Benefits of Going Paperless for Utility and Energy Companies

Did you know that going paperless can save your utility or energy company a significant amount of money? In fact, estimated that businesses can reduce invoice processing costs by up to 66% with a paperless system. That’s because automating the process with software eliminates the need for human intervention, which means there are fewer mistakes and less wasted time and resources.

In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of going paperless and how automation software can help your business achieve this goal. Look no further, we’ve got your new paperless-office strategy covered.

Why Should Energy And Utility Companies Go Paperless?

According to a recent study by Deloitte, 46 out of 54 US investor-owned utilities committed to reducing carbon emissions, many by 2050. The study explains the primary goals of the energy and utility industry as we head into the future:

“[…] boosting clean energy, ensuring reliability and resiliency, and maintaining security, while keeping costs down. To tackle this tall order, the electric power industry will likely continue to advance in its ‘3D’ transformation: decarbonization, digitalization, and decentralization. We’ll be watching for technology deployments to advance and markets to evolve.”

There are many reasons why your energy or utility business should consider going paperless, but with the industry’s focus on renewable energy and green practices, digital transformation is all the more crucial. As your company prioritizes implementing digital software like AP automation, you can meet your sustainability goals while also experiencing the many of the operational and financial benefits of going paperless.

What Are The Benefits Of Going Paperless?

There are numerous benefits of going paperless, but here are a few key advantages that your utility or energy company can experience:

Cost Savings

As we mentioned before, automating your AP process comes with a significant ROI. While the average business spends about $17.61 per invoice, World-Class AP departments that utilize AP automation software cut their cost per invoice down to only $2.42 per invoice.

Paperless automation software reduces these costs by eliminating manual data entry for improved accuracy and efficiency. You’ll also save on operational costs, paper, storage, and shipping costs by going digital.

Try out our Paperless ROI Calculator to see how much you could be saving.

Faster Invoice Cycles

With paperless AP automation, you can expect to see a drastic reduction in your invoice processing time. Because the entire process is automated with built-in workflows, invoices are automatically moved onto the next step to avoid bottlenecks that slow down your AP process.

When your invoice cycles are faster, your company can also capture early payment discounts and benefit from improved relationships with vendors.

Operational Efficiency

Paperless AP automation will streamline your entire process and make it more efficient. With built-in workflow approvals, you can customize the steps for each invoice and ensure that they are routed to the appropriate person for review.

This level of automation will not only improve your overall efficiency but also reduce the likelihood of human error. Your finance teams will be relieved of their manual data entry responsibilities and empowered to focus on tracking metrics to improve your business. Your company can also cut down on employee overtime for reduced labor costs that also save your staff from potential burnout.

Increased Visibility Into KPIs

Digital AP automation gives you complete visibility into your spending at all times with real-time data and analytics. With this level of transparency, you can make more informed strategic decisions about where to allocate your resources. You’ll also have greater control over the entire process and be able to catch errors or fraud quickly, all on one cloud-based system.

Heightened Security Measures

When you go paperless with AP automation, your data will be more secure because it will be stored electronically. This is opposed to a manual process where documents can easily get lost or stolen. With digital software, you can also set up permissions and access controls to ensure that only authorized personnel has access to sensitive information.

Improved Sustainability Practices

As we continue to focus on renewable energy and green initiatives, it’s important for utility and energy companies to consider their own sustainability practices. One way you can reduce your carbon footprint is by going paperless with digital AP automation.

You’ll not only save trees but also the water and energy needed to produce paper documents. Automation software also eliminates the need for physical storage space, which reduces your company’s reliance on natural resources. A paperless office is a win-win for both your business and the environment.

Read more: Why You Should Transition Accounts Payable To Paperless

These are just a few of the many benefits that your utility or energy company can enjoy by going paperless. But how do you get started?

Go Paperless Today

If you’re ready to take your utility or energy company paperless, Mosaic is here to help. We offer a comprehensive AP automation solution that will streamline your entire process. Our software is easy to use, scalable, and customizable to fit the unique needs of your business.

We also offer paperless consulting and expert support every step of the way so you can be confident in your transition to a paperless office.

Contact us to go paperless today!

Printing is the Enemy of AP Automation Software

Companies that have invested in AP automation software often become frustrated when they don’t see the complete return on investment that was promised, but what these companies don’t realize is that they may be sabotaging their AP software’s performance by printing documents.

Printing is the enemy of AP automation software because it disrupts automated workflows and hinders your team’s ability to track key performance metrics. Printing is also expensive and it destroys the cost-effective benefits of a paperless office that automation software was designed to provide.

This article will explain why your team should quit that printing habit to improve your AP performance and capitalize off of all the performance benefits that automation software has to offer.

Printing Disrupts Workflow Automation Processes

AP automation software streamlines business processes by fixing the invoice approval process. Instead of the slow manual process of physically handing off invoices for approval and manually inputting data, AP software utilizes digital workflows to automatically move an invoice on to the next step in real-time. The software also offers an electronic signature feature so there is never a need to print and physically sign off on a paper document. It can all be done with a few quick clicks from your computer or mobile device.

With automated workflows on your side, your business can benefit from time savings, but when team members print out an invoice, the digital workflow is disrupted and slowed down. Lots of time is wasted in printing a document and it is entirely unnecessary. AP automation centralizes the accounts payable process to save valuable time, so why would you work against your software?

