Almost any day of the week you will hear me talking about reducing paper output, scanning and shredding paper, and some other less polite ways of eliminating paper from our society.

Today I am going to change tunes for a moment to talk about one specific scenario where keeping paper around is the right thing to do.

Last week, The Winnipeg Foundation, a client I hold near and dear asked me to look at a historical book they had in their possession: a scrapbook, on loan from the family of their first executive director. The treasured book was a collection of congratulations and farewells sent to the former executive director upon his retirement after many years of service to the organization.

The Winnipeg Foundation wanted to keep as close to an original copy of the scrapbook as possible. We were asked if we could scan the pages to have them look as though they were the actual original paper.

Normally we are asked to produce as clean and clear a reproduction as possible.

Trying to keep the “paper” look and feel is not something requested very often.

I knew we had the equipment to safely scan this book without damaging the binding or pages, but I was concerned we wouldn’t be able to give it the feel they were looking for.

It turns out the person actually doing the scanning knew exactly what to do.

As a rule, we don’t review the content of scanned materials other than to approve the quality (our customers deserve their privacy), but this was a bit different. That so many people had taken the time to handwrite or type these generous letters to a retiree had me curious about this man. The notes and letters tell the story of the founding of philanthropy in Winnipeg. This gentleman’s legacy deserves to live on.

With the completion of the scrapbook project, the family and The Winnipeg Foundation now have a digital version they can share with others and keep this legacy alive. Furthermore, if the original scrapbook were ever lost or destroyed, a copy of the contents (in as close to original look and feel) will be around for future generations to appreciate.

As important as keeping historical documents safe, it is equally important to keep them alive. To keep history alive, it must necessarily be communicated.

Historical originals are wonderful treasures. Reproducing these treasures is the safe way to share them.

So go ahead, save those historical document. Just make sure you allow the world to enjoy them too.

The Winnipeg Foundation – Canada’s first community foundation – is committed to connecting donors with opportunities to support causes they care about, as well as identifying and responding to the changing needs of our community. What is a community foundation? To find the answer, visit our Frequently Asked Questions.

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Think of all the money your company could save if it never used staples again.

We have been scanning customer files for a couple of years now. I have the world’s largest staple collection* to prove it.

If you consider that the average file we scan contains 50 pages, I believe it is fair to say that each file also contains 15-20 staples.

I know some people will probably defend the usage of staples and some people (particularly lawyers, who seem to use staples even if there is only one page) may even feel staples are the unsung hero in business today. I am not here to fight or argue with you, I promise. I just want to show you how you can save your organization some dollars.

At Imaged Original, we have lots of really fast production scanners working day and night to make sure we hit our committed deadlines at our committed quotes. (We really do love your business). But to feed those really fast scanners we also have some not so quick (comparatively) document preparation humans cleaning your documents. These people are paid by the hour (We couldn’t afford to pay them by the staple).

Each scanner can scan about 110 pages per minute. Each human can find and remove about 5 staples per minute. Now, we have some of the best document prep staff around and they are extremely quick and thorough so I am not in any way slighting them for their speed but, removing staples is a time consuming process that has to be reflected in pricing.

Here is the cool part.

Now this only applies to those looking to reduce their costs. If you are happy with our rates and service, please stop reading here.

Ok, I know if everyone did as they were told no one would still be reading. We work hard to ensure our prices are competitive and our service is second to none. If you weren’t happy, we would have heard by now.

If you want to lower your costs and improve the turnaround time for your scanning… Stop using staples! Too easy.

A year or two ago there was a really neat device created that looks like it may make the staple go the way of the penny. It is called a paperclip. I think it is the next big thing. From all accounts it is closing in on the tablet computer as the must have gift of the season.

If you were to start using paperclips instead of staples, we would gladly return them to you! Also, if you were to use paperclips we would be able to reduce your cost per page in some cases by as much as 20%.

Where have you ever heard of one small change in your business practice reducing expenses by 20% (other than if we implemented a BPM solution for you, which would increase that 20% by lots)?

Phew! Now that the Staple issue has been addressed, my next post may be an effort to eliminate the “Sticky Note”. A problem that has been plaguing society for years. But that’s for another day.

* I have absolutely no data to verify this statement.

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Imagine never losing a single document again. Imagine finding a particular document amidst thousands of documents in less than a minute. If you have document management system, you don’t have to imagine.

But What is Document Management?
Document management is the storing and tracking of virtual or digital documents and/or imaged documents. During recent years, we have seen a rise in the number of companies adopting document management to streamline their business processes.

Law firms, real estate, insurance companies, medical firms, and other paper-intensive companies who are always inundated by large volumes of paper documents have gone digital when it comes to managing their documents. Document management transforms the way offices manage document filing systems.

