NCET Explores business and technology
By Craig Vallarino
When it comes to seemingly insurmountable tasks, I remember hearing the old adage “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” The concept however holds true; break the unimaginable feat into small digestible tasks.
When it comes to breaking the cycle of printing, attaching, emailing, editing and printing again in everyday work life, the simplest place to start is to stop. Stop doing things the way you are used to doing them, and re-imagine a new way. Here are 5 quick tips for teaching yourself some new tricks.
Invest in new, bigger monitors. Paper is comfortable to you for reading, reviewing, envisioning, or approving. It will seem more similar on a larger, bright monitor. There are even some that can be turned sideways so that they display a letter in correct orientation and in a comfortable font for reading.
Consolidate localized printers. The small, low capital outlay printers at office supply stores, big box discount stores, and online retailers lure with low budget purchase prices. However, they eat you alive in high per page print costs due to very low toner yields, and shortened drum and print head life. Ditch them and consolidate into a higher quality, higher yield piece of equipment that keeps your price per printed page below $.03, and reduce landfill fodder of the throw away devices.
Stop printing. Once you have taken the first two steps to reduce, the next most important step is to refrain. The first reason is the impact it will have over the bottom line and productivity. Secondly, the environment, your children and grandchildren will thank you. The serendipity of less printing is reducing processing time to file, and reduced expenses for storing all that paper just because it makes us feel safe.
Take time to change business processes. There are some great software tools available to assist with automating business processes, replacing paper forms with online web based forms, and workflow management. Many of these tools are available as on-premise solutions that integrate nicely with your MS Office suite and even specialized third party core business applications. For those with budget constraints, there are cloud-based options with monthly subscriptions plans.
Develop a retention strategy and archive only what is necessary. Once you have stemmed the creation tide, you can then decide what really needs to be kept in those lateral files and what is extraneous. Scan what needs to be archived into your premise or cloud-based software and never have a tough time finding a document again.
Once your new office is cleared of clutter and paper, and you have reclaimed some time and efficiency, promote the local economy by hiring a space consultant to brighten your work environment to make it more welcoming for employees and clients.
Craig Vallarino is a Technology Consultant specializing in document management and business process automation for the Ray Morgan Company (www.raymorgan.com) and Co-Vice President of Membership for NCET. This column first appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal.