Step 5: Start Scanning and Filing Electronically
With the necessary employees trained in the software, you can start scanning in your documents and filing them electronically. This is also a good time for you to assess how to handle incoming documents while catching up on your backlog of existing documents. From the time you scan your first document, all incoming paperwork should be filed electronically. After all, you don’t want to be constantly playing “catch-up” when it comes to being paperless; you want to move forward with paperless processes already in place.
Start with the documents you get today, and move forward. Once your team is familiar with the software and the paperless process, you can worry about the backlog.
If your team finds it overwhelming to scan the backlogged documents while handling their current incoming documents, you should look into hiring an additional resource, such as an intern or temp. They can work on scanning the backlogged documents while your full-time employees move forward with your new paperless processes. This enables you to get caught up more quickly so that you can become a completely paperless business.
No matter who you delegate this task to, consistency is key when making the switch to paperless, so it is vital that everyone who is organizing and entering information is following the same steps and using all of the same guidelines. Set a clear goal of when you want all documents to be in the electronic system. Break this goal into benchmarks so employees have a short-term goal to shoot for.
Above is an example of one company’s game plan. Posting something like this in a highly visible area in the office can help motivate employees to meet the benchmarks and achieve the end goal. Try to have a reward in place for each benchmark along the way, as well as for meeting the final goal. Going paperless takes work, and your team should be rewarded for getting the job done.