If you remove paper from the business you remove the need for people to have their own desk. If front line people can work from their location of choice then their desks are optional. If desks are optional then maybe you don’t need so much real estate.

Could going paperless reduce your floor space and turn real estate rent into cash?

It’s a big call but it could be achievable. There are some obvious allowances to take into account. You need meeting rooms and a client access area with hospitality capability. Senior executives likely need their own space. Hard core desk jockeys like customer support, finance and IT still need their space.

But what about the rest of the business? How many of your front line staff have the luxury of a dedicated desk (or even office) that they use half or less of the time? If you took away their need to have somewhere to store all their paper would they still need that desk? Maybe it’s time to consider activity-based working at your place.

Let’s talk about removing that paperwork. Firstly, turning paper into email isn’t a solution. Email is electronic chaos when used for process purposes. To drive paper out of the business you need to tackle all things process. Let’s face it, when you dig into the business with a forensic approach to eliminate paper you will probably uncover some hundreds of tasks and activities underpinned by a paper form or its evil electronic twin, the email.

What does each piece of paper represent? Where does it belong? Who owns it? Where does it start, what path does it take, when is it completed? The process it represents needs to be replaced in an electronic way. While you are at it, how can you make filling the form in more accurate from the start to drive out later queries and errors? What underlying applications and systems can be tapped into for early data validation and verification purposes? The cleaner you can make the initial form capture the less wasteful administrative and double handling will be involved. That’s another line of savings pouring into profit.

What about the nature of the people reviewing and approving the form? With suitable guardrails of compliance, what can be done to reallocate the necessary delegations of an electronic process to cheaper resources in the business than currently? Releasing low value, manual and administrative time from highly paid resources could genuinely cover the cost of this project.

To make all this happen you need a technology platform. You need to be able to offer the function of a smarter data capture form with the flexibility of common and familiar user interfaces (think browser, mobile, Outlook, SharePoint). You need the management and control of delegation rules and the security of compliance guardrails. You need XMPro.

 

You can read other business process management blog posts here.

You can read more about Professional Advantage and XMPro here.
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