No More Paper!

Many of the people I’ve worked with have commented on my desk being so free of paper and clutter. Comments that I must not have enough work to do since my desk is empty were common. Eliminating paper has always been a goal of mine. Personally, I use Microsoft OneNote and some online folders to eliminate the need to keep paper copies. The scan function on the copier has become my best friend!

I experienced first-hand how using paper files can significantly clog a process down especially in periods of growth. I inherited an administration department at a company that was experiencing very rapid growth and applications were not being processed for weeks. This was simply unacceptable, and the company was on the verge of losing a new strategic sales partner. I quickly identified the need to move from a paper to an electronic environment. The process was broken. Files were everywhere – on desks, in bins, in drawers and some misfiled in the file room. It took days to locate a file and respond to a customer’s question. Some paper checks were even found months later in a temporary employee’s desk drawer.

I put together a great Team and we moved to complete electronic processing within 6 weeks. The biggest hiccup was that we didn’t realize how much work was really coming in and we couldn’t keep up with the indexing of new faxes. There were a lot of late nights trying to catch up until we could staff appropriately. The Team would have worked even more but the systems went down each night for batch cycling at midnight and down until 6AM the next day.

The good news is we quickly reduced our turnaround-around-time (TAT) from over 21 days down to 2 days for a final action for an application. It wasn’t easy! The new process allowed us to accurately report on work receipts, eliminate duplicate paperwork almost entirely, allocate work across multiple locations and significantly reduce processing costs of an application. My boss at the time didn’t feel we could handle any more change within the organization but gave me the green light to go forward. She made it crystal clear that my job was on the line if going paperless didn’t work. Lucky for me it was an amazing success!

Do a quick walk around your office. How much paper are your Teams still pushing? Give me a call and let’s talk about how to save a few trees.

Thanks again for reading … I appreciate YOU!


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