It may be a natural habit to hit print even after the software is implemented, but it is crucial to educate your team on how printing a document at any point of the AP process defeats the purpose of the software and adds unnecessary operational costs. Help your finance or AP department understand the benefits of electronic signature software and automated workflows so your company can leave the heavy lifting to your office automation solution and save valuable time.

Printing Hinders AP Automation ROI

AP automation software offers a strong ROI because core processes are done digitally instead of on costly physical paper. Print and mail procedures are expensive when you consider the cost of paper, ink cartridges, stamps, envelopes, and operating costs. The cost of fixing a single printer jam can also easily run up your office budget and if you run out of toner then business functions are put on hold.

With AP automation software on your team, your company will save significant funds while seeing a strong ROI on your investment because none of these printer costs are needed. However, businesses that fail to ditch their print habit end up wasting unnecessary resources and profits. Working against your office automation tool not only adds avoidable costs on the supply end, but print jobs also slow the seamless automated AP workflow, causing you to miss out on capturing early payment discounts for faster cycle times.

Check out our Paperless ROI Calculator to see how much your business could be saving when you quit printing.

Printing Ruins Visibility Into KPIs

By centralizing AP processes, your automation tool offers greater visibility into key metrics so your finance department can focus on tracking KPIs for increased performance and cost savings. By measuring your AP performance, you can easily set goals to cut the cost per invoice and speed up invoice cycle times for overall increased operational efficiency. However, when employees print an invoice at any step of the process, KPIs will be thrown off since your office automation tool will have no way to track the document.

There is never a true need to print an invoice at any step of the process because your office automation solution does it all. Your accounts payable team should focus on tracking process visibility when you make the transition to a secure, centralized AP process and let the software do the heavy lifting. AP automation software also offers user permissions and controlled access to digital files for increased security measures while physical document drafts always come with a risk. By taking advantage of workflow automation, heightened security, and process visibility your business will be well on its way to becoming a World Class Accounts Payable Department.

It may be difficult for your employees to adjust to different responsibilities but that is why it is important to educate them on the benefits of an office automation tool. Your AP team will soon realize that tracking key metrics and business functions is much more empowering than mundane manual data entry.

Read more: Successful AP Implementation: Solving Common Challenges with Preparation and Collaboration

For many professionals, printing is just a tough habit to kick, but once you realize the valuable time and profits that can be saved by going paperless, printing will be the obvious enemy.

If you’re ready to quit the print environment, check out our AP Automation Software solutions.

Contact Us to go paperless today.

How To Get Your Employees Excited About Digital Transformation

Once your company’s senior leaders have developed a digital transformation strategy, it can be tempting to move full speed ahead with implementation. However, the key to long-term success in your digital transformation efforts is to get the entire organization on board and excited about digital initiatives first.

Digital tools play a key role in successful business outcomes, but all of the changes in procedure that come with transformation projects can be met with some pushback from employees. Your workers may have a digital skills gap that triggers frustration and other employees may fear that their jobs are being replaced. 

Business leaders have a responsibility to educate their employees about digital transformation initiatives to ensure a smooth and stress-free implementation process. With a little bit of extra support from senior managers and your digital business partners, your business can create a company culture that challenges the status quo and prioritizes digital transformation for business success.

Here are some tips to have a company-wide buy-in on your digital transformation projects. 

Educate Your Employees About Digital Transformation

It is important to educate your employees about digital transformation at every level because they don’t have the same vision of the business as company leaders. For example, senior executives have insight into how AP automation software will deliver ROI and cut costs, but the vast majority of employees in your AP department might just feel as though you are trying to cut out their jobs. 

In a Forbes article on digital transformation, Garth Andrus, co-author of The Technology Fallacy, explains, “A lot of digital technology is augmenting our jobs, not necessarily replacing all the jobs […] But there’s often so much more augmentation, and that’s difficult for people to weave into their work because they keep wanting to do the workaround they had gotten used to.”

It is important to have internal communication at every level to educate employees on the “why” of automation tools to help them see the bigger picture. Though employees’ responsibilities and daily business processes may change to incorporate new technology, the digital tools will actually make their jobs less mundane as they track KPIs and focus on scaling efforts. By educating your employees, you can empower them to feel excited about their central role in meeting business goals and reassure them that their roles are not at risk.

Follow Through With Training And Support

In any digital transformation project, following through with consistent training is key to a successful transformation. Even with a solid education of the “why” behind automation software and digital tools, employees are vulnerable to burnout and frustration when they become overwhelmed with entirely new responsibilities all at once.

One simple training session or video is not a sufficient company strategy for digital implementation. For your more tech-savvy employees, one training video might do the job, but for employees who have been in their role doing manual data entry with a paper process for 15 years, the digital experience will be foreign and training will take time. Be patient with your employees as they adjust to the new digital strategy. Business operations may slow down before they speed up, but this is normal.

To increase employee productivity and training success, senior managers should implement a buddy system and channels of communication where IT employees are paired with workers in other departments to offer consistent support and answer any questions. 

Your digital transformation business partner will also be ready to offer support and consulting during implementation, so take advantage of the materials that they provide and keep their contact information handy in case you run into issues. 

Read more: Successful AP Automation Implementation: Solving Common Challenges with Preparation and Collaboration

Offer Space For Feedback

To keep your employees motivated and excited about your digital transformation efforts, C-suite executives and senior managers should offer consistent space for feedback from employees in all business units.

