Going Paperless in the Construction Industry
Being able to access your documents from any location may have you thinking that your construction company would benefit from going paperless. Though it may not be practical for the industrial construction industry to do this completely, read the suggestions below for tips on ways you can cut down on the amount of paper being stored at the office.
You must first sort through your files into piles, ones for recycling, shredding and scanning before you can begin reducing the amount of paper.
This is a no brainer. If you have ever heard of the show Hoarders you have probably considered that there are mounds of paper at your office that you have forgotten about and do not need. It takes a little work but it is simple, recycle any paper documents that are no longer relevant to your company. You may be surprised what you find once you begin looking. After you have scanned other important documents (see below) recycle these copies as well.
By scanning documents, you are creating an electronic copy that can be stored in the cloud, your company’s network, whatever works best for your company. Storing the documents on the cloud will make your company information more secure, away from any disaster that might happen to your office location. As mentioned, keeping the paper copy will no longer be necessary and it can be recycled. This will not only save you space but help keep your documents from getting lost.
Reduce incoming paper
Once you have sorted, recycled, and scanned your company’s paper you need to find ways to keep the mounds of paper from accumulating. Making it a company-wide adoption to store only electronic versions of documents is absolutely necessary to making sure paper does not accumulate.
Here are some more tips to help make this happen.
If your company is mailing your bills to vendors and receiving payment by mail you may want to explore your paperless billing options. Electronic billing makes payments easier to keep track of while delivering features that help payments to go out on time.
Get Rid of Post-its
If you like the physical appearance of a post-it and are a Windows user, Windows 7’s Sticky Notes application allows you to write notes that appear on your desktop. Write as many as you would like and place them anywhere on your desktop and they will automatically save once you exit the application. Or check out many of the other post-it type application available for your tablet or smartphone.
To collect signatures, you can avoid printing then re-scanning documents again by securely sending documents electronically and having them signed in applications like DocuSign.
Utilize Your Tablet or Smartphone
Often you can also sign documents directly on your tablet or smartphone screen. Given a paper document but you are not near your scanner? Apps such as Scanner Pro, allow you to take high resolution photos of your signed pdfs.
Document Management system
If you are still overwhelmed by the amount of documents you have electronically stored, consider using a document management system. It will capture, track, and store your electronic documents.