Going Paperless – More to It than Meets the Eye – Part 2
- Posted by Jim Houliston
- On Feb 27, 2020
- 0 Comments
- budget, k12 systems, paperless
In the previous episode of this article, we started to explore the road to going paperless. Here, we continue on the journey to implementing a paperless solution…
Set clear objectives
Armed with information from your department, you can now set clear objectives. With all that paperless systems can do, obviously, there comes a price tag. Do you really need all the bells ‘n whistles or can you reasonably start with only a couple essentials that can make a huge difference? Being able to say, “I wish we could do XYZ” or “I wish we didn’t have to do XYZ” is a great way to help understand what you truly need.
What’s within your budget?
This is important to consider. There’s lots of options available. Of course, don’t just go with the lowest price tag and make sure you read the fine print of what is included with the service. Consider the cost and the savings it would bring:
- What would be the cost saved by replacing systems?
- Savings realized from more efficiency
- Is there a cost to filling positions and not being able to find the right talent?
- Savings from storage space and mailing costs
- What is the impact of fewer errors and improved compliance?
- Would there be less overtime and overhead costs?
According to the EPA, a paperless office saves roughly $80 per employee annually in costs related to paper, ink, toner, storage space, and postage. If you have an organization with 1,000 employees, that’s more than $80,000 per year.
Morse Eubanks from Tolleson Union High School District says, “Over the course of a year, education officials estimate that paperless packets could save the district at least $4,500 per year.”
Do your homework
There are various paperless solutions available. A simple online search will make that crystal clear. You want to make sure you’re going with a solution that’s designed specifically for education and for your specific needs.
You want to ensure the solution plays well with and talks to your current system(s). You don’t want to be locked into a new system that won’t easily transfer data from, or work alongside, your old one.
View demos and presentations
Once you’ve read their basic info and watched some online videos of the product, you want to set up a demo and be ready to share with the company what HR areas you want to streamline, aka, the needs you identified in the first step.
If the process feels too overwhelming, remember to focus on the low hanging fruit. You can start small with just your current, most pressing needs. Then you can build on that and expand from there. You want to make sure the provider can do more than you need today because your needs will grow tomorrow.
You want the work you’re doing with any provider to be that of a partnership. The provider needs to be available to answer all your questions and keep your best interests in mind, providing a solution that makes your team operate as efficiently as possible. Showing the ability to work with you shows the potential provider’s flexibility.
Once paperless, dedicate time to learning
And when you do make that jump into a paperless system, make sure to put in the initial time to learn for smooth implementation. Change is hard, but, done right, it can be your gateway to efficiency and success.
In the end, you and your colleagues will be so happy you took the time to make the change to a new, more efficient way.
“Teachers and administrators are very appreciative of going through a more digital process instead of having endless papers and copies and trying to keep all of that file management straight,” says Bob Fishtrom, Director of Information Systems at Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District.
Well, there you go! Lots of benefits and savings. In the next episode of this blog, we will take a look at all the processes in HR that can benefit from streamlining.