The tangible benefits it offers include:

  • Reduced storage space. The space required to store large volumes of documents can take up a lot of commercial property space. By scanning paper documents and shelving them into a digital document management system, the amount of storage space required by a paper-based filing system is significantly reduced.
  • Easy, customizable indexing. Document management systems allow indexing of documents in more ways than one. With physical documents, the only way to sort out documents is to clip them into a labeled folder, then shove it into a filing cabinet.
  • Easy document sharing and distribution. Digital document management eliminates time-consuming and laborious manual office-to-office document sharing and distribution. DMS allows multiple users from different locations to view the same files simultaneously.
  • Quick data retrieval. Locating your documents is quick and easy; you don’teven have to leave your desk. You can retrieve a document by category, filename, or simply by entering a word or phrase in the document (this is known as full-text search). You can locate any information in seconds.
  • No lost files. All documents in a DMS are centrally stored—you’d never lose or misplace a document again. Files are digitally archived and backed up. Even if your office is flooded or knocked down by a hurricane, you have the peace of mind that your documents are always safe and retrievable.

From these tangible benefits of digital document management flow a long list of intangible benefits for companies. The use of document management software allows you to improve the speed of business processes and increase your company’s productivity.

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Whether you own a small, medium, or large business enterprise, you can benefit from using Laserfiche document management solutions. Laserfiche has been a trusted name in the field of electronic document management since 1987. If you’re looking for a savvy solution to managing overwhelming business documents, then Laserfiche is perfect tool for you.

So how can Laserfiche help you become a more efficient and productive company?
Laserfiche can assist you in transitioning into a paperless office so you can store, organize, manage, retrieve, and distribute documents quickly, securely, and cost-efficiently.

Going paperless—this sounds like a simple process. In fact it is, but other enterprise management companies fail to provide a document management solution as complete and as efficient as Laserfiche’s. With Laserfiche, transitioning into a paperless office is a simple, easy process.

After loading the Laserfiche software into your server, scan your documents. Once scanned, the information is entered into the system, stored on a media (hard drive, tape, optical disk, etc.), and then converted into TIFF (tagged image file format) files. Users can then retrieve documents from the Laserfiche workstation and view the documents based on their access rights (CEO, manager, supervisor, etc.).

The Laserfiche software is known for its ease of use, efficiency, reliability, and scalability. It offers unique document management features including:

  • Indexing of documents using keywords
  • Sophisticated optical character recognition (OCR) enables full-text indexing. This, in turn, provides quick and easy access to organized files as every word becomes a search term or keyword.
  • Extensive search system (you can retrieve documents based on date, type of file, etc.)
  • Graphical browsing (you can browse on the network level of folders and files)
  • Application-based security (you can’t view files and folders unless you have the appropriate access rights)

The combination of full-text indexing, bulk indexing, and graphical browsing makes Laserfiche the best software there is for general office filing as well as for managing image documents and text documents (e.g. reports, client records).

Laserfiche boasts of having helped over 28,000 corporations, health and financial organizations, government agencies improve their business processes. You, too, can experience the benefits of an efficiently managed paperless organization by using Laserfiche.

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Are you still storing your documents in folders, then shoving the folders into filing cabinets? Do you distribute copies to colleagues by photocopying or reprinting the document, mailing them, or sending someone to the 8th and 14th floor to deliver them?

That sounds like a lot of headache-inducing work. It sounds costly, inefficient, and a slow way of pacing business processes.

Communicating information is the lifeline of any organization. However, as an organization grows, the volume of document one has to manage also grows. This can be an overwhelming task, so more and more organizations look for simple technological solutions to help them manage documents and records properly. Sound document management practices help organizations function more efficiently and increase productivity by allowing them to spend more time on core organizational tasks.

There’s no need to change the way your organization works to improve its efficiency. With the aid of a good document management system, your organization can continue to work as you have always done, while speeding up document distribution but without leaving documentation clutter. From a quick document search that lets you respond to customer inquiries quickly and professionally to workflow automation that speeds up
business processes, a document management system ensures that workflow is always smooth and timely. Even when organizations are spread over different locations, exchange and sharing of documents can be done without anyone leaving their desk.

A recent study conducted by PriceWaterHouseCoopers revealed the following:

  • 40% – time spent on managing documents
  • 20% – time spend on locating essential information within a document
  • 50% of the time- they can’t find what they’re looking for

You can reduce all of the above once you shift to a digital document management system. Your staff will be able work more efficiently and communicate more effectively. In other words, a digital document management system helps improve internal operations. The end results of accelerated, efficient workflow processes of course are increased productivity, competitive edge over business rivals, and customer satisfaction.

