinets with binders disappear from office spaces and, instead, more space is available, which provides increased comfort. Similarly, there is no additional equipment on desks, such as staples, sticky notes, pens and scissors, whereas changes impose order not only when it comes to documents, but also the entire workplace, which positively contributes to the quality of performed tasks. It turns out that when we are not permanently attached to a specific desk, in an organisation which has gone down the Paperless road, new, more flexible solutions are found, such as remote work or hotdesks. This is not the last positive aspect. After all, the condition of the environment is also improved, which is the key to Paperless culture – work and life in harmony with nature.
You are paperless yet!
In the past decades, the Microsoft Office suite has absolutely taken over the market of office solutions, becoming synonymous with work-assisting solutions. Many business processes in organisations are carried out while using just the MS Word and Outlook. The wise analysis of directions and contents of correspondence is a great value within the process discovery stage and we must not overlook it during the analysis of our Customers’ needs.
Here at Billennium, we have been developing the Paperless platform for a few years. Since electricity was not invented as a result of the constant optimisation of a candle, we arrived at a conclusion that we had to break the new ground. Together with the Microsoft, based on their technology, we have created a solution which users know and IT departments support, and whose launch in an organisation requires a subscription. It is Paperless 365, namely a tool which frees companies from paper and allows processing matters and documents within the Microsoft Office 365. A tool in which matters are processed like e-mails, and documents are signed electronically.
Author: Piotr Aftewicz – Paperless Director
The article appeared in “Harvard Business Poland”, issue 5/2017.