You all still remember Dunder Mifflin? It was the paper company in the hit TV show ‘The Office’ centered around the regional sales managers Jim, Dwight and Pam and their clumsy but wholesome boss Michael Scott. As funny as the show was, the world of selling paper we saw through the eyes of Jim Halpert seemed pretty mundane. There was no innovation happening at Dunder Mifflin, as they operated in a dying industry, closing branches left and right. The premise of this show holds very true, as the world nowadays needs less and less paper. And there is a reason for that. Paper forms have been replaced in many instances by digitalized processes, which can be easily set up by low code platforms.
The office of paper forms
Dunder Mifflin did not only sell paper. Their own employees were constantly printing, stapling, filing and archiving paper forms. This could be seen as a symbol of their fight against their own obsolescence, but actually, it is still commonplace in some offices today. The last decades’ craze for having everything down in black and white and printed out over and over stems from an age where digitalization was just a product of the imagination.
While companies have already switched many processes to digital, they still print tons and tons of forms, documentation and informational material, which will then only collect dust in archives and office cabinets. Every additional process that becomes paperless could save actual trees from getting chopped down. Operating with paper in 2021 is not only a major concern in regards to the unsustainable nature of its production, but also creates significant disadvantages for your business. To be reliant on such an error-prone medium in a digital age has become a huge liability.
Print & type becomes a liability
‘Copy & paste’ has a bad reputation. But while people think that copy-paste errors in Excel are the root of all problems, they have not met its evil twin. In data management, it’s hell to ‘print & type’ handwritten information from a filled-out paper form into a digital system. With ‘copy & paste’ some information ends up being corrupted along the way, but ‘print & type’ possesses a far wider array of possible error sources.
Have you ever wondered who has to deal with the registration form you quickly filled out? And how long would it take this poor soul to make out your scribble? Typing in handwritten information manually is just prone to errors due to typos, bad handwriting or simple human mistakes. Processes like these lead to faulty data, which cause a long string of errors down the line. Be it quality assurance in manufacturing or claims handling in insurance, this results in delays in processing and many hours of corrections with higher labor cost. Needless to say, employees are not happy about this either, as they have to correct all mistakes manually. But with no alternative in sight, it was acceptable in the past.
In today’s fast-paced business world, however, inefficiencies like these can easily be a huge burden to your business. But there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. By creating an all digital workspace, it’s now easier than ever to throw all those paper-based processes into the trash.
Digital tools & automation replace paper processes
With computers and smartphones we can do almost anything nowadays. Be it private banking, booking flights and hotels, selling your old washing machine, all of this can be done in seconds just by pushing a few buttons. We’ve become really proficient with our devices, so when we are asked to fill out an old-school paper form, we may be a bit annoyed and then fill it out reluctantly, worrying about our deteriorating handwriting. Why still cling to paper forms, when we have the right technology already at our fingertips?
You may think that relying on a digital system comes with a lot of data security issues. That’s a valid point, but security measures have come a long way in the last couple of years, having matured with digital signatures, 3D-passwords and two-way authentication and people now trusting these services just like they trusted good old mail. Digital processes are pretty reliable nowadays, which makes a clear path for digitizing all kinds of paper forms and surveys, filled out by employees or by clients. With the right security measures they also fulfill archiving requirements. To become paperless, you first have to build applications to replace these paper forms. But don’t worry, you don’t need an army of developers to create these applications when you can do it by yourself using low code platforms.
Low code platforms for fast development
Visual development with low code platforms makes creating new applications more accessible. It is designed to be easy to operate and navigate to lower the entry barrier for team members without any prior coding experience. Just about anyone is able to set up some basic functionalities with simple components like buttons and tables and have a running application in no time. Along with these basic components, the VisionX platform provides ready-made modules called Smart Bricks, where most of the configuration has already been taken care of. To stop you from becoming the next Dunder Mifflin, VisionX releases you from ‘print & type’ by helping you develop paperless applications for a watertight digital workflow.
Is it time to digitalize your paper processes? Get a demo and find out how low code development can help you ease into the transformation.