Going green is getting easier as technology develops. The “paperless office” utopia is still being developed but the amount of paper can be, and is being dramatically reduced due to document imaging and content management solutions. It is a fairly straightforward concept – if a business process begins with physical paper, why not scan it, index it, and store it where multiple people can access, it is secure, traceable and auditable, and it adheres to your corporate records policy? This concept does not only save your organization money, but it does reduce the environmental impact of doing business.
It is easy to see the savings in industries such as Health Care and Financial Services. In Health Care the green factor and carbon footprint reduction relates to the courier cost, fax cost, copying cost of duplicating patient records and insurance correspondence. This is a huge magnitude when you consider the general health of the population. Financial Services green footprint is also correlated with courier and copying but also in the workflow process to route documents.
Distributed scanning can also have a directly positive impact on a green initiative. Capturing documents and data at the point of creation or receipt will save on shipping and courier services which also impacts the environment by reducing the oil consumption in transportation.
The digitizing of documents greatly reduces off-site storage costs which also has a direct effect on oil consumption used in the transportation to and from the storage facilities.
Much of the transition from paper to electronic comes with the paradigm shift from physically handling paper to viewing documents and data and routing them from the computer. This takes time and facilitates true change management disciplines but the amount of money, efficiencies, and resources saved can be tremendous. To be successful, you need to plan for the initial pushback from the knowledge workers. In the beginning, they might even print more than what they were before the implementation. If change is managed correctly, the users will adopt and embrace the efficiencies.
The going green concept is growing and is a focal point of the upcoming Nexus ECM Conference held on Nov 2-3 in Bellevue, WA. Take a look at the Nexus Agenda for some of the “green” sessions.
Comments and feedback welcome.
Senior Account Executive