Do you remember back when computers first came into common use? Do you remember how we were told that paper would become a thing of the past? I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen that happen.
There are companies out there that have embraced electronic signature capture, among other paper-saving technologies, but these are still the minority. Most people still use paper for most of their transactions. Even when we send invoices electronically, we still produce paper. Ditto when suppliers send us invoices by e-mail or fax. The simple fact is that paper is still a major factor in our business. It even seems that we produce even more now than we did before. And until simple, easy ways of storing and retrieving the information are perfected and ubiquitous, paper will still be the norm – and the problem.
The issue behind this rant is that it is very difficult to impress upon every employee just how important producing correct paperwork is. Whether the issue is proof of delivery, or returning something to a supplier, paperwork negligence has a snowball effect. It causes much more work when it is not done properly from the start. And it causes everything to move much more smoothly when it is done correctly.
There will always be instances where someone forgets to get all the information on paper. Due to negligence or expedience, the effect will be the same. Later on, someone else will have to expend a significant amount of time chasing down the answers to the questions that this will create. Is it all just a function of human nature, or is it particular to the process of writing? I guess only time, and future technology will provide the answers. Those of us employed in administration will be keeping an eye to the situation for sure. I am personally already preparing myself to search through our databases to find a missing part number or signature.
Have a good day everyone – and make sure you get a signature for that.