A true culture of innovation is constantly reassessing and adapting to drive business success by maintaining internal communication. Your company will have greater insight into the benefits of transformation and areas where you can continue to improve when you make space for employees in the field to give feedback on their daily processes. When workers feel heard, employee experience is boosted and productivity increases to create a more mature organization.

Your business can also offer rewards, recognition, and incentives for employees who have performed well in transformation-specific roles to acknowledge their efforts and reiterate their value. Keeping your workers engaged, motivated, and excited about digital trends lies in how you treat them and how well you implement these new processes.

Mosaic offers numerous Industry Solutions for a seamless digital transformation. We are an Epicor Gold Partner with expert consulting services to ease your implementation process and get your employees excited about automation software. 

Contact Us today to get started.

It’s 2022, Stop Delaying Your Digital Transformation

It’s hard to believe that we are already into the second month of 2022, but time has a funny way of sneaking up on us. Technological advances in artificial intelligence and automation are moving at an all-time speed, so it isn’t unusual to feel overwhelmed with how to begin a true digital transformation initiative. 

Digital transformation is a set of connected digital technologies that work together to drive productivity, optimize work efforts, and set your business up to scale. While it may sound even more overwhelming to hear that you need to implement multiple digital solutions to have a true digital transformation, the truth is that it’s easier than it sounds.

Like with most rewarding ventures, starting is the hardest part, but once you make that commitment to a digital transformation strategy, your business will quickly reap the benefits of automated workflows and more visibility into KPIs. Each digital solution that you implement will also seamlessly integrate with another, so stop delaying your digital transformation and get started now.

The Cost of Delay

It may feel easier to hide your head under a rock at the mention of digital capabilities and machine learning in favor of business processes that kept you afloat in the past, but the costs of delaying your digital transformation far outweigh any digital investments you may make. 

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen increasing digital experiences for consumers while brick and mortar businesses went under at record speed. Businesses have adapted to consumer demands for a more personalized customer experience and faster processes with the support of digital solutions like sales order automation, AI-based knowledge bots, and mobile apps. The companies that have delayed their digital transformation plans are quickly falling short of their competition and losing out on opportunities to scale. 

Slow pen and paper processes cannot keep up with the inescapable market demands. Customer expectations have risen beyond human capabilities, so without implementing digital innovations, your company will likely see a profit decline in coming years. Digital strategies are essential to your business’s longevity. Stop delaying those digital transformation projects and begin setting your company up for future success for automation solutions.

Read More: What is Sales Order Automation and How Does It Work?

2022 Digital Transformation Trends

2022 digital transformation trends show that remote work isn’t going anywhere so digital solutions that ease remote business operations will be essential this year. HR automation software will be crucial to a seamless remote hiring and onboarding process without any bottlenecks in paperwork or task flow.

Read more: Human Resources (HR) Employee Software Management

Forbes and Plain Concepts both name automation software as one of the top digital projects to implement into your business this year. AP automation software fixes the invoice approval process with automated workflows designed to operate seamlessly and quickly. AP automation also utilizes intelligent data capture (IDC) for accurate processing to avoid the costly errors of manual data entry and deliver a strong ROI.

Read more: How AP Automation Can Help Solve Your Company’s Scaling Challenges

If your business already has a solid ERP system in place, then implementing these automation solutions will be even easier. Do some research on integrations to find out which digital solutions are compatible with your ERP system. An automation provider like Mosaic will also be happy to offer support and answer any questions that you may have along your digital transformation journey.

Design a Digital Transformation Strategy to Fit Your Business

No two digital transformation strategies are the same and your business should design a digital transformation strategy that aligns with your unique scaling and business goals. Business leaders should take the time to review current business processes to see what isn’t working and what can be improved.

Your company’s IT department may be able to offer suggestions on digital initiatives that will benefit your business and employees from different departments can also offer business insights that are essential to their roles. By taking the time to meet with your team, you can develop a cultural transformation that values feedback and continuous innovation to drive successful business outcomes.

Successful transformations also begin with a strong dedication to research. Look to digital industry leaders for actionable insights into how you can begin your company’s digital journey. Automation and digital software providers are also great industry experts for senior executives to turn to for guidance on digital transformation.

Read more: Successful AP Automation Implementation: Solving Common Challenges with Preparation and Collaboration

If your business has goals to begin your digital transformation in 2022, Mosaic can offer support to help you choose an automation solution that is tailored to your unique business needs. Check out our Industry Solutions to learn more about how automation software can benefit your business. Contact Us to get started today.

Why You Should Transition Accounts Payable To Paperless 

What are the main goals for your business? Do you want to increase productivity, raise revenue, and also grow your business? Oftentimes it can be difficult to discern a business trend from legitimate strategies with proven results. Transitioning to a paperless accounts payable process is a guaranteed way to boost productivity and scale your business.

The entire point of the Accounts Payable department is to pay bills and invoices for a business. This task, while seemingly quite simple, requires an extraordinary amount of effort, manpower, and money. Broken down into its most basic parts, there are two ways to achieve this task: with paper and without.

