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Mixing Going Green with Business

by | Oct 30, 2009

Last month I talked about legacy documents and some strategies for handling them. Today I’d like to reaffirm why document capture and enterprise content management and using electronic methods for viewing and reviewing documents is such a “good” thing.

At our company, we like to encourage everyone to be green where possible. We recycle all our paper after we’ve printed on the opposite side, we use real dishes, glasses and silverware and eliminated disposable paper cups, plates and utensils, we dimmed some of our lights, and look for other ways to use the earth more gently.

However I like to think our greatest contribution is participating in the Green revolution involving the reduction of paper usage in business. In New England, many of us love our trees, particularly now in the fall foliage season, and we feel wronged when we see them cut down for paper. In our industry, we also feel frustrated when we hear that many businesses still use paper 50 to 80% of the time when electronic document handling would probably do. Our own company still uses a fair amount of paper for record filing that we eventually hope to reduce.

It is encouraging to see that many of our customers, using our technology, make a major impact on paper reduction. Our customers include all the major banks, many large insurance companies, quite a number of ECM companies, shipping companies and a wide assortment of other types. They all have at least one goal in common – to replace the use of paper in order to make business processes more efficient, faster and less expensive.

They do this by scanning documents and then processing them electronically – for reviewing them, for extracting important information, for marking them up as part of a workflow process, for safe storage and ultimately for secure destruction. The cost of paper creation, printing, handling, manual filing and shredding are all dramatically reduced while processing is speeded and security enhanced.

I doubt that many of our employees or those in the many other ECM companies pause to think about this very often, but every once in a while, it’s important to realize that what you do helps society and the environment.