AIIM - The Global Community of Information Professionals

Did you hear the one about being paper-free?

Oct 27, 2017 10:07:00 AM by Bob Larrivee

Oh that joke is as old as you can imagine, and I have heard a lot of them. And I have heard “offices will be paper free when (you fill in the blank)”. In fact, I was once one of those people and to an extent still am because it is still true.

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Topics: business intelligence, capture, intelligent capture, paperfree office, paperless

Digital Transformation: A Two-Thousand-Year-Old Tradition Can Do It—So Can You

Feb 16, 2017 10:46:00 AM by Thomas LaMonte

Chinese New Year is host to many traditions from tasty, meat-packed dumplings to an all hours riot of fireworks. Over its two weeks, the whole country erupts in celebration—it’s a sight to be seen.

But above all Spring Festival traditions, I have a clear favorite; maybe you have heard of it before: the gifting of red paper envelopes filled with money.

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Topics: bpm, paperless, paperfree office, digital transformation,

Reducing the Insurance Paper Mountain with Paperless Document Management

Jan 13, 2017 9:00:00 AM by Sean McGauley

Although paper is still heavily used in the Insurance sector, the reality is that we’re living in an age where paper is slowing us down. Often referred to as multichannel inbound content, information enters the business in many different ways and in many forms. In addition, the amount of information we are dealing with is on the rise, which means the risk of paper-based information being misplaced, lost, or misclassified is greater than ever.

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Topics: bpm, paperless, paperfree office

12 Steps to Take Right Now to Create Paperless Processes

Oct 11, 2016 9:18:40 PM by Bob Larrivee

The song of being paperfree has been sung since the early days of document imaging. As technologies have advanced and business organizations have come to realize the negative impact paper has on operational processes, getting rid of paper is fast becoming a possibility And while it may not be enterprise level, there are definite signs that departmentally, as seen in this report highlighting changes in HR and AP, businesses are making the transition to a paperfree business model.

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Topics: wpfd, world paper free day, paperless processes, paperfree office

A Sneak Peek at the State of Paper-Free

Aug 24, 2016 9:03:17 AM by Bob Larrivee

For years, AIIM has been a major advocate in the paper-free movement. Through our research, resources, and events we’ve preached the importance and benefits of reducing paper in business and major strides have been made so far.

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Topics: bpm, business process management, paperless processes, paperfree office

8 Reminders About Why World Paper Free Day Matters

Aug 10, 2016 11:39:13 AM by John Mancini

Just a reminder, World Paper Free Day is November 4!  Just around the corner!  

Bookmark THIS LINK to stay informed about the latest plans.  There are a lot of exciting new things coming.

In the meantime, here's 8 paperfree nuggets to get the juices flowing.  You can get the full Executive Summary of last year's Paper-Free Industry Study HERE.

  1. Paper in the Office-only 17% of respondents work in what could be described as a paper-free office. 31% admit their office is piled high with paper documents and paper processes. 40% still use paper for filing “important stuff," and 56% are wed to signatures on paper for contracts and order forms.
  2. 20% report that their consumption of paper is increasing; but for 49% it is decreasing, including 11% where it is decreasing rapidly. This 2015 net of 29% compares with 23% net in 2014 and 3% net in 2011.
  3. 55% report that paper flowing through their processes is decreasing including 12% rapidly decreasing. With 20% increasing, this net of 35% compares with 21% in 2014 and 21% in 2011.
  4. The number of organizations actively looking at every process for paper elimination has grown from 9% in 2014 to 16% in 2015, including just 3% who feel they have reached the limit. 36% feel they are making good progress, with just 7% sticking with paper processes – down from 11% in 2014.
  5. Lack of management initiatives is given equal weight to staff preferences (49%) as the reason there is still so much paper around. 39% feel there is a general lack of understanding of paper-free options.
  6. 41% are using OCR in some form. 23% are capturing process data including 9% using intelligent/adaptive workflows. 16% are not using OCR, but workflow flat images, and 18% scan primarily for archive.
  7. The biggest driver for scanning and data capture is improved searchability and sharability (53%). Higher productivity, reduced storage space and faster response are all key drivers. 27% have an environmental policy to reduce paper usage.
  8. 40% of organizations report that more than half of their invoices are now delivered electronically - but 35% agree that most get printed anyway. 31% agree that most of the paper documents they retain are only there for the signatures, and that most of the documents they scan are unchanged from printer to scanner.


I rather like this ebook -  "Going Paperless in 90 Days."  Check it out.