The Downside of Using Paper

There are many negatives to using a paper-based accounts payable process. First of all, it costs more to process invoices with paper. Paper processes are slow and they come with hefty supply, labor, storage, and processing costs. A paperless accounts payable solution will allow you to process invoices faster, capture early payment discounts, and eliminate supply costs. Check out our Paperless ROI Calculator to see how much you could be saving.

You are also more likely to have human errors with a paper system. Human error is always a potential issue with manual data entry and your company may fall victim to late fees or accidental duplicate payments. Digitized invoices with Intelligent Data Capture (IDC) and electronic invoice approval workflows eliminate common data entry errors and speed up payable processing.

In addition, going paperless is a much better eco-friendly solution. Paper accounts for 26% of all waste in landfills. The deforestation caused by our mindless and wasteful use of paper can have a devastating effect. Trees are needed to produce oxygen and to protect the world from additional Global Warming.

The Benefits of Automating the Accounts Payable Process

In addition to it being more eco-friendly and more cost-effective, there are a lot of benefits you will find with the transition to Accounts Payable automation software like:

  • Faster payments – Implementing AP automation removes the slow physical step of manual invoice processing where one staff member must pass along the invoice to a manager for approval or mail paper checks to vendors. Invoice processing speed will reach an all-time high when you make the transition to paperless accounts payable software. Automated workflows make the entire process seamless to help your business capture early payment discounts and eliminate late fees. 
  • Significant cost savings over time – Not only do paperless invoices cost less to process, but with a paperless accounts payable system, fewer employees are necessary. Some companies discover new roles and job titles for former AP workers in departments such as finance and accounting, analysis, internal processes, and business strategy. Improving your business processes by streamlining the approval process is a great way to reduce labor costs.
  • More storage space – Get rid of paper processes and paper records. A digital document management system like Epicor ECM will keep all incoming invoices, electronic records, and other digital files in one secure location. Transitioning to a paperless system will give you more storage space as you won’t have to fill your office with clunky filing cabinets.
  • Better vendor and supplier relationships – With paperless invoicing, your business will see happier vendors and suppliers who are pleased with how fast their payments arrive compared to the slow paper-based system that can take weeks to process payments.
  • More visibility into cash flow — AP automation software offers accurate reporting tools and metrics with real-time information so your AP team can have more visibility into the number of invoices you process a month, cost per invoice, how much you are saving, and how to boost AP productivity. This allows your accounting team to focus on cash flow management and business growth rather than tedious task of organizing and managing paperwork.

Additional AP Automation Features

The AP automation services at Mosaic have quite a few beneficial features:

  • Image capture – This saves your business in mailroom deliveries, envelopes to open, and postal charges that come with receiving invoices from remote offices.
  • Intelligent Data Capture (IDC) – You will no longer have to mess with manual data entry as there will be immediate tagging of all invoices.
  • Approval and coding – This allows you to pay invoices in ¼ the time, capture discounts, and avoid late payment charges.
  • Posting and paying – This saves you from slow and error-prone manual data entry into your ERP and it simplifies the vendor payment process.
  • Storing and retrieving – No file cabinets or filing supplies, massive space recovery, and no Iron Mountain relationships.

If you want to learn more have a look at What is AP Automation?

How to Make the Transition to Paperless Accounts Payable Software

Once you’ve made the decision to recycle those paper invoices and try paperless accounts payable process software, there are a few key steps to follow to make the transition go smoother:

  • Identify your goals: The first thing you need to do is pinpoint your specific reasons for transitioning into a paperless accounts payable process. Whether it’s to cut costs, reduce errors, increase efficiency, or free up staff, identifying your goals will ensure that everyone is on the same page and provide clarity for the entire team moving forward. It will also be easier to track your progress and measure your success.
  • Communicate with your team: Once your goals have been identified by each department, make sure everyone is in the agreement including leadership and management. By setting expectations and getting everyone on board, you can minimize future conflicts, as well as include any potential concerns from other employees through collaboration and integration. It is always great to look at each step to implement a new system.
  • Find a system that works for your office: When searching for the best AP automation services for your business, you want to make sure you’ll be able to integrate with your accounting software seamlessly and have the capability of handling a large number of payments, invoices, and transactions.

Moving Forward with Accounts Payable Process Automation

Getting everyone on board to transition to an accounts payable automation process will have your company one step closer to digital transformation. By following this simple guide, you can ensure that the process takes place as easily and seamlessly as possible so that you can spend less time on manual processes, and more on doing what you do best: running your business.

Contact Us to begin your digital transformation with a paperless accounts payable system.

 

Steps To Creating a Paperless Office

It’s 2021 and Mother Earth would love every office out there to go paperless, but unfortunately, many companies are stuck in the wasteful ways of paper processes. The sad truth is that paper-based practices aren’t only hurting the environment, but they are preventing your business growth, as well. 

Successful businesses know that a paperless office contributes to increased productivity, better organization, clearer cash flow visibility, and stronger security. If you’ve been tossing around the idea of transitioning to a paperless office, then you’re on the right track, but it’s time to put those goals into action.

Here are some concrete steps for creating a paperless office that will set your company up for long-term growth.

The Case For a Paperless Office

Many companies and employees may be opposed to abandoning their paper files, but the case for a paperless office is strong. Paper seems to have a hold on humans that might feel comfortable because it is what we’ve been used to for years, but paper processes are holding you and your business back.

