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District Supervisor Sings Praises of the Paperless Office



February 26, 2014

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Count Federal Glover as a convert.

The California District Supervisor felt compelled earlier this month to write an opinion piece in the Contra Costa Times about the benefits his office had witnessed as a result of going paperless.

The office saved thousands of dollars by going digital, Glover wrote.

He said the board of supervisors’ meeting packet was originally eight inches thick and could be as many as 1,500 pages long. Since they had gone digital, however, it now fit on a single iPad. By having the meeting packet digital, the district saved $35,000 alone, he wrote.


It also has the intangible benefit of helping to preserve the environment.

“Going paperless is a sustainability concept that is easy to grasp and implement,” Glover wrote. “It is also rewarding because employees and management learn sustainable processes and see results.”

He noted that organizations of all types can reap substantial benefits from a paperless office initiative. Building inspectors can take photos from the field and then send information back to the firm. Sheriff’s deputies can file reports from field offices without having to travel to headquarters to use a desk computer.

Devices such as the iPad and smartphones have made going paperless a lot more feasible, since it now is easy to read digital files.

It also is easier than ever to turn paper records into their digital counterparts. The Fujitsu (News - Alert) ScanSnap scanner is an easy way to scan paper documents into PDF files, and it comes with optical character recognition to make searching for documents easy.

Another vector for paper documents, the fax machine, also can be taken digitally easily. Fax-over-IP (FoIP) enables faxes to be sent and received digitally, much the same as calls now are sent over the Internet using voice-over-IP (VoIP).

By using a FoIP service such as FaxSIPit, businesses can have incoming faxes arrive by email, and outgoing faxes can happen right from the computer just as if the documents were being printed. This can help cut out one of the last places where paper traditionally is used.

While not every business might save $35,000 on meeting notes per year, some most certainly can shave costs while also adding efficiency and helping the environment.


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