10/2016 | Wasting time on paper in business
Wasting time on paper in business
Polish employees spend 25 to 30 minutes every day looking for important documents. How to prevent it?
Polish SME managers are still slow in digitizing their companies. Despite the fact that 80% of them admit that investments in IT tools support the optimization of business processes, domestic businesses are still drowning in piles of papers. Looking for important business documents is a real headache. According to ICM research, employees waste 25 to 30 minutes every day doing just that, which adds up to as much as 90 hours a year! How to prevent this waste of time?
The novel “Memoirs Found in a Bathtub” by Stanislaw Lem depicts a world which has plunged into chaos because of “papyralysis”, a phenomenon involving rapid disintegration of paper. In the world created by Lem, paper is the only universal and permanent storage medium when the disaster strikes. Although in the fantastic vision of the Polish author the lack of paper leads to the collapse of the society, it would seem that in today’s digital world sudden annihilation of the global paper stock would not affect us very much. The truth, however, is a little different – especially in the business sphere. According to the IDC research from January 2016, the vast majority of European companies now use two parallel workflows – digital and paper. Only one in three businesses is committed to fully digitize and automate its business processes.
The paper archive becomes a thing of the past
Besides saving time and increasing productivity, Business Process Management (BPM) brings at least two other very important benefits. The first is the optimization of the space devoted to the archiving of documents. Thousands of sheets of accumulated paper are a real nightmare in most Polish offices. Not only they take a lot of space (and weigh a lot, as every entrepreneur who has moved his company to a new location can attest), but they can also be a hotbed of germs, especially if some time has passed since their creation and they are not stored in appropriate conditions, which can often generate additional high costs. Paper is not a very durable data storage medium, so bad storage conditions can also lead to damage and loss of documents. This brings us to another, equally important benefit of BPM – security.
A document workflow which relies, even in part, on paper copies is far more susceptible to data leakage or outright loss. Particular attention should be paid to personal data archives which every company has. If they are not adequately protected, the consequences can be severe, from financial losses to reputational damage. The same applies to the leakage of information about the company’s contractors, budget or strategy. How can it be avoided?
Optimizing time and space in the cloud
As you can see, the tardiness of managers may have a negative effect on their business. There is no doubt that digitization helps optimize business processes, especially in terms of document workflow. Today’s technology makes it possible to replace heaps of paper with a single cloud application.
The global business process optimization services market is constantly growing, and according to a marketing research agency TechNavio will reach the value of $10 billion by 2019. It turns out that even in Poland there are companies which already offer Business Process Management services, and some of them have tested these solutions internally first.
The LoVo BPM system, which enables optimization and automation of business processes, was created in response to our internal needs. We had long struggled with the problem of constantly passing the documents around. Our system was inefficient, and as the company grew, it had simply become a big logistical challenge. That is why we decided to create an infrastructure that would allow us to digitize parts of our processes. We wanted this infrastructure to be flexible enough to allow creating paths for as many everyday tasks as possible, from invoicing to recruitment, monitoring and reporting.
Papyralisys to the rescue
Paper documents have always caused more problem than they solved. Until recently, they were necessary evil, but with new technologies they can easily be replaced with digital counterparts. Unfortunately, making this change requires changing the mentality of executives and business owners. Those who decide to implement will gain higher security and employee productivity, and hence competitive advantage.
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LoVo is one of the leading telecommunications networks specializing in professional services for the wholesale market, providing services for business customers and operators. Currently the LoVo network manages almost 600,000 subscriber numbers which monthly generate over 180,000,000 minutes through nearly 500 independent domestic and foreign interconnect exchanges.