The biggest speed bump
The biggest speed bump on the way to the paperless office has always been scanning. It’s a chore and people dread doing it.
I’ve worked with document management systems for longer than I care to admit, and I’ve heard the same complaints again and again: scanning interrupts work; it takes too long fiddling with the copier; scanning documents one at a time is tedious; no one else can do the scanning because I can’t be sure they’ll file everything correctly.
The benefits of a paperless office are clear, but the actual achievement is elusive when the process disrupts well-honed work habits and breeds resistance in the ranks.
The solution that wasn’t
No doubt you have a digital copier/scanner at your disposal. It’s ingenious, efficient and intelligent. Maybe it even has a computer grafted onto it, like a Frankenstein head, that is supposed to make it play nice with your DM system.
When copiers developed scanning capability, people thought that paperlessness was at hand, that scanning was going to be routine and easy. It usually didn’t turn out that way.
“Documents were allowed to languish in an inbox and the required post-scanning work was often delayed because it was considered a hassle”
Many firms found that scanning to email wasn’t very convenient for getting a lot of documents into DM. Solutions were devised, such as expensive hardware add-ons, that turned out to be worse than the original problem. Adoption sagged, and once again the paperless office seemed out of reach.
Paperless is achievable (with one small change)
It’s funny, but the real game changer in law office scanning turns out to be a small but clever adjustment
to the scanning workflow. It’s simple once you grasp it, but this unique, patented system can have a huge impact on scanning adoption and satisfaction. And finally get you to the paperless payoff.
It’s on your desk for a reason
|That paper document is on your desk because you are a knowledge worker. You are the person who knows what to do about it. You know who needs to know about it and who doesn’t. Your hard-won expertise is an asset to your firm. So why should you have to interrupt your work with some tedious chore?|
So here’s the one small change: separate the knowledge work from the chore. Enable knowledge workers to add their value and move on, without having to interrupt their process, and suddenly the entire psychology changes and work starts to flow.
Here’s how easy it can be:
- Assess the document
- Create a profile in your DM system as you always do
- Pull a sticker from the dispenser on your desk and place it on the first page
- Put the document in your outbox – you’re done!
Using the KwikTag for Legal™ system, you didn’t get up from your desk and walk to the copier. You didn’t wait in line to scan your document or make someone wait for you. You didn’t have to log in to the copier. You didn’t have to trust someone else to file your document correctly. You got on with your work, secure in the knowledge that your document will not be forgotten or overlooked, and will soon arrive at its proper place in the DM system, indexed, secured and searchable.
How much does distraction cost?
“Every moment a lawyer or legal professional is wrestling with paper or software takes away from the firm’s overall profitability.”
Your documents are now linked to you and to the information you entered in the DMS. Because the knowledge work has been already been done, the scanning can be done by anyone, without error. Some firms have an employee collect the tagged documents and scan them in large batches. (The KwikTag system thoughtfully includes a convenient, collapsible outbasket to identify documents ready to scan.)
But even if you have to do it yourself, scanning is easy and you can scan when it’s convenient for you. Just load your stack of documents onto the copier and PRESS ONE BUTTON. That’s it. This is scanning workflow stripped to bare metal!
Do you want to get serious?
“We immediately raised the value of our document management system by capturing all scanned documents — not just some of them.”
You’re not getting the full value of your DM system if all the documents aren’t in it. If you need to make DM the “source of truth”, the trusted reference for your business, there are several ways to achieve it. Find out about Scanbition Frameworks, proven paths to full paperless realization. See how KwikTag can enhance your legal accounting system (Elite, Aderant). Learn about integrated quality control, getting rid of file rooms, return on investment, and the rest of the KwikTag story.
Hutchinson, Jeff (2012). Lose (Paper) Weight and Keep It Off: How Our Firm Successfully Performed a Paper Bypass, Peer to Peer, the quarterly magazine of ILTA. PDF here.