Five Creative Ways to Productive Paperless Manufacturing

Posted by Gerry Poe

Building a Paperless Manufacturing Operation

The paperless office has been a manufacturing objective sought for years. Saving costs and the environment are admirable quests. Moving to paperless will take more than throwing out the office memos and printing fewer copies. Paperless is a new paradigm shifting the way your plant operates.


Here are a few guidelines to help avoid common mistakes that can seriously upset your effort to go green and paperless. Keep these thoughts on your mind when scoping your paperless system for a painless implementation.

Problem #1:

Implementing ERP enterprise content management (ECM) software without ensuring that employees are on board with going paperless.

Include Company Users - Collaboratively find a solution for using less paper instead of mandating the use of new software. Ask questions, get input and develop strategies benefiting users.
Problem #2

Implementing ECM all at once and not in phases. Unable to transition rapidly may feel like a failure, but contrary to the truth.

Conference Room Pilot Modeling Your Project - Develop a phased approach, going paperless layer by layer, in smaller chunks.  Start with a conference-room-pilot project department by department building on your successes.
Problem #3:

Methods change when they electronically transform.

Use existing processes as the guide for recreating your paper-driven processes in electronic format. Review business processes with lean standards prior to automating document-saddled processes with paperless software, identify your redundant tasks, chokepoints and wastefulness occurs enabling you to rethink your whole approach.
Problem #4:

Processes in place continues to duplicate paper.

Utilize Computer Generated Forms - A truly paperless office eliminates waste at every step. Electronic copying paper files saves storage space, but scanning is an additional step that can be replaced by capturing at the source of where the document is created. Replacing your paper forms by digitizing eliminates the need for paper.
Problem #5:

Retaining your paper system as a backup. Duplicating efforts to retain electronically and paper copies is redundant, limiting ECM adoption.

Provide Structured Training and Support - Some paperless software, like DASH DDX, saves your forms in a SQL database building an intuitive “folder structure” automatically, eliminating paper waste so anyone in the company can retrieve information at any time, even after hours when no one is in the office.

Remember: If it takes more than 2-3 minutes and you can’t find an invoice, it won’t be helpful, and is an expense each time you need go to a file cabinet.


Paperless manufacturing is more than saving paper and the environment, is a productivity boost for the entire company. When well-trained users search your online database to find documents instead of a file cabinet or ask another department to find it for you, your speed to decision support and customer service enhances your ECM value.

Companies using DASH DDX paperless:




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Tags: Lean Manufacturing, Paperless Software, Green Computing

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