Monthly Archives: March 2013

Middle school drama department goes paperless with digital playbills

"Footloose" is the story of the city kid that moves to a small town where dancing and rock music is banned. It began as a movie in 1984 starring Kevin Bacon and has gone on to spurn a remake in 2011 and several different versions of a stage show. One of those is being produced by Voorhees Middle School in New Jersey which is also rolling out a paperless approach to the productions.

In a recent Sun News article, drama club director Leta Strain spoke about the different ways that the drama department was able to save money by going green. They started using Unistrut – a reusable material – instead of lumber to create sets, repurposed as many costumes as possible and are using technology to cut back on paper spending.

"We are using technology to save energy and to save trees. We are considering electronic playbills," Strain told the news source.

She went on to say that for a typical year, 2,000 playbills are created with 100 bi-fold pages each. They use 50 sheets of paper per playbill. The new digital version was created with Apple's presentation program Keynote and will be projected on the screen at productions with scrolling advertisements. This version will also be available to anyone to download if they choose.

Strain said that they are also considering using Keynote as a way to digitally create backdrops for the shows instead of creating physical versions.

Eliminating paper is a simple move that is helping this middle school save money. This decision can also be done by any company as a way to save on spending, improve information sharing and increase productivity.

Declining office supply industry highlight growing paperless business approach

When is the last time you shared a document with an coworker by handing them a physical copy? You probably had to think about that for a second, and you would not be alone. As email, instant messaging and the cloud become a more prominent part of daily operations in many businesses, paper is on the way out.

To see how this shift is affecting the corporate world, look no further than the office supply industry. According to a recent Market Watch article, OfficeMax and Office Depot – two of the largest names in the market - have merged in order to stay afloat.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the sale of paper and paper-related products has dropped nearly 9 percent since the peak in April 2008.. Since that date, there has been the creation of the tablet market, the smartphone industry has boomed and the country was hit by recession.

A report from research firm InfoTrends found that the growth of cloud computing has hurt not only paper sales but PCs and accessories as well. For instance, sales of Lexmark inkjet printers have fallen around 75 percent in the U.S. since 2008.

To adjust to the changing market trends, many big office suppliers have started selling tablets, mobile phones, cameras and other gadgets to go along with the existing products they already sell, making them look more like a Best Buy – a company that has posted nine consecutive quarters of declining sales.

It seems that whether business want it or not, the paperless revolution is coming. Because of this, companies should partner with a document scanning and management service to make sure they are ready for the switch. Otherwise, business owners could find themselves in panic mode to catch up to the rest of the corporate world.

The steps needed to go become a paperless office

The idea of going paperless is filled with benefits for companies. Removing the clutter that stacks of boxes and paper create, better organization, faster document recall process and easier information sharing are just the tip of the productivity iceberg. However, if a business was going to move to an electronic format, what is the best way to go about it?

In a recent Wired article, Ken Denmead documented his process of moving his home office from boxes of paper and clutter into the digital age. According to Denmead, every year or two he would do a purge and toss out the old bills and documents that were just taking up room, but no matter when this was accomplished, given enough time, it would always come back.

He went on to say that the thought of going electronic had crossed his mind before but the all-in-one printer and scanner he has at home just would not make it possible to handle the double sided and multi-page scanning impossible. On top of that he did not have a document management system in place to help with the computer side of organization.

After some searching, Denmead found a scanner, software solution and shredder for his personal office and the transformation started.

"The initial scan-fest may take a couple days to plow through, but this workflow is smooth enough that it won't feel like a chore, and the freeing feeling of shredding and disposing of all that old clutter will make it fun," wrote Denmead. "After that, processing each new document that comes into your life will be a breeze; no file cabinets, no folders, no figuring out where things will go or if you even need to save it."

While this approach worked for a home office, it may not be as easy for a corporate office since there is much more paper to deal with and little chance that one employee could dedicate themselves to the process of scanning and implementing everything on their own. With the help of a scanning and document management service, however, companies can get a hand going digital.