The Status of Paperless Implementation

According to the Japan Management Association’s 2021 Survey of 1,000 Businesspersons [Status of Paperless Implementation]*, more than half of the respondents (approximately 56%) have not gone paperless in the past year.

Regarding the paperless progress by work, attendance management is the most advanced, and about 70% of the total (n=770) seems to have been computerized (completely/partially computerized). On the other hand, the paperless rate of seals, faxes, and contracts is generally less than half, which is still low.

※ Survey period: August 2021; survey target: 1,000 regular employees/officers/managers working for companies (organizations) nationwide, aged 20 to 69; survey method: Internet survey

Paperless Promotion Awareness and Challenges

What is the mindset of business people in a situation where paperless systems are not yet in place?

According to the survey, more than 80% of the respondents said that going paperless in the workplace is beneficial, thus many people feel that going paperless is beneficial.

So what are the challenges?

According to the survey, more than 60% of all respondents were concerned about going paperless, of which more than 40% were concerned about IT skills and security.

What are the Advantages of Going Paperless?

Going paperless means changing the destination for recording/storing information from paper to electronic media. This electronic conversion reduces the costs associated with paper media. It also increases the flexibility and speed of information exchange. Specifically, it enables work to be performed remotely and speeds up the retrieval, revision, and sharing of information. Such operational efficiency improvements will ultimately lead to cost reductions. In addition, the paperless system reduces the risk of information leaks and enables BCP measures due to its ease of information management.

Specific benefits are as follows.

– Cost reduction

  • Paper purchase/printing/disposal costs
  • Storage space cost
  • Shipping costs

– Improved business efficiency

  • Improved searchability
  • Improvement of correction speed
  • Improvement of information sharing speed
  • Increased speed of application approval
  • Easy backup of information

– Reduce the risk of information leakage

  • Prevention of loss/theft
  • Viewing restrictions are possible

– BCP Measures

  • Preventing loss of documents due to disasters

What is the Objective of Paperless Systems?

The paper media to be digitized include documents used internally and contracts with customers. The main items are as follows.

– Internal documents

  • Approval documents
  • Expense report
  • Various application forms
  • Conference materials
  • Minutes
  • Forms
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Financial statements

– External Documents/Materials

  • Quotations
  • Invoices
  • Receipts
  • Proposals
  • Product/service introduction materials
  • Contracts (some contracts cannot be converted to electronic format)

On the other hand, there are some items that cannot be digitized. Examples include ship’s manuals (which are highly readable in case of emergency) and licenses/permits (which are highly physical) that are subject to treaty restrictions.

Specific Methods of Paperless Conversion

Data entry, scanning/OCR, etc. are methods of digitizing existing paper media, and cloud storage is a method of storing the data.

After the digitization of such existing media is completed, it is necessary to consider how the workflow should be implemented to record/store the data in electronic media from the outset. This is because although the application forms and other media themselves have been digitized, we are faced with the problem of how to transfer tasks such as application/approval methods.

The solution to this problem is the computerization of business processes.

How to Digitize/Automate Business Processes

Cloud Workflow Questetra BPM Suite makes it easy to digitize and automate business processes.

Questetra BPM Suite is not just a paperless system, but also provides the following benefits by digitizing business processes.

  • Reduction of operational errors
  • Visualization of business progress
  • Automation of operations
    • Automation of task handover
    • Automation of task processing

The main features of Questetra BPM Suite are as follows.

  • No-code/low-code business applications can be created
    • Build systems by drawing workflow diagrams
  • The workflow diagram you create becomes a business application by itself
    • The workflow diagram becomes a business manual and tasks can be processed according to predetermined rules
  • Business progress is visualized
    • Actual performance, progress, and flow status can be checked in real time for each task on the workflow diagram
  • Tasks can be automated
    • Task processing can be automated. (Automatic sending of e-mails / insertion of business data / automatic calculation and aggregation of data, etc.)
    • Able to automate processing of cloud services linked with APIs

With these features, Questetra BPM Suite solves many of the concerns of going paperless.

– Lack of IT literacy

  • No-code development is possible, so engineers are not necessarily needed.

– Increased cost

  • No need to hire new engineers thanks to no-code development. In addition, costs (paper media-related costs/production costs due to more efficient operations, etc.) can be expected to be reduced through the introduction of the system.

– Security

  • Various access privileges can be set for each situation. (App Administrator authority / Process Manager authority / Data Viewer authority / Data Viewer (only Progress Information) authority)
  • Automatic processing of API-linked cloud services eliminates the need for individual logins to cloud services. (It is also possible to limit the services used by each employee so that they can be controlled by the authority settings of Questetra BPM Suite.)

I would recommend it to anyone who wants to go paperless.

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