Download Your eBook


In the Toronto, NY or DC metro areas?  We've got a process improvement seminar coming up in your neighborhood!  They're FREE.

Washington DC event -- October 4 at the National Press Club


New York event-- October 6 at the Manhattan Penthouse


Toronto event -- October 13 at the Allstream Centre



You might also be interested in...

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Topics: world paper free day, wpfd, paperfree office, paperless processes

Disruption Rule 7 - Don't Forget About Paper!

Feb 10, 2016 2:00:29 PM by John Mancini

We are doing a series of blog posts tied insights from some of the AIIM Board and speakers at AIIM16. We're doing this under the series name, Stop Waiting and Start Doing: Rules to Tackle Digital Disruption.  You can check out all of the previous "Rules" at the end of this post.

The seventh "rule" is submitted by Charley Barth, Executive Director of global enterprise content management at Cummins Inc.  Prior to that Charley was the 8th Director of the Federal Register. He began his Government service with the United States Senate, then the Department of the Navy, then Homeland Security and last with NARA. He previously served as the Chairman on the Advisory Committee on the Electronic Records Archives for the Archivist of the United States. In 2007 his office was awarded the Archivist Achievement award by NARA, in 2010, Mr. Barth traveled to Iraq to assist the Joint Staff headquarters with record management and in 2012, his office received the Harvard University bright idea award for innovative achievement.  And one of my favorite job listings ever on LinkedIn, he was owner of a vineyard.  

Charley's focus will be a key one at AIIM16 -- Where to begin? Establishing a Global ECM Program at a Fortune 500 company.  He will explore how Cummins responded to a Records Information Management Internal Audit and how they were able to establish an ECM Program that includes a strategic ECM roadmap, governance plan, audit response, and domain capability model.  And here's one of Charley's rules:

Rule #7 - Don't forget about paper!

Charley explains:  "There is so much focus on digital documents that many times people just give up on the paper holdings. Remember there is legal risk to keeping that paper around and also storage and servicing costs associated with those records. Paper is easier to tackle than digital so perhaps you should look at starting with the paper first.”

Tim Osman, Marketing Manager at OPEX Corporation, concurs:  "John, you and I have discussed this 'chasing the shiny' of digital disruption on previous occasions. Don't get me wrong, I agree that digital transformation is valid, important and definitely on a forward march. But I agree with Charley here:  Some believe that it is an all or nothing proposition, leaving existing paper processes in the ditch to fend for themselves. This oversight not only serves to slow the march of progress but it also increases the unnecessary casualties of cost and risk. There is a better way to address your existing paper/mail center processes that will not only enhance the march toward digital transformation but will also transform a lagging process along the way." OPEX is one of the sponsors at AIIM16.


Previous "Rules"

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Topics: world paper free day, paperfree office, disruption, aiim16, cummins

8 Things You Need to Know About Going Paperless

Nov 24, 2015 10:54:12 AM by John Mancini

I recently ran into a guy coming out of church who asked me, "Do you work at AIIM?" Now, I would like to think that all of us working in the trenches as content management evangelists are famous, but truth be told, we are all a bit more of a niche than we would like to admit.  So my surprised response was, "Yes, how do you know AIIM?"

He said, "I used to work at NMA [National Micrographics Association, the predecessor of AIIM] back in the late 70s."

My response, "Wow, that's great. What were you working on?"

He responded, "I was hired to set up a conference on the Paperless Office."

Sigh.  Well, well, well.  Some things don't change.

But we are making progress.  Many of you were participants in World Paper Free Day (#wpfd) a few weeks ago. Thank you. There were some VERY creative participants -- I capture a few of the more creative Twitterites in these two posts:

And for those who missed it, we also released our annual state of the industry Paper Wars market research study.  The free executive summary is available HERE.

Here's a sample -- 8 things you need to know about the current state of going paperless

  1. Only 17% work in what could be described as a paper-free office. 31% admit their office is piled high with paper documents and paper processes. 40% still use paper for filing “important stuff”, and 56% are wed to signatures on paper for contracts and order forms.
  2. 20% report that their consumption of paper is increasing.
  3. The number of organizations actively looking at every process for paper elimination has grown from 9% in 2014 to 16% in 2015.
  4. Lack of management leadership and individual preferences are the top two reasons why there is still so much paper around. 39% feel there is a general lack of understanding of paper-free options.
  5. 40% of organizations report that more than half of their invoices are now delivered electronically - but 35% say that most get printed anyway.
  6. 40% of organizations deal with multi-channel content in an ad hoc way.
  7. In 40% of organizations, line of business heads and departmental managers are responsible for “radical process review” compared to 14% who point the finger at the head of IT.
  8. 59% of organizations achieved a payback in less than 12 months from their paper-free projects, including 26% in 6 months or less. 84% achieved payback in less than 18 months.

