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Paperless Office: Pulp Fiction or

Reality ?

A Road Map for Coal

India Headquarters
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Topics of Discussion

 Industry Scenario :use of paper

 Paperless or less paper ?
 Coal India : “As is” case
 Technology scenario scan
 A proposed Road Map

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International Scenario
 The number of pages consumed in U.S. offices is
going up at a rate of 20% per year.
 50% of information is still retained on paper,though
more than 80% of the documents are already in a
computer. (CAP Venture Group).
 Organizations now maintain 35 times more data than in
1999. (Gartner, 2007).
 The U.S. annually spends $25-35B filing, storing and
retrieving paper.(IDC 2006).
 An average office worker uses 10,000 pages of copy
papers every year.
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International Scenario
– Companies spend:
 $20 in labor to file a document
 $120 in labor to find a misfiled document
 $220 in labor to reproduce a lost document
 $2,160 per year to maintain a four-drawer filing cabinet
– Every year companies produce 4.5 trillion pages of paper
– Over 42 billion pages were faxed last year alone
Source :Gartner 2007

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Saving Paper Saves Scarce
 Each ton of paper saved, saves.
– 17 Trees.
– 240 litters of crude oil.
– 4210 KWH of electricity.
– 26,500 litters of water.
– 3 meter cube of space.
 Every year,an average mid-sized Indian
company transacts with papers that need 1.5
to 2 million trees.

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Some Industry Scenario in India

– 99.5% of our documents are in paper.

– 60% of our desk-time is spent in attending to papers.
– An average document gets copied 19 times.
– 85% of the paper documents are never referred to again.
– We spend 5–15% of our time reading information from paper
sources , but 30-50% looking for them.
– 15% of documents are misfiled, another 15% are lost.
– 30% of documents contain obsolete information.
Source : NPC, 2004.

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Why We Are Fond of Paper?
 The importance of Touch – We are used to
touch,fold, tuck away, crumple and throw away paper.
 Permanence – Unlike a digital file, paper cannot be
imperceptibly altered.
 Portability – Easily folded and taken with us. No need
for computers or power.
 Mark-up – Easy to make notes, highlight,or sign with
 Comfort – An original ink signed copy gives us “Just in
case” comfort.

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Wrong Sides of Paper
 Takes up considerable physical storage space.
 Requires extensive effort to organize,file and
retrieve, and dispose.
 Can be lost, misfiled or damaged.
 Can only be used by one person at a time, without
making costly copies.
 Is expensive to create or copy , requiring printers and
 Exposed to fire,flood, termite, dust, crumbling or
ageing damage.
 Difficult to store under total secured assurance.
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Why Paperless Office ?
 Speedier decision making due to availability of
“right document at right time at right cost”.
 Lowering of cost of physical storage of files and
 Improved visibility , lesser waste of time in
retrieving documents.
 Lower risk of loss, wastage, deterioration ,disaster,
and security associated with paper based records.
 More environment friendly office.

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Can We Really Get Paperless ?
 Paperless office prediction was initially made in
an article at Business Week in 1975, during
the introduction of the personal computer.
 Still none has achieved the status of a really
“paperless office”, not in India, not even
anywhere in the world.What has been
achieved is “Less paper” office.
 But , today technology has reached a point
where the paperless office is within reach.

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The Types of Documents

 Documents created outside the company

 Documents created within the company for
destinations (a) within the company, (b)
outside the company (Outgoing )

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Anatomy of Incoming Documents
Approx Volumes /Month
Types Govt. Subsidiary Employe Vendors/ Consume Others
cos. es Contractr

Letters 50 100 200 1500 1500 200

Circulars 10 10 NA NA NA NA

Forms NA 50 100 50 100 100

Reports/ 10 20 NA NA NA 10
Notesheets NA 20 NA NA NA NA

Notices 50 NA NA NA NA 10

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Anatomy of Outgoing Documents
Category Originating Target Copies Approx
sources destination to Nos/ month
Letters Departments Single/Multiple Yes/No 2000
Circulars Departments Multiple Yes/No 50
O/O/Memos Departments Multiple Yes/No 100
Forms Individuals Single/Multiple Yes/No 1000
Reports Departments Single Yes/No 20
Note-sheets Departments Single No 1000
Contracts/ Departments Single/Multiple Yes/No 200
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Technologies for Paperless Office

 Electronic document management,

 Digital signatures
 Work-flow
 Electronic data interchange (EDI)

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Electronic Document Management

A computer-based technique for

storing and retrieving documents
held in a wide variety of formats or in
a number of geographic locations.

