Why is it important to strip away old ways of working when introducing systems such as those brought in by Liverpool Direct and Hyde? Change is inevitable whether it is at work or in our daily lives. In the fast-paced world of the present, the introduction of new technology in the workplace has led to an impact to many aspects of its operation.
Organizations always thrive to search for different approaches and ways to improve and sustain their operation, business performance and gain a competitive advantage. Many employees have deep rooted working habits at their workplace and it can be considered as a one of the risks to transitions in the new working programs. Over the decades, paper-based management systems have been used a primary system for documentation, recording, communication, data of employees many more.
As paper is a physical entity, it takes up storage space. Renting of storage units both onsite of offsite, purchasing of high quantities of paper to print, photocopy, fax, invoice and accounting books etc. are primarily the costs incurred in the workplace. Secondarily, costs for other stationary items are also included. Locating the correct file can cause delays as it needs to be fetched from a pile of files and paperwork. Delays at the workplace can cause significant effects on the productivity as well as operation in the workplace. Communicating the paperwork through courier or fax can take up significant amount of time which can be prevented with the use of an email and an attachment file which is less time consuming comparatively.
Along with the use and transferability of data, next comes the aspect of preservation of the data. Deterioration of paper files and documents can cause over the years depending on how it is stored However, a paperless office or an electronic document management system can surpass the paper-based management system on many levels which is discussed above. The benefits of paperless document management system are described in the following sub headings:·
Reduction of office space
Digitized version of documents can help save a lot of office space. Cost of warehouses and rented in premise or off premise stage facility can be eliminated. Information and documents can be stored systematically in the form of files. Daily data entries are more simplified which also change the results of reports and analysis. With the help of a secure data connection, synchronizing all forms of data with the server can help keep the records updated and protected. Time, effort and space can be saved from organizing, locating and filing the paper documents which can be used to other productive works. · Data securitySince all the data is stored on the computers, important data can be protected with the help of DMS. Information can be maintained in a secure way and permissions are required to access confidential information which effectively leads to a safer workplace.·
Recovery from disasters
Various software backups can put in place to store all the valuable information which helps to retain the data and prevent against natural and man-made disasters.· Accessibility This software helps to gain access to information either within premises or off premises. It can even get information from places which are far away. Data can be accessed at any time on desktop or mobile devices.·
All the companies and business organizations are required to publish their reports and records in order to maintain transparency towards all their stake holders. Hence, managing of all the information is made easier with this system.· Environment friendlyInformation and data of the company recorded can use up a lot of paper. With the high demand on paper, mass production is done to meet the high demands through chopping down of more trees and forests which has a negative effect on the environment.
Thus, paperless office helps to reduce wastage of paper and assist in developing an ecofriendly environment.As described in the given case study of Liverpool Direct and Hyde, E-recruitment has also brought positive changes in the way organizations recruit making it easier for both the organizations and new recruits to apply and process the application. As well as digitising the staff communications also helps manage their payments on time. Hence, introducing new systems can bring changes in the operation of the workplace but using collaborative ways of working in more subtle and continuous manner to manage the change is necessary for assisting the staffs to transition to a new working system.·
Using the Internet as a resource, locate information regarding a simple document management system, such as Scansoft’s PaperPort Office. How useful is such a product likely to be within a department of a large company or a small business? Document management systems is the system which is used to store, manage, track and access information. It can also be described as digital cabinet for organizing all the documents and files. M-files, Filehold express, Dokmee, eFileCabinet Online etc. are some of the examples of paperless document management system (A. Rivera, 2010).
One of the examples of paperless document management system is Scansoft’s PaperPort Office.PaperPort is a software system developed by Nuance Communications and is used to organize digital documents, information as well as files and folders. Nuance communications provides three versions for PaperPort i.e. “For Individual”, “For Professionals”, “For Enterprises”. PaperPort uses built-in optical character recognition to convert the paper documents into electronic formats and allows efficient organizing and storing of files in over 150 document formats. It also allows the user to work on already scanned documents, stacking and unstacking the pages as well as dividing the documents into individual pages and restore them into new pdf file.
The software also comes with image editing tools can also be used for the document. PaperPort can automatically detect compatible applications like Microsoft Office or email applications and easily send the documents through them using the drag and drop function. Other features include multiple scanning, scanning both sides, batch processing and multi-tasking at once. Classification and archiving of the pdf files are made much easier with colour coded directories and assists in identifying and organizing files according to their importance. Quick allocation of files can be done through powerful search engines. Thus, these features make Scansoft’s PowerPort Office a powerful tool for managing the documents and files in an orderly manner.
Due to increasing popularity of paperless document management system, many variations of these software can be found which can be used accordingly to the needs of the company. Needs of the company may vary from, overall all-rounded use, low cost, remote working, small business, large business and so on. Such softwares can be used for small scale businesses as they have the same appearance and the programs which they are used to. The files are easier to share among co-workers, clients and partners and it can be performed at an affordable cost. With clean system interface and appropriate quantity of icons and images even small businesses can use them with ease. Software like PaperPort can also be used by individuals from all backgrounds like lawyers, doctors, real estate agents, business professionals, insurance workers and many more, in a productive and cost-effective way (Nuance.com, 2018).
With the help of cloud-based sharing and hybrid deployments document management systems can also be used for large businesses for processing large amount of data. Features like mobile access, e-signature, permission managements, tools for automated workflow, co-authoring documents via document sharing, offline access and so on make the document management systems useful even for large companies. Software like FileHold can be installed on a secure private or public cloud and on premises. It includes multi-level security, trial for user audit, search through full text and optical character recognition. Hence, document management system can be used for both small and large businesses. ·
What is the likelihood that the paperless office will ever be achieved?Paperless office has many benefits but absolute elimination of use of paper is unachievable. Paper forms which are a part of the legal agreement circle are required to be recorded in the paper form such as papers relating land and property as well as tenancy agreements. Likewise eliminating the publication of newspapers and magazines and replacing it with online sources cannot be feasible as some customers still prefer the physical connection with them.
Many customers don’t have the accessibility to the online articles, or the devices or the internet itself. In the given case study, Liverpool Direct and Hyde was able to significantly reduce the average time of benefit claims and get rid of large quantities of paper, but 100% eradication is way too far from imagination because of the deep rooted habits and practices of the business. In UK, a qualitative study was performed in the Emergency Department of one of the hospitals after Emergency department of information system (EDIS) was introduced where both white boards and papers along with information systems for collecting data and information was used.
With the use of only white boards and papers, meeting the targets of waiting time for the patients in the emergency department along with heavy patient flow proved it challenging. Information systems were later used for recording the data and managing the activities. After this comparative study was performed, use of white boards was eliminated completely but use of papers was still prevalent as it played a considerable importance in the nursing practice. Paper was deemed helpful in the practice due to several issues of confidentiality, workplace efficacy, safety issues, knowledge about use of computers and overdependence in EDIS (Vezyridis, Timmons & Wharrad, 2011).
However, paperless office does possess many benefits which range from data protection, systematic recording and organization, information sharing, time and space management and quick allocation of documents. It also allows for transparency of operations towards all their stake holders. Paperless documentation system helps to create a positive impact towards the environment and reduces the wastage of paper. Hence, as every system has its own benefits and drawbacks, it can be said that the future of paperless office is still uncertain.