By Randy Townsend
Going paperless in a production-centered environment requires input from a number of areas that could cut across your organization. The first thing you will need to do is assemble a strong team with members representing each stage of product development. When drafting your roster, consider adding the following:
- Acquisition Specialist
- Production Coordinator
- Copy Editors
- Graphic Specialist
- Vendor Representative
With strong team collaboration, you can weaken some of the resistance from opposing colleagues, and hopefully gain support and build momentum for your cause.
The next thing to do is clearly define your objectives by asking the right questions, posing them both to yourself and the members of your team. Before you eliminate physical documents, forms or other communications, ask yourself:
1. How else can relevant content get to everybody who relies on it?
B. Content Management System
C. Interactive PDF
2. Who will this affect?
A. Primary departments contributing to product development.
B. Secondary departments generating reports for stats and billing.
3. What will this cost?
A. Will your organization require technology upgrades?
B. Will your organization require additional server space?
C. Will your employees require training to use new software?
4. What are the benefits?
A. Decrease in production time
B. A reduction in expenses
C. An increase in operational efficiency
D. Environmentally sound practices
5. What is the worst-case scenario?
A. Communication breakdown
B. Failure to adequately track and monitor progress
C. Employee resistance
6. What needs to be done for this workflow to become sustainable?
A. Over-communication during the transition period
B. Special attention to those having difficulty adapting
C. Establish hard and soft deadlines for transition
Remember, just because you need the information on the paper does not mean that you need the paper. Once you have begun your paperless journey, the road ahead will be much greener.