The benefits for going paperless outnumber any of your arguments to hoard those paper documents, but here are just a few reasons to be paper-free:

  • More office space- Going paperless will give you more office space than you knew you had. Overstocked filing cabinets can be replaced with a nice new coffee machine and your cluttered desk will be a distant memory.
  • You will actually be able to locate documents- Searching for that one paper document in a poorly organized and overstocked office wastes valuable time and productivity. Digital documents are much easier to locate with a simple search.
  • Faster business processes- Transferring physical documents via mail or by hand is slow. In the 21st century, business processes move quickly because digital files take seconds to transfer rather than days.
  • Less paper waste- A paperless environment saves the trees and minimizes mounting landfills that are killing our planet. Consider your office’s environmental impact and commit at least cutting down on your paper consumption.
  • Better security- A paper shredder may destroy a piece of paper with sensitive information, but what about all those other legal documents and vulnerable paper records that are floating in cabinets or on desks? Digitizing documents allows you to limit access to files with sensitive internal documents so you can ensure top security.
  • Digital transformation is the future of business- Advancements in technology and digital solutions have allowed businesses to grow and scale at a faster rate than ever before. The future of business relies on digital transformation in every area of operations. Paper processes are too slow and outdated for a modern workplace.

Now that you know why your company should ditch inefficient, paper-based business processes and transition to a paperless environment, here are some concrete steps for creating a paperless office that will set your company up for long-term growth.

Assess Your Paper Usage

The first step in transitioning to a paperless work environment is to assess your paper usage. Where is your company using paper processes? 

Digitally document what areas of your business are using paper practices, then evaluate your paper usage. If your business is using paper documents for procedures in every department, then you have quite a project on your hands.

The good news is that once you go paperless in one department, it will be far easier for you to continue the transition in each area of your business operations. You can always start small and work your way into a completely paperless workplace, so choose an area to focus on first if the whole project seems too daunting.

Clean Out and Digitize Your Paper Files 

After you assess your paper usage, it’s time to digitize those paper files so you can clean out your workspace.

Cloud-based storage solutions like Enterprise Content Management (ECM) offer digital filing and paperless storage in a centralized location. Paperless documents can be easily located through a simple search bar feature and they can be organized with the touch of a button. Your employees will be relieved when they realize that they no longer need to dig through messy filing cabinets to find that one paper form.

Digital document management systems also offer heightened document security with controlled access features. Gone are the days of a paper trail that poses security risks to your company.

Cloud storage solutions also provide easy file sharing options with electronic signature features. Electronic documents and forms can be signed with e-signatures to avoid wasteful printing and slow physical hand-offs.

As you scan paper files into your digital storage system, you can shred and recycle those paper copies and free up your workspace from clutter while benefiting from a stronger organization system.

Automation Software for Paperless Workflows

Automating your workflows is another paperless office strategy that will speed up your business procedures. Paper processes and manual data entry are slow habits of the past. Automation software offers a paperless workflow that is faster, more cost-efficient, and more accurate.

You can implement automation software into your company’s accounts payable department and HR department to automate common business practices like invoice processing and onboarding new employees. AP automation software and HR automation software will give your employees a much-needed break from slow manual processes and important files are made more secure as electronic documents.

Talk to your company’s IT department about implementing paperless options and digital tools like AP automation software, HR automation software, and a digital document management system like ECM.

Your IT employees will be able to help you choose the right digital filing systems for your company and guide you towards the top providers for your needs. Make some time to meet with your company’s different departments to discuss transitioning to a paper-free office and work together to determine the best strategy for your unique business.

Paper-based processes are on their way to extinction, while digital transformation provides paperless office solutions for lasting business growth. Your entire company has the potential to be paper-free by implementing smart technology that will run your business better and faster than ever before.

Contact Us today to learn more about how we can help you transition to a paperless office.

 

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is a term you may be hearing a lot these days, and for good reason. According to recent studies and market analyses, the global digital transformation market is expected to double from 469.8 Billion USD in 2020 to 1,009.8 Billion USD

But what exactly is digital transformation and how can it benefit your business? Whether your company is deep into its digital innovation efforts or if this is your first time hearing about the topic, we’ve provided a deep dive into the buzz around digital transformation.

Keep reading for a breakdown of why digital transformation is more important than ever and how to implement digital strategies that will improve your organization’s customer experience and general workflow in the modern era.

Digital Transformation Definition

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First thing’s first, let’s define digital transformation with some help from DocStar:

“What digital transformation isn’t is technology alone – it’s strategy.

The technology will continually evolve to incorporate business process automation, robotic process automation, and artificial intelligence. Focusing on one or more of these or other technologies is shortsighted – it’s the way you implement these technologies that’s important. […] digital transformation can’t just focus on the online world – it needs to bridge the gap between online and offline.

It should incorporate the enterprise, supply chain, partners, customers, and employees in terms of strategy and execution.”

DocStar summed it up pretty well and cleared up a lot of confusion around this term. Many people hear “digital transformation” and think of merely digitizing their paper files into electronic documents or hopping online with a TikTok account for marketing purposes, but digital transformation involves incorporating multiple forms of digital technology, software, and artificial intelligence into daily business processes.

Digital transformation is all about the bigger picture of modernization at every level of the organization. Within a digital transformation framework, technology and software are implemented to make processes easier for everyone from the CEO to the new hire to the customer. These modernization strategies are also built to grow with your company and your customers as you expand and as new digital innovations are made.

