Falls Church Planning Commission: There is a value to going paperless

Whenever a business is looking into ways to improve their bottom line, it is becoming more common for them to ditch the filing cabinets and transition toward business process software. This client-based solution allows employees to spend fewer hours searching and retrieving pertinent documents.

While there are many cost benefits to transitioning in this direction, some staffers are reluctant to make the switch. However, for companies that have been in business for many years, storing paperwork this way is becoming more of a hassle. Electronic document management on the other hand, has search engine capabilities within the program, which saves employees time looking for older documentation.

In Falls Church, Virginia, the town's planning commission recently started making the switch themselves. Previously, multiple copies of site plans were printed for meetings, the Falls Church News-Press explained. If the commission agrees to go digital, those who attend meetings will be taking notes from iPads.

Falls Church is considering on heading toward this direction because other communities in Virginia have already began implementing similar solutions, and have found success doing so. However, the source added that the city's planning director Jim Snyder is concerned that costs "can go as high as $5,000 and take a full day to process."

Even though delays can slow down processes, one day spent installing the new system can be translated to years of up-to-date agendas for meetings and an interactive site plan. Blueprint designs can be viewed in multiple ways from an iPad—these visuals are harder to imagine on a flat piece of paper.

Overall, becoming a paperless office has many more advantages than keeping hard copies of documentation. Often times, individuals will mistakenly throw out pertinent contracts because their office is full of similar looking paperwork. When stored electronically, it is not as easy to permanently lose paperwork, seeing how these systems are frequently backed up.


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