Is Paperless The Way To Be?

Published Date
01 - Sep - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Sep - 2005
 
Is Paperless The Way To Be?

"The paperless system has definitely aided our growth"
Synygy India Pvt Ltd is the software product development and solutions delivery centre of Synygy Inc. With nearly 500 employees, Synygy is a provider of software and services that help create performance-driven organisations. Synygy has implemented hundreds of performance management plans for various top companies.

"The biggest payback is in getting things done faster and more efficiently, thereby increasing employee productivity"
Chetan Shah,
MD, Synygy India Pvt Ltd

"Synygy committed to being a paperless organisation when it was a much smaller company, and the concept has definitely aided our growth. We have designed an internal Web-based application, the Intranet, as part of our overall information system called Synygy Information Management System (SIMS).

"SIMS caters to all the departments in the company. The Intranet has significantly reduced our paperwork and enabled us to share processes and information effectively between all our global offices.

"Our Intranet is the main source for all information-company documents, applications, guidelines, evaluation reports and such are posted here. All official communication is online. In fact, even all job applications and résumés submitted via the Synygy Web site is captured in the Synygy Application Tracking System, which routes the applications to the appropriate decision makers and keeps track of interviews, tests and offer letters.

"All our offices are Wi-Fi enabled, with most employees using laptops. We have invested heavily in e-learning and Web-based classes. With 90 per cent of the paperwork eliminated, we use paper only for legal documents, appointment letters and expense receipts. Electronic documents are easily usable, searchable, accessible and shareable and can be routed to different decision makers. They make communicating changes and updates easy.

"While we cannot pinpoint the ROI (return on investment), being paperless is certainly cost effective, as printing, photocopying, courier and fax expenses are drastically reduced. The biggest payback is in getting things done faster and more efficiently, thereby increasing employee productivity. In this day and age, a paperless office facilitates speedy communication throughout the globe."


"Our workplace is not paperless because of security concerns"
Godrej Industries Limited, a member of the Godrej Group, is a leading manufacturer of oleo chemicals. GIL produces more than a hundred chemicals and has a major presence in food products such as refined oil and Tetrapak fruit beverages. It also operates businesses in medical diagnostics and real estate.


"The top management feels at ease if confidential information is maintained in the hard copy format for better accountability, and to prevent insider data from leaking out"
Mani Mulki,
Vice-President (Information Systems), Godrej Industries Ltd

"The number of manually prepared reports has reduced over time with the advent of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), as it has digitised a lot of reports. Although nearly sixty per cent of our work environment is digitised, the prime reason as to why our workplace is not entirely paperless is because of security concerns.

"For instance, the top management feels at ease if confidential information is maintained in the hard copy format for better accountability, and to prevent insider data from leaking out. Until the IT platform can ensure complete safety of private data, I don't see us going completely paperless for at least another ten years. In fact, no other organisation can afford to have a hundred per cent paperless office either.

"Secondly, you need to look at the work culture. The employee mindset has to be considered. Most of the employees are still used to the idea of getting a training manual in their hands. Moreover, the benefits of hard copy cannot be negated. Being a mobile instrument, hard copy provides better readability; one can read a hard copy while travelling, during odd hours and so on. Accessibility is therefore the third important factor.

"One cannot determine the ROI when using inputs such as ink, paper, and other materials for printing documents. In fact, hard copy needs just a one-time investment. On the other hand, a paperless office requires recurring expenditure, as it needs a constant availability of considerable technological resources, good bandwidth, and so on. 

"Nevertheless, we would like to go paperless in the future-just as there is a supply-demand chain, we would like to create an information technology chain."

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