Lee’s Keys #3  Improve Efficiency, Reduce Steps

Let me share some statistics regarding paper.  In a survey done by Fast Company, the question was asked,

“Do you use more paper or e-mail in your business?”  Eighty-six percent said “more paper.”  Look at these paper statistics:

1)         The average American office worker is estimated to use a minimum of 1 sheet of paper every 12 minutes.  

 

2)         80% of papers filed in drawers are never referenced again

 

3)         50% of all filed materials are duplicates or expired information

Remember the RULE OF ORIGINATION

“The person responsible for the origination of a document is the person who is responsible for maintaining that information either on paper or electronically.”

One of the best ways to maintain hard copy information in any form is by using MobilLogic.  It is a web based search engine for your file cabinet as well as a great front-end application for your records management system.  MobilLogic also works very well with off site hard copy storage and retrieval. 

If you don’t already have a standardized hard copy filing system with pop-up reminders, this one can solve many issues for you.  With reminders regarding actions to be taken on a file as well as searchable records of cases in progress, you don’t have to remember which legal pad the notes were written on. 

We know where the paper comes from, but what do we do with it?  Use the ART OF WASTEBASKETRY® to determine whether or not to keep a piece of paper.  Ask yourself these 6 questions when making a tough decision about keeping a piece of paper.

1)      Did I ask for this Information?

 

2)      Is this the only place the information is available?

 

3)      Is the information recent enough to be useful?

 

4)      Can I identify the special circumstances when I would want this information?

 

5)      Are there tax or legal implications?

 

6)      What is the worst possible thing that could happen if I didn’t have this piece of paper? 

 

From:  Kiplinger’s Taming the Paper Tiger: Organizing the Paper in Your Life

Revised and Expanded Edition

By Barbara Hemphill

Registered trademarks are the property of Hemphill Institute

If the answer to these questions is NO, then toss the paper!  Remember to include scanning in your office records management system.  Used properly this will become a great part of improving office efficiency. 

Over the years I’ve learned there are different learning types in most offices – visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. The people who are kinesthetic will be the least likely to want to convert to a total scanning system. These are the people who will re-print a scanned document to read it. 

 

Know that scanning is important as a part of overall office organization, but it may work better for some practices rather than others due to the people who are the end users of the information.

  

One practice I worked with saved its client millions of dollars because they were able to locate the original printed fax cover sheet.  That alone was worth the effort for the office to become organized!

 

Lee’s Keys #4 is about prioritizing, scheduling, and minimizing.