Digital Transformation Success Stories

When we think of the real success stories in digital transformation a few companies come to mind. Netflix is one of the best digital transformation examples. Netflix could have easily died along with Blockbuster movie rental stores, but instead, Netflix imagined new possibilities in their business strategy and successfully developed a digital platform with the user experience in mind.

The companies that have the most successful transformation hone in on the digital experience and remain on their toes, quick to adapt to consumer needs. Netflix adapted to the market demands and created a new status quo in streaming services. Companies like Amazon also made huge strides in customer experience optimization with a modernization strategy that has changed the way we shop from physical stores to eCommerce.

 True industry leaders know how to focus on customer experience systems by leaning into innovation and digital technology. The ability to think outside the box and welcome new solutions will create a better future for businesses and consumers.

The Acceleration of Innovation

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Innovations in technology have accelerated at an all-time high since the invention of the computer and the mobile phone. Businesses and society have imagined new ways of connecting, solving problems, and speeding up procedures. Within only the past year we have seen a huge acceleration in technology and digital software with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic as the world had to imagine a new way of living, working, and connecting. 

These trends in digital innovation will only continue into the future and it’s better to hop on board than be left in the dust. A 2019 study showed that 70% of organizations have a digital transformation strategy or are working on one. Now that we’ve reached a post-pandemic 2021, those numbers are likely even higher. The sad truth is that businesses that aren’t leaning into digital initiatives will be left behind.

70%

of organizations have a digital transformation strategy or are working on one.

Your organization needs to adapt to new technology and the ever-changing digital status quo or you risk losing consumers who have outgrown aged business models and practices. But don’t stress! This is a situation that all business owners are facing, so you aren’t alone. Instead of fearing the future of digital transformation, it’s time to welcome it with open arms as we imagine new possibilities.

Imagine Innovations in your Business Capabilities

Digital transformation is all about getting creative and imagining innovations in your business capabilities with the help of technology. This is the time to brainstorm what you can improve about your business processes. 

Take a deep dive into what is and isn’t working in your various business models and processes. What can you do to speed up manufacturing or deliveries? How can you give customers a better-personalized experience? What smart technologies have you read about recently that can be utilized in your business? Posing these questions to your team in all departments will begin to cook up some new ideas that will only benefit your organization’s growth.

The top benefits of adopting a digital model include improving operational efficiency, meeting customer expectations, and improving new product quality. Consider these areas while you analyze your business models, products, and workflows.

Once you can take a deep look at your company as it stands right now, you can begin to envision how it can grow with the acceleration of innovation. With that vision, you can set goals and take concrete steps in your digital transformation journey.

Setting Goals for Your Company

Once you have a vision of your company’s digital future, you can begin to set goals. Transformation doesn’t happen in a day but planning that digital transformation can start right now. 

What do you want your company to look like in a year? Sometimes it’s easier to break up your digital transformation initiative goals by the department. Once you have that vision for faster procedures on the manufacturing end or more personalized customer experiences for your consumer basis, you can set goals for each department and your company as a goal.

Remember that digital transformation isn’t merely one step in modernization, it is the collection of new technologies and software working together in different areas of your business to improve overall efficiency so that you can grow with modernization. This is why you should set digital technology goals within each department and for your company as a whole.

By the year 2025, where do you want to stand? Do you want your company to be an industry leader? Do you want to increase revenue by X amount? Do you want to penetrate the eCommerce market? Create a smoother onboarding employee experience?

In 2018, studies showed that 39% of executives expected to benefit from their digital transformation initiatives in 3 to 5 years. The companies that are benefiting today are the companies that set goals for this week and goals for years from now. Thinking ahead prepares you for the future as innovation accelerates. Set some goals, big and small, and then you can find some partners and strategies for a successful transformation. 

Develop a Digital Transformation Strategy

Developing a digital transformation strategy is a team effort. This is where research, collaboration, and partnerships come in. You may have imagined a vision for your company and set some goals, but tackling the digital transformation process comes with challenges on all fronts. Different aspects of business require a unique modernization strategy.

Many companies fall short in their digital transformation efforts for several common challenges: they lack direction and they try to do it all themselves. The digital transformation market is booming right now because experts in the field have partnered with various businesses to help them modernize their procedures and practices. To be successful, your company must take guidance and support from digital transformation leaders.

The partnerships that you make in your digital business transformation strategy will play a key role in your overall transformation. Digital leaders who are responsible for the accelerators of innovation know the ins and outs of end-user experiences and they can also offer predictive maintenance for new market demands. These partners may also see opportunities for new digital capabilities within your company that you didn’t even know were possible while helping you face digital transformation challenges.

Talk to your IT department, shop around for a marketing agency, appoint staff to transformation-specific roles, and look into automation and AI companies.

Your organization’s digital strategy can only benefit from B2B deals that let you focus on running your company while your partners help you run it better for the digital future.

We Can Help

At Mosaic, we are here to help you begin your digital journey and lay the building blocks for true transformation. As you partner with other companies in more advanced technologies, you will need your accounts payable department to be functioning with top speed and accuracy.

The future of accounts payable is automating B2B payments for a smoother, faster process with fewer human errors that cost you profits. The market will soon demand business process optimization solutions like AP automation as it fixes the invoice approval process and businesses choose to ditch the costly paper system that is killing our planet.

