Balance Digital with Paper11 Aug, 2009 By: Etienne Leger imageSource
Balance Digital with Paper
The increasing trend towards electronic (digital) communication and
information storage has clashed head-on for years with the necessity for some
hardcopy documents and filing systems. While the business world looks toward an
all-digital future, hardcopy documents are still ingrained into how we conduct
business today – contracts, legal documents, reports, purchase orders and
mortgages for instance. Whether you realize it or not, hardcopy documents still
remain an integral part of the business world, even with all of the
technological advancements available today. Basically, we realize that all paper
documents aren’t going away anytime soon and that we need to look to technology
to help manage hard documents, both yours and your customers, while bringing our
business into the digital world.
According to PricewaterhouseCooper, there are over four trillion paper
documents in the U.S. alone, and they are growing at a rate of 22 percent per
New advancements are being developed everyday to improve digital operations
and documents, with very little available to manage all of that paper.
When looking at other statistics on document management, the ramifications
of this to today’s businesses is staggering:
Companies spend $20 in labor to file a document, $120 to find a misfiled
document, and $220 to reproduce a lost document.
7.5 percent of all documents get lost; three percent of the remainder get
Professionals spend five to 15 percent of their time reading information, but
up to 50 percent looking for it.
It might be a doctor or realty office, the local school district, a shipping
company or a lawyer’s office, but they’re all paying a small fortune in staff
time and money to manage hardcopy documents.
Today’s resellers, dealers and companies in general should look toward
implementing a “digital-paper” office for themselves and/or their clients that
combines technologies to help manage digital and hardcopy documents both.
Resellers/dealers should look beyond employing only the biggest and newest
technologies to bring businesses closer to the dream of the all digital company,
to providing additional recommendations and products that help best manage a
business overall, as hardcopy still exists.
One such technology, among others, is Xamance North America, who provides a
solution to this problem by combining the ease of computer-based data retrieval
with the credibility of physical documents.
This company understands that regardless of preserving data through
electronic means, those areas of healthcare, legal, education and real estate,
among many other businesses with lengthy contracts, patient files or billing
procedures often keep hardcopy documents filed away as well, as an archived
“back up” to digital.
However, these documents demand an organized filing system, of which, you can
manage them digitally to locate any file’s location quickly and easily.
Vixen Hill, a manufacturer of premium wooden exterior products including
gazebos, shutters, pavilions and pergolas based in Elverson, PA, recently
incorporated a system to help manage its hardcopy documents, including contracts
and other paper documents. In a build-to-order business, the company produces
quite a lot of paperwork.
Quotes, technical drawings, terms, build orders, packing and shipping slips -
all of it spreads out over several departments over the course of several weeks.
Keeping all that in order was a monumental task of sorting and filing, and
always seemed to end with searching for a single paper in a large stack of
similar papers - the needle in the haystack. In this example, Xamance’s Xambox
does the sorting, filing and searching for them.
What this new technology enabled the company to do was to scan the documents
into a computer and file the hardcopy in a filing box.
Information on the documents is now available by a key word search through
the computer software, providing valuable information in real time to the entire
This program managed, saved and organized documents both physically and
electronically, without the user having to use labels, file names or sorting
strategies, saving hundreds of hours needed to file and find documents, and
untold amounts of money budgeted to do this every year.
The office staff can electronically bring up the entire paper trail with
nothing more then the client’s name. Finding what they need when they need it is
a breeze today, and they never have to tell a customer to hold while searching
for the paperwork.
Look to the Future
Lets face it, businesses will still forge ahead toward being paperless and
someday may achieve that goal, or nearly. But so far, people are still too
attached to paper and will be for years to come. In the meantime, resellers and
technology providers should address the real issues of viable document
management for their customers and their own companies today.
The future will take care of itself.
Etienne Leger, COO of Xamance North America, is responsible for developing
the distribution network for the No.America Div. His experience includes Asst.
Dir.of Sales for Confetti, & as analyst/corporate development marketer for
Credit Agricole D’Aquitaine.