A paperless office solution not only can reduce the amount of paper that you print, see my article on “The Cost of Printing”, but can be part of your Disaster Recovery Plan or “DRP.”
In my mentioned article instead of printing your documents onto paper you create them as a PDF files and save them that way. We have all read things on our computers that are PDF’s so we are familiar with it already. The big difference is that now we create the PDF’s for reading.
|Imagine the destruction of your critical|
In the event of a disaster where your building is inaccessible, damaged or destroyed all of your paper documents will become useless. As you can imagine that alone can put you out of business. By making your printouts as electronic documents and placing them onto a secure hosted location on the internet can help bring your business back from a disaster quickly. All you need to do is access your electronic documents any time, any place.
Not only can you add PDF’s into a paperless office, you can include spreadsheets, word processing documents, AutoCad drawings, photographs and graphics and more. Adding physical paper to the paperless office is as simple as scanning them into the solution. Most copiers today have scanning capabilities built into them already that allow you to scan to a location on a server or PC.
By being very diligent in creating and storing your documents electronically, especially mission critical ones the destruction of your building will become more of an inconvenience than anything else. OK, granted it would be a major inconvenience but at least you potentially would not be out of business.
With these hosted paperless office solutions you can customize them to fit your business structure including who can access what document. As an example you certainly would not want a routine clerk having access to payroll information so various levels of security can be set up. You would need to check with the solution provider about setting this up.
Who can benefit from setting up a paperless office solution? Everyone. There is no business to small or too large that cannot benefit from some form of paperless office. And you do not need to go insane and make everything paperless.
As a homeowner or renter you too can benefit from this as well. All you need is a scanner which
generally comes with software that creates PDF files beside your computer. From here you can scan all of your documents and save them onto a disk, generally a DVD. All that needs to be done now is put the DVD into a safe location. I would recommend a bank deposit vault if not that, a safe that you can buy from places like Staples, Home Depot, Lowes, Etc. That is the simplest form of a paperless environment. A true paperless office is actually a database. In a later article I will go into that a bit more.
|You simply scan your documents into a computer|
for safe storage and easy retrieval
For the small mom-and-pop types of businesses can setup a system similar to that above. As an example, take a bar located on Duval Street in Key West. Some of the paper that could be included into a paperless office could include:
- Receipts from their vendors when they get deliveries
- Physical inventories sheets
- Deposit slips
- Insurance papers
- Copies of leases
- Job applications
- In essence, anything on paper
Once scanned you can save them to a DVD and keep that in a safe place. This way if something happens you will still have access to your records. Even if you have to wait for the bank to open.
For larger companies they would most likely go with a hosted solution which is offsite for document storage instead of a bank vault. But the way costs have come down, even the most modest of businesses can now afford one.
Granted this will not eliminate all of your paper but with proper use a paperless office solution can help save your business in the event of a disaster. You just may even qualify for an insurance break for having a DRP and especially one with a paperless office solution. But check with your broker.
If you are interested in setting up a paperless office solution for your business or home, feel free to contact me and I will be glad to help.