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Winning the Paper Wars - in Portugal

Posted by Atle Skjekkeland on Jul 8, 2014 2:51:00 AM

I am Thursday and Friday in Portugal to deliver the opening keynote at the Winning the Paper Wars 2014 conference, but also teach an Enterprise Content Management class for Arquivagest staff and partners. 

Here are some of the findings from our Winning the Paper Wars research:

  • On average, members feel that driving paper out of the process would improve speed of response to customers, citizens, or staff by a factor of 4.0x. Those with more experience of paper-free processes report an even greater speed - up to 4.6x.
  • On average, members feel that driving paper out of the process would improve the productivity of process staff by 29.7%, rising to 35.4% for those with more experience. 
  • Physical signatures and legal admissibility are given as the biggest paper-free concerns amongst staff, with Legal Council, and to an extent Finance, being most resistant. Yet overall, even Legal Council are 37% pro and 26% against, with most line-of-business and C-levels broadly in favor.
  • Two-thirds of those adopting paper-free processes report a payback within 18 months. 50% see payback in a single 12-month budgeting period. 

A large enterprise asked me last week how to get staff to stop printing emails, web pages, electronic documents, etc. They wouldn't remove printers/copiers, but instead make staff more aware of new ways of working. Below are a few ideas for a "Think Before You Print" campaign that could be supported by short educational videos, posters next to the printers/copiers, email signatures, executive messages, etc.

  • Paper Free Day – ask staff to submit ideas for how the company can support the World Paper Free Day coming up Nov 6th. AIIM Paper Free Kit will be ready by mid September. 
  • Save a Tree – donate money to a relevant charity when departments reduce their print/copy volume. Publish a leader board next to the copier/printers.
  • New Ways of Working (WOW) – get staff to submit their best new WOW instead of using paper. Focus on the benefits of using solutions like Yammer and Box.
  • Best Desk Competition – get staff to nominate colleagues with the cleanest desk to put focus on paper usage and storage. Make Top 10 List with pictures. Offer gift cards.
  • Messiest Desk Wall of Shame – get staff to nominate colleagues with the messiest desk to put focus on paper usage and storage. Make a Wall of Shame with pictures. Offer gift cards or a desktop scanner for nominations…



This is Brian Pillard, Records manager of Lancaster County Nebraska, and the winner of our “Messiest Desk” competition a few years ago…. He has repeatedly stressed that "This isn't my desk," so I definetatly wanted to make that clear. The desk in question belongs to Steve Hubka, City of Lincoln, Nebraska Budget Director. Apparently, the word got out to the Mayor's office that Steve's desk had won the contest. Sept 14th has therefore been named Steve Hubka Messy Desk Day.

How do you do win the paper wars? Here are some ideas for getting paperless processes:

  1. Question long-held assumptions that paper is essential in your business for legal compliance. Research others in your industry. Consult your auditors.
  2. Highlight the role that paper-free processes can play in your key business improvement initiatives.
  3. Audit those existing processes that utilize scanning and electronic workflows. Ensure that they are taking full advantage of the possibilities of OCR, data capture and integration with core enterprise processes.
  4. Look at the range of capture systems in use with a view to rationalizing around a single, highly capable system, able to service multiple applications.
  5. Position that central system right at the door as a digital mailroom, defending offices from paper and ensuring the quickest possible conversion to electronic.
  6. If you are unsure of your expertise, or need some external influence to kick-start paper-free processes, consult a document process outsourcer and tap into their experience in your industry.
  7. Extend the paper-free concept further to the point of origination, whether that is a branch office, a shop or the mobile devices of your employees and customers.
  8. Get trained by AIIM in technologies and best practices. 

AIIM also has a Capture resource center with publications and tutorials addressing how to best capture paper documents and information. You should also check out our whitepaper for identifying your capture requirements.

Find What You Need Today!  






Topics: capture, paperfree office

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Welcome to my blog. My name is Atle Skjekkeland, Chief Evangelist at AIIM – the Association for Information and Image Management.

I am a modern day Norwegian viking fighting for how to best use technology to transform businesses. Join me explore how technology and information can be used to create a new reality, add value, reduce costs, or manage risk.

I have for the last 9 years lived with my family in "Vinland" - this is what the vikings used to call America when they discovered this continent hundreds of years before Columbus. But even vikings get homesick, and our new home is now in Kristiansand, Norway.

Join me to explore how to best transform businesses to become digital businesses. If I can help, contact me at askjekkeland@aiim.org.

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