Implementing an enterprise content management (ECM) solution will also significantly increase the ease of your digital business transformation journey. ECM will keep your organization’s most valuable documents secure while also reducing costs.

We know the digital capabilities of your HR and AP departments, and we’re here to help you implement smart technologies that will get you up to speed in your digital transformation projects. For more information on what we can offer your business, check out our products and services.

Does Paper Have a Hold On Humans?

Papyrophiliac. Yes, there is a word for a person who loves paper. There’s even a word for those people who collect paper, hallmaphiles. This might be hard to believe, especially in the digital age. Every piece of paper that humans used to collect and store, insurance cards, maps, mail, warranties, user manuals, receipts, recipes can all be found in digital form. This raises the question; Does Paper have a psychological hold on humans?

In the 1970’s futurist Faith Popcorn predicted the demise of paper. She predicted that all the things that we now access on our phones, tablets and more would go away. There would simply be no need to use paper anymore. Children growing up today will never have the smear of black ink on their hands after reading the early morning newspaper. “Cracking the spine of a book” is an antiquated phrase that even Generation X may not recognize. Reference books are all online even if you find them in a digital library. Most information that is used by people today is found in digital form or via your home speaker. Another Faith Popcorn quote “Just before consumers stop doing something, they do it with a vengeance.”

Since the late 1970’s when the predictions of a paperless society began it was always with the belief that productivity would increase and cost would decrease. When every desk in the office has computer, it was thought that certain processes bookkeeping, logistics and more would be automated removing the need for paper. What futurist didn’t reckon was that with each of the desktop computers would come desktop printers. Technology brought the cost to printing documents down so low that printing whole documents was inexpensive. Between the 1980’s and 2000’s paper use increased exponentially spawning thriving industries for document storage and shredding.

Have we finally come to paper’s last stand? Since the 2000’s offices in the US are using less paper. Security has increased for storing digital records behind passwords and firewalls. As people become more comfortable with the security of digital storage, the more likely they are to use it not only for personal documents but also in their business. Layer the addition of pandemic where everyone is looking for a way to limit their contact with others digital processes have exploded. From receipts to taxes humans are eliminating the need for hard copy paper documents. For generations we’ve been told to save receipts, file your income taxes and insurance forms many documents receiving favored treatment.

Today you can take a paper receipt, but most opt for a text or email. Business expense reports are automatically done by taking pictures of receipts as you receive them. Before your flight home even lands, your expense report can be filed digitally without you ever missing a beat. For the last decade most people file their income taxes digitally with e-signatures. Payments or refunds are processed digitally with little to no paper. As people navigate life in the pandemic, all are looking for multiple ways to limit their contact…with people. Everything that can be done digitally is being done digitally. Those that embraced technology, using automated processes are ahead of the curve. Some whole industries are playing catch up and those papyraphilliacs are still dancing in their paper chaos.

The paperless office has been moving beyond myths as one-by-one various industries embrace automated digital processes. Completely eliminating the need for paper hard copies can be done. As always thought, those industries embracing digital processes have increased their productivity and decreased their costs. Technology has moved from the Filofax to the Blackberry to Alexa in a short period of time. While we like to believe that these changes were easily accepted, most of us were kicking and screaming to hold on to our favorite technology. Believe it or not, you can still find inserts for your Filofax even if you can’t reboot your Blackberry.

Is it time for your business to go paperless? In a perfect world your team is ready to transition, and everything will happen in a blink of an eye. In the real world a customized solution that includes training and processes for exclusively for you can be found at Mosaic.

The Great Eight: Here Are the Top Standout Benefits of Going Paperless

At Mosaic, we’re in the business of matching the right paperless solution with your unique company and the needs of your team. 

That said, some things are universal. The below list comprises the one-size-fits-all, exciting, and sometimes surprising benefits of getting into the green game and leaving behind those mountains of paper behind forever.

1. You’ll have way, way more time on your hands.

Even for people who are still lucky enough to have jobs that let them work from home, navigating current economic challenges can be tough. With remote work on the uptick and the line between work and home becoming ever more blurred, exhaustion is on the rise. According to one recent survey, “Over two-thirds, or 69%, of employees are experiencing burnout symptoms while working from home.”

Bearing that in mind, freeing up your time and mental energy to focus on what’s important has become more critical than ever. Going paperless at the very least cuts out the endless hassle of storing, organizing, and filing (not to mention frequent trips to take out the recycling as it piles up at home).

Going paperless also means that you can share files, back up reports, or whatever else you need to do simply and easily from your mobile device, while on the go, which means no delays or having to wait around before getting to that next item on your to-do list.

 

2. It’s healthy for the environment.

Statista reports that, worldwide, we produce around 420 million metric tons of paper and cardboard every single year (of that, the United States accounts for 72 million metric tons!). To put that in context, that’s equivalent to around SEVEN separate Great Walls of China, one of the weightiest and most gigantic structures in the world. 

Lots. Of. Paper.

Not only that, but despite numerous campaigns and calls for reducing the amount of paper we use, the consumption of these natural resources is growing. In 2015, TIME magazine wrote about a new report stating that humans cut down 15 billion trees per year, much of which goes toward printing and writing paper specifically.

