by Michael Ross
Office and process efficiency are becoming more important every day to all sizes of business. One of the easier ways to start saving is to automate the simple manual tasks that consume unnecessary time everyday.
While there has been a substantial move towards electronic documents, the paperless office is still a myth. Its use has only started to level off in the last year. We still use incredible amounts of paper for initial and final document production. One of areas that is easily optimized is the document marking process. The use of self-inking stamps in the business environment inhibits productivity and wastes time in almost every instance of paper-based workflows. Moreover, it is highly insecure from a document integrity perspective.
The use of self-inking and/or “rubber” stamps for paper-based workflows is an outdated and grossly inefficient form of document marking. Evidence of this exists in the simple fact that the use of self-inking stamps is a manual process that can be more efficiently performed by a word processor with the right automation. Add to that, if an information worker requires multiple copies of a document to be stamped and the document has multiple pages, each page requires identification if the document is to be secure and/or protected. Otherwise, at least the first page of each copy needs to be stamped.
The use of visible watermarks is a similarly manual process. The watermark must be put into each copy of the document. The document then must be printed, the watermark removed and the different watermark inserted as the process is repeated. Moreover, the visible watermark (usually a shade of gray) can be easily removed from a document by using the contrast setting on a copier or scanner.
Lets take an example. If a worker has a seven page document and needs three copies, the worker will usually print the original, then leave their workstation and go to a copy machine. There, they will make the 14 additional copies.
If the document is to be secure, each page should be stamped, requiring 21 manual impressions to be made — one for each of page of the document. Combine that with the fact that most self-inking stamps will obliterate the text of the document. That means that the document has to be stamped in the margins of the page resulting in a “copy” that can become an original by simply blocking out the stamp in the margin.
Further, the time that is wasted by the worker going to a copy machine, marking and assembling the copies, stopping at the water cooler, socializing and making it back to their desk accounts for an average of eight (8) minutes of time per event. Add that up over a year – at just once per day – and the lost time (productivity) averages over $750/yr. per worker.
Using an automated document marking add-in for Word or creating your own macros (for simple marking) virtually eliminates the necessity for using rubber stamps for document identification while standardizing your marking. If you save only one unnecessary trip per day to a copy machine – you save an average of more than $750/yr. per information worker. And if you are short on workers as the case may be in today’s economy, it will save you time you can ill afford to loose. Using automated graphical document marking in the business environment affords document integrity, security, standardization and regulatory compliance that cannot be had from self-inking stamps. Manual processes cannot accomplish these so very necessary objectives.
StampIt for Word is a program developed by Enhancement Software that graphically stamps documents with solid, visible watermark or hollow/outline images all customizable by the user. StampIt is able to print multiple copies of the same document — with different stamps on each copy — all in one print session. It can also print an entire document and only mark selected pages. There are many other time saving features of StampIt. A free 15 day/15 use free trial is available.