Free ECM Resources
We understand that moving to a paperless solution sometimes requires you to learn about the technology before actually making a decision. Here are some helpful resources that will help you with this.
If you have questions about Laserfiche and the paper-less world, please reach out to us, we would be glad to help.
Here is my latest book that is designed to help to select and implement a paperless solution (ECM).
Paper-Mess to Paper-Less Book
Advice for Laserfiche Users from Laserfiche Users
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Info-Tech ROI Worksheet: ROI Guide for Document Management
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Free Book Paper-Mess to Paper-Less Emailed To You
I have talked to many people that were very interesting in moving their organization paper-less but had no idea how to begin looking at this technology. Many felt that paper-less world has its own language that makes it difficult to communicate with industry specialists. It seems that these industry specialists don’t know what to call their products. Some of them referred to their products as document imaging systems, enterprise content management systems, document management systems, and on and on.
Understanding enough about the world of paper-less to make an informed decision. It not easy. So, I wrote a book to help people like yourself make the transition to this world.
If you would like to learn more about going paperless, I have broken the book up into small sections that I will mail to you. All you need to do, send an email to [email protected] and request it. Don’t worry your email is safe and you can stop it at any time.
Would you like to know the least risky strategy to go paperless?
Five Lessons: Would you like to know the least risky strategy to go paperless? Five Lessons:
Management is sometimes leary of taking on a paperless initiative, often called digital transformation, because they are afraid it is too risky. One of the major reasons they feel that it would be too risky, is that many people resist change. And, they are afraid that their staff resistance will result in a failed attempt at digital transformation. Going paperless can be a big change for an organization.
In meetings with prospects, I want leaders to know that resistance is real, and we need to understand it before we can overcome it. I tell them, “Your staff will probably feel or say something like this ‘I don’t mind change, you all can change, and it won’t bother me, as long as I can stay the same.’” But we know that for a paperless initiative to be successful needs the support and participation of the entire team.
We have found in our 25 years of implementing paperless systems, that if we implement a paperless system that mimic’s how staff currently works with paper, there is less resistance. We make as few process changes as possible to the business processes.
Gartner Group, a well-known consulting firm that is an expert in this area, said in a recent report, entitled “Master Four Types of Strategy to Perfect Your Digital Transformation,” stated that improving the status quo is the least risky strategy.
To read the Gartner report go to: Gartner-master-four-types-of-strategy-to-perfect-your-digital-transformation
The next step to ensure staff acceptance is to implement a system that does not have a huge learning curve. People are busy with their jobs and life and don’t have time for something that takes hours of training to use. If the paperless solution you choose is not easy to learn and use, your project will fail.
The reality is that people tend to take the path of least resistance, especially when they’re busy. If a new program or product is complicated, most people either revert to what they are comfortable with or they rely on the one person who took the time to learn it.
If the paperless solution proves to be simple and effective, however, people will find it much easier to get behind it. A great barometer for ease-of-use is that the documents can be organized in a way that emulates how the paper documents were filed. Then people can simply find documents by browsing the folder structure as they would if they were browsing in a file cabinet of paper documents.
Your paperless solution should also have a good search engine that allows index searches, as well as full-text searches. If users can quickly find the documents they need, no matter what information they know (or don’t know) about them, they’ll be hooked.
We use a product called Laserfiche to implement paperless solutions for CAP agencies like yours. One of the biggest advantages of this product is that it looks and acts like most window products they are familiar with. So, within minutes, users are comfortable navigating in Laserfiche.
Here is a screenshot of the Laserfiche Client. Notice that is looks very similar to Windows Explorer.
The success of an ECM project is greatly increased when you find a person that will champion the project. We often hear that it is important to have the support of senior management for projects, such as an ECM implementation. And, I agree that it is important, but it is also important to have someone that is not necessarily from management that helps remove roadblocks and cheers the project on.
A number of years ago, the champion that arose at a community action agency was Cindy Hamilton, CAP Suburban Hennepin. She was the file clerk for the agency. She was single-handedly responsible for getting all of the archived energy assistance applications scanned into and organized in Laserfiche. She also encouraged the staff to embrace the technology and helped them see how they could become more efficient.
In today’s lesson, we will talk about the rate of change. In my experience, I’ve found that organizations that try to implement everything at once are more likely to fail than those who break the project into several phases and systematically move through the organization.
One reason that these all-or-nothing projects fail is that nothing gets completed. Time is divided among all the departments, resulting in lots of starting, but not a lot of follow-through.
Another reason for failure is that people don’t really like change. The default position for most people is resistance, and when a change is fast and sweeping, they tend to push back.
You’ll have much better results if you implement document management slowly, over time. Give your employees a chance to see how easy it is. Create realistic goals and stagger them.
Paperless projects do best when they are implemented by evolution rather than by revolution.
In today’s lesson, we will talk about not being a pioneer. If you remember from history class, the early pioneers in our country endured many hardships, but the lessons they learned helped the settlers following them to cope. You can take the path of a pioneer and explore the world of going paperless, or, you can be like the settlers, learning from the hardships of the pioneers.
There are probably other organizations like yours that have already gone paperless and have succeeded. If you can find those organizations and use what they have developed and learned as a starting point for your paperless initiative, then your project will go more smoothly.
We have spent the past 15 years helping CAP agencies go paperless. We would love to share their experiences and success with you and help you build on their successes.
If you are interested in looking into this, give me a call–Larry 612-382-4069 (cell)