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A recent PriceWaterHouseCoopers study on the money and spent of a typical organization on managing and storing documents reveals that 7.5% of a company’s documents get lost and about 3% get misfiled. This means that about 1 in every 10 documents an office owns are hard to retrieve or can’t be retrieved at all. In an information-driven world of businesses, a lost, misplaced, or misfiled document is equal to lost company money and time. In extreme cases, it could mean lost client or business venture. Of course, lost documents can be replaced, but the process can be timeconsuming and expensive.

Whether you’re just starting out or a long-established organization already, having a reliable document storage and management system is vital. If you don’t want to lose or misplace any document again, shifting to a paperless document management system (DMS) is what your organization needs. A DMS is a computer-based system of creating electronic images of paper documents and storing them in a central location. This way, no document is ever misplaced or lost. Paper-based document distribution involves removal of documents from storage and taking them to desks, which often leads to misplacing or loss of documents. With DMS, misfiled documents can be easily found and re-filed to their right places using built-in search mechanisms.

Control over your documents is absolute. You can retrieve your documents right from your desk or even while traveling using your laptop. Other users within the DMS system can also retrieve the documents simultaneously with you.

Paper documents can be easily damaged by flood, fire, theft, vandalism, and other man-made or natural disasters. With DMS, you’ll always feel confident that your documents are safe as it creates a backup of documents. This failsafe archiving of documents coupled with disaster recovery program ensures you never lose any document.

Lastly, DMS removes the possibility of theft or unauthorized removal of a document. DMS includes a historical record of who views or modifies an item. You can also control who accesses documents at the folder or document level. With DMS, you can stop worrying about losing any document.

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For decades, offices have relied on filing cabinets and basement shelves for storing documents. As advancements in technology reveal, this outdated, unstructured data management is inefficient. Worse, it limits productivity. Problems such as sluggish communication with clients, inorganic document flow, slow data recording, and erroneous data filing are rampant.

Technologies such as document imaging and document management software are transforming the way businesses operate, making business processes more streamlined. By putting paper documents into digital forms and storing them digitally, offices can manage and retrieve large volumes of information quickly and easily.

The need to eliminate paper-based operations cannot be underestimated. By shifting to paperless document management, a company can do the following:

  • Reduce costs spent on the purchase of paper, mailing and shipping fees of paper documents.
  • Reduce the need for paper storage.
  • Reducing use of paper is not only a money-saving approach; it is also environmentally sustainable.
  • By making essential data available to vendors and customers, a company can establish healthy relationships.
  • Employees and employers are able to collaborate easily.
  • Standard operation procedures, such as proposal reviews and approvals, can be done automatically.
  • With a paperless document management system in place, the risk of losing files is eliminated as all documents are stored in a central location.

In spite of the many benefits of going paperless in the office, many businesses have not yet made the shift. The problem is that the idea of transitioning from paper-based management to a paperless one can be daunting for some. There’s the software to consider, the digitizing of paper files, the handling of documents that continues to stream from clients and vendors, etc.

If the process worries you, leave the work to us. Paperless is possible, and we can help you transition to a paperless office. With our award-winning software, your business will reap the benefits of structured, electronic-based data management.

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Are you inundated by the amount of paper your company is filing every day? Proposals, business contracts, mails, business permits, inventory, plans, client files—the list of paper-based documents a company handles goes on and on. All these paper documents take up a lot of commercial property space. A company would also need staffs to reproduce copies, store, and manage them so the documents can be easily located and retrieved when needed.

If you’re company is looking for a way to address this issue in a fiscally and secure way, a paperless document management system is the solution. A document management system eliminates the need for hard copies and physical storage system by putting all your paper files into a single computer-based storage system.

By going paperless, downsizing on filing without losing your documents become possible. Going paperless makes fiscal sense as it saves money and time, improves a company’s workflow processes, and increases productivity. A paperless office enjoys the following benefits:

• Reduced costs associated with reproducing and storing paper documents.
• Reduced need for storage units and space for storage units, giving you a neater, clutter-free office environment.
• Reduced overhead costs directed towards managing of documents.
• Faster and easier distribution and sharing of documents.
• Save time in locating and retrieving documents.
• Documents can be accessed by multiple users onsite and offsite.

How is Paperless Document Management Done?

First, your documents are scanned so they could be converted into electronic files. The converted files are then integrated into a structured storage system. The items are indexed, typically using keywords. Retrieving the documents can be done via the company’s computer network or over the Internet. Once integrated into a document manage system, business processes collaborating, tracking, managing revisions, and retrieving documents become simpler and more efficient.

Going paperless is good not only for business but also the earth as it reduces the amount of carbon footprint one leaves on the environment. It makes a lot of sense for companies to go paperless.

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