Ditch the Paper: Tips for Digitizing Your Business

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As a digital transformation and automation company, we have the luxury of seeing how technology is implemented in businesses. Sometimes in very innovative and creative ways, others lack function and Return on Investment. With this experience, Bison & Bird would like to share ideas on how you can digitize your business and eliminate that stack of paper on your desk. Maybe you are reading this and somehow thinking the pile of paper on my desk is manageable, or I take notes and love using paper, or perhaps: "I don't have time to fix this." Having no time means all the more reason for removing paper and manual systems. There is much to be gained in removing paper systems from your business. Eliminating paper can help facilitate communication, information transfer, and insight by allowing easy searches, filtering, and general organization.

Paper Forms -> Online Forms

Many companies we work with still gather customer information, site information, or equipment information is using paper forms. This way of collecting data may work on a small scale as a checklist to go through any issues and keep track of small things to monitor. However, there is so much missing from a paper form. First of all, is access; no one else can see the form unless they physically have it in their hands. Second, no filtering or further analysis is performed especially if the analysis is done on paper forms. Whereas going digital will give definite answers and provide the patterns behind many forms. Third and finally, the digital input is faster and standardized easily. Paper has to be printed and brought with you. The printing time, the writing time, and the filing time is all brought into a single process when digitized, making this easily a much better process for any paper form giving universal, on-demand access. 

Sticky Notes -> Calendar, Phone Reminder, or CRM

This one is tough. I understand because I am also a sticky note user, and looking at my desk would prove that. I have also been trying to eliminate this nasty habit, which is difficult. But there are several ways to get your reminders and notes in your head. Phone notifications are a great way to get the reminders that you need to clear up your headspace and your desk space. So many productivity apps these days can help with this exact issue, or even your phone calendar setting reminders in the future. Many CRMs have an activities page that can help you track and set up appointments, phone calls, emails, and phone call follow-ups that can help organize your day without forgetting what you need to do.

Paper Files -> Cloud Storage

Easily the most time-consuming of the bunch, but arguably the most necessary is the cost to digitize your files. But that filing cabinet may be overflowing with years of unused files. Your filing cabinet may be alphabetized, numericized, have strong naming conventions, or have the Dewey Decimal System. However, it is still an inefficient way of storing documents that will break down and are still time-consuming to find. Then there is also the question of security. There may be a lock on your filing cabinet, but those pieces of paper can go missing. With document-sharing software like SharePoint or OneDrive, your business can easily find documents while keeping them secure in the cloud. Once you are in, all it takes is a quick search to find what you're looking for.

We have provided 3 significant ways of reducing the amount of paper at work and how it will help improve efficiency. There are more ways to remove the paper from your office life. If you have trouble finding these efficiencies in your business, don't hesitate to contact Bison & Bird. Now is the best time to ask questions since your company may be eligible for the CDAP program, resulting in up to a $15,000 grant and access to up to a $100,000 interest-free loan. We can help you automate and digitize your systems resulting in better access to information and increased time efficiency driving real value in your business.