Paperless Is No Longer a Buzzword – Start Planning

By Optiform Blogger, March 31, 2017


Going Paperless may seem like an impossibility, but it is not.

You get notifications from your utility companies offering you a monthly discount if you “go paperless”. There is a reason for it. Paper is expensive. Not just the printing of the paper, which includes the paper, the ink, the printer, the toner, and any services when the printer goes on the fritz, but also the storage of the paper you’ve received by mail and the documents your staff has printed after receiving as pdf files. If you are mailing paper, the cost of the envelopes and postage adds up. You can see that it makes sense to really think about how you can make a concerted effort to go paperless.

Evaluate where you are today

Without a great understanding of the amount and types of documents that your business is currently shuffling today, it will be hard to have a successful run at your going paperless initiatives.

  1. Look on your desk. What documents do you see?
  2. Look in your mail stack. What is inside the envelopes?
  3. Inside your email inbox – are you receiving items like invoices or contracts that you print to help with data entry? Add those to the list.
  4. Inter-office documents – what are  you passing from person to person for approvals, review, etc?
  5. File cabinets – what do you have in the first 20 file folders?

These are some of the quick wins to help you determine where the majority of your paper is generated.

Create a team for product evaluation

When new leads come to Optiform pricing software and requesting demos, the ones that I feel are most organized and ready for their projects have 2-4 stakeholders that bring something unique and critical to the project with their expertise.

Technical: They typically have an IT staff on the panel. This person is excellent for asking the important technical questions that maybe an end user wouldn’t know to ask.

End User: In your planning stages, you will need to understand how your end users are processing the documents that you are hoping to automate. It is nice to have them on the panel so they can provide valuable input on needs and processes. They may think of things that you may not even realize are critical.

Project Manager: A Project Manager is great to have access to because they need to understand how many staff they will need to allocate and will typically be aware of available resources. They also ask great questions pertaining to timelines so they can begin planning stages of the implementation, and very importantly, what other systems will be affected and who they need to involve from those departments.

Decision Maker: We like to have a decision maker in the discussions when evaluating a product that we offer. This may be a financial decision maker, or someone that has the final say in the approval process before engaging the Purchasing department for a Purchase Order. The most direct route to a decision is helpful.

Make a list

Know what you need.

Know what you want.

Know what is a nice to have.

We have participated in several RFP processes lately with companies who did quite a bit of research before coming to Optiform. The most recent ones have sent us Excel spreadsheets with questions and fields for answers categorized into sections like:

  • Image Processing
  • Document Management
  • Data Capture and Extraction
  • Social Content Management
  • Records Management
  • Workflow and Business Process Management
  • Architecture and Platforms
  • Reporting

Figure out what is important to you. What systems are you currently using? This question is important because you may want to connect software you purchase from Optiform with your pre-existing systems and knowing what types of requirements they have helps you to help us with providing you an accurate solution.

When you are ready, contact us! We can’t wait to hear what you plan to do!


Position your team for success

Optiform offers a broad spectrum of data processing solutions customized to fit any business need. From human resource departments to the information produced through clinical trials, Optiform has a long history of maximizing the efficiency of all its clients. Optiform is here to provide  personalized support and recommendations both pre and post project, to ensure your long-term satisfaction and paper-free results. Contact us today to set up a personalized one-on-one consultation for software and business process recommendations. Already a valued Optiform client? Our customer support is ready to help.