Get the FREE Executive Summary!

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Topics: ecm, scanning, world paper free day, capture, paperfree office, paperless processes

Soy Sauce and a Paper-Free Office: An Accountant's Story

Oct 29, 2015 3:56:13 PM by Felicia Dillard

When I think about World Paper Free Day, I am reminded of when we renovated and reduced our office space a few years back. The end goal was a more open, collaborative environment while reducing costs. I spent a lot of time researching and planning for an open-space plan.

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Topics: business process management, world paper free day, paperfree office, paperless processes

AIIM Magical Mystery Tour Stop 3 – A Focus on Change Management and Metrics

Oct 2, 2015 1:47:00 PM by John Mancini

Thinking About Change Management and Metrics

Had a great time at our Paperfree/Process Transformation seminar in Chicago yesterday. 

I especially enjoyed the presentation by Jim Sibenaller, IT Director at Loyola Chicago (and recommended by one of our sponsors, Docfinity) on “Why Are Change Management and Metrics Such Crucial Aspects to Your Overall Deployment Strategy.”

Jim used this infographic to describe Loyola Chicago’s content management journey:


On the change management front, Jim talked about the need to understand the ECM Maturity "readiness" of a department before beginning discussion of project options.  Far too often, ECM projects are shoved down the throats of end users by IT.  Successful projects are those that meet the user halfway -- pushing them to change their processes to take advantage of the technology, but not so hard that they lose them along the way.  Here are the six stages of ECM Maturity that Jim sees:

  1. Basic Document Retrieval - Basic image retrieval using queries, simple search.
  2. Basic Document Capture - Scanning documents with local scanner, manual indexing.
  3. Intermediate Capture & Indexing – Indexing images using business system screen scrapes/integration. Retrieving images through a “hot key.”
  4. Intermediate Tools & Features - Bar code recognition. Using Send To/Print To to capture electronic files. Using basic workflows.
  5. Advanced Tools & Features – Using Full Text Search, “Scan First”, Importers, eForms Processing, Mobile.
  6. Advanced Processing – Advanced workflow processes, Records Management, Dashboard.

When it comes to metrics, Jim urged fellow end users to consider both hard and soft metrics, to use information already on hand, to keep it simple, and to focus on 3-5 key metrics. Loyola Chicago's overall results are impressive -- a 76% average process improvement on key metrics, 7800+ hours of annual saved effort (equal to 4.0 FTEs, who have been reassigned to more rewarding tasks), and $47,000 in direct annual cost reductions through consolidating operating costs.

Jim's takeaways:

Customer Readiness and Change:

  • Engage and build trust
  • Go at the user's pace
  • Give them what they can easily consume
  • Define clear objectives

Metrics and Results:

  • Measure "simple"
  • Soft measurements are OK
  • Be constantly willing to adjust


  • It's OK to make mistakes
  • Be humble -- learn from them


  • Be relentless
  • Communicate often

Here are the end user organizations who attended yesterday – often multiple people from each organization.  Thank you so much for taking the time to be there. 

AGL Resources Company -- Alliance for Audited Media -- Allstate Insurance Company -- American Medical Association -- American Family Insurance -- AON Corp -- Bank of America -- BMO Harris Bank – Brandobility – Brightstat -- Caterpillar, Inc. -- CDK Global -- Chicago Underwriting Group -- Christian Brothers Services -- City of St Charles -- Discover Financial Services -- Ernst & Young -- GE Capital -- Gordon Flesch Company – Grainger -- Horace Mann -- Illinois Housing Development Authority -- Integrys Energy -- KAR Auction -- Locke Lord LLP -- Loyola University Chicago -- LTD Commodities LLC -- McDermott Will & Emery LLP – MMSD – MOEITS -- MTL Insurance Company -- PCTEL, Inc -- Roberts Oxygen Company, Inc -- Sidley Austin Brown & Wood -- State Farm -- Thrivent Financial -- True Value – UBS -- University of Illinois -- UOP LLC/A Honeywell Company -- Urban Partnership Bank – Walgreens -- Waukesha County – William Blair


Free AIIM Seminar - in your city!

Anaheim -- Houston -- Minneapolis -- New York -- San Francisco -- Washington

See also:


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Topics: paper free day, content management, ecm, scanning, capture, paperfree office

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