What’s extra dandy about going paperless is that it not only behooves you from a convenience standpoint AND makes you feel good about investing in the future of this planet. As famed writer and environmental advocate John Muir put it: “The wrongs done to trees, wrongs of every sort, are done in the darkness of ignorance and unbelief, for when the light comes, the heart of the people is always right.”

Get your heart right, step into that light, and ease up on the paper trail for a while, why doncha?

 

3. You’re less at risk for potential legal trouble.

Over the past ten years, the landscape of records management has changed dramatically. 

Beyond just being an inconvenience, an outdated content management system can have negative implications such as civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance and rapidly growing costs. Does that catch your attention? It did for us. 

Luckily, significant advances in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) have been shown to benefit a wide variety of organizations in this regard. It’s easy to get up-to-date in no time.

 

4. Bolstered security = greater peace of mind.

Privacy and data protection are big ones these days, with cyberthreats at top-of-mind for some of the most prominent players in the industry. Just recently, Wired reported on the troubling rise in government-sponsored hacks ramping up during the pandemic.

Of course, your business may be looking at risks that look a lot less like an international spy thriller and a lot more like just messing up or losing all of your essential data or putting your customers’ information at risk.

No matter what you stand to lose, you need to make sure you have the right data security measures in place — which no longer means just having a paper shredder on site. If you’ve got a cloud-based accounting system, you need to look into how you’re going to protect your customers’ financial information.

The best news is that we work with companies of all sizes – so you don’t have to be a giant to get air-tight security in place for low-stress operations.

 

5. Two words: Bragging rights.

Okay, so maybe the water cooler talk may not precisely revolve around who saved the most paper that day, but we’re just saying that it could lean in that direction. Think how much fun you’ll have bonding with your coworkers once paper processing is a thing of the past!

Here, we’ll get things started with this freebie: “Wanna hear a joke about paper? Never mind, it’s tearable.”

 

6. You’ll save lots of moolah.

Four years ago, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center (CCC) and partners released findings that “paper is the largest waste category, and that if [large] companies reduced paper waste by just 1 percent, it would save them nearly $1 billion.”

Think about everything that goes into the paper process, too, even beyond just the paper itself: printer upkeep, ink, postage, office space for files, and employee time. Take all of that off your plate by investing in an overhaul that takes you into the digital future. Your savings will skyrocket.

 

7. Getting to communicate with clients faster.

Electronic communication is nothing if not efficient. You can send over the right papers in a flash rather than having to rely on old, antiquated means of transferring. And since we’ve already outlined how much more secure this method is, it’s a no-brainer.

 

8. All of your dreams will come true — you’ll be respected, wealthy, admired by all, and will have no problems ever again! 

… Okay, like the bragging rights bit, this one may be a bit of a stretch. However, you’ll certainly be saving yourself lots of time and headache in your day-to-day, and with something like that, who’s to say that the rest won’t fall into place?

Focus on the Environment by Becoming Paperless

Many organizations are shifting their focus to become more environmentally conscious and improve their corporate social responsibility (CSR), and there are plenty of undeniable benefits to it. Whether you are working to continuously improve your company image, are looking for 3rd party certification, or even if you’re simply trying to showcase your company values, you can work to become more environmentally conscious by reducing (or eliminating!) your company’s reliance on paper.

The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year, 45% of that paper ends up being thrown out each day. Even if your organization only has 50 employees, that’s still 225,000 sheets being thrown out annually or 11,250 lbs. of paper (nearly the weight of 3 cars!). You may not consider your organization to be “green” but it’s still important to consider your environmental impact, as well as the additional benefits to reducing your paper usage.

Many organizations don’t put reduce their negative environmental impact at the top of their priorities. But even if the environment is not a key focus, reducing paper usage can still benefit your bottom line. By going green, you can easily save some green. Businesses annually spend about $1,367 per employee annually on printing supplies alone. By becoming paperless you can easily offset a good portion of that cost, as well as the cost incurred from loss of productivity from searching for or correcting files.

How can your organization go paperless?

  • If there are certain things you must print, consider doing it on the backside of recycled paper (as long as it doesn’t have confidential information). By doing this you’ll reduce the amount of paper you throw away, and save money by not needing to buy nearly as many sheets.
  • If there are invoices, purchase orders, or other forms that need approval from different managers company-wide, utilize an enterprise content management (ECM) system to share, markup, and approve any important documents. Paper-heavy departments such as accounting and human resources can directly benefit from an innovative ECM. 
  • Utilize web forms to complete commonly used forms rather than print out multiples of the same form
  • Rather than throw away unused paper, look to see if your city has a single stream recycling program you can participate in. If there are pages with sensitive information that you aren’t sure about, you can invest in a paper shredder or find a local shredding day to be able to utilize an industrial shredder.
  • Keep all your employee records on a digital database. Instead of taking up space with full filing cabinets, scan your current records into an ECM. For future employees consider utilizing online forms to complete new hire paperwork, including benefit elections, i4’s, W-9’s, and direct deposit.

These are just a few of the ways your organization can work to become paperless, and often once you move forward with one method, the others aren’t so far behind! By starting off your process to become greener with ECM, you can often snowball your environmental impact and immediately notice the benefits of utilizing a smart digital storage solution. The team at Mosaic can help you learn more about how your individual organization can directly benefit from DocStar ECM. Learn more by contacting us.

By taking small steps to reduce your reliance on paper, your organization can save money while doing good for the environment!