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Steps in Document Management

1. Document Capture
2. Document process
3. Document security
4. Document archival
5. Document integration with database
6. Document tracking and retrieval
7. Document viewing , editing , printing
8. Record management

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Features of Electronic Document
Management System
 Captures paper documents by scanning.
 OCR software converts these scanned images into
editable digital formats.
 Indexes the documents in a searchable database.
 Organises the documents , according to key words and
metadata and put in a Folder structure that is similar to
the Folder / Taxonomy / filing Rules that we follow at

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Features of Electronic Document
Management System
 Organises and stores the documents in an encrypted
form in a secured server.
 Retrieves the documents, whenever required by using
powerful context based search engines.
 View, modify, edit, copy , print according to defined
access control (users id and password) in an managed
environment .
 Log and Audit trail of all uses.
 Takes back-up, archives and arranges disaster

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 Scanner
– Automatic Sheet Feeding
– Duplex
– Speed
 Secured High capacity storage
– Remote encrypted storage
– On line secured storage
 Shredder

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Benefits of Electronic Document
Management System
– Documents instantaneously searchable and accessible
like our E-mails.
– Dependency on office staff shall reduce for the need
of a physical File to arrive before the work begins.
– Needless photocopying can be eliminated.
– We always refer to the latest version / revision /
modification of the document and not the old one by
– No need for keeping and maintaining Almirahs and
record Rooms.

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Digital Signatures
 A paper document consists of four components
– the carrier ( the sheet of paper)
– text and pictures ( the physical representation of information)
– information about the originator
– measures to verify the authenticity (written signature)
 All the four components are physically connected
– So, paper is the document
 There is only one original
– can be reproduced in innumerable copies

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Digital Signatures

 Signatures
– Supposed to be unique, difficult to be reproduced, not
changeable and not reusable
– Its main functions
 identification
 declaration
 proof

– The signature is used to identify a person and to associate the

person with the content of that document
 always related to a physical person

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Digital Signatures

Signature (contd).
 In all legal systems.
– Absence of a prescription of an exclusive modality of signing
e.g. Full name, initials, nickname, real or any symbol.
– Token of will and responsibility.
 From a legal point of view, nothing against the
introduction of new types or technologies of signature.
 Digital Signature is the new technology.

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Digital Signatures
 Electronic document produced by a computer. Stored
in digital form, and cannot be perceived without using a
– It can be deleted, modified and rewritten without leaving a
– Integrity of an electronic document is “genetically” impossible
to verify
– A copy is indistinguishable from the original
– It can’t be sealed in the traditional way, where the author
affixes his signature

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Digital Signatures
 The functions of identification, declaration, proof of
electronic documents carried out using a digital
signature based on cryptography.
 Digital signatures created and verified using
 Public key System based on Asymmetric keys.
– An algorithm generates two different and related keys.
 Public key.
 Private Key.
– Private key used to digitally sign.
– Public key used to verify.

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Attributes of a Sealed Letter
 Authentication – from a identified source (letterhead
of writer).
 Confidentiality- protected from others ( Sealed cover).
 Data Integrity- not modified in transit (written content ).
 Non-Repudiation (Ink signature).
 As per IT Act 2000, a digitally encrypted document
with digital signature of sender is as good as a
signed paper document as it provides for all the
above four.

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Work Flow Technology

 Oneof the obstacle in the

paper-processing world is waiting for a
supporting document to arrive.
– For example, an application for advance
may be received, but a medical or
outstanding claims report must be ordered
and received before the application can be

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Work Flow Technology

 Workflow technology is the automation of

a business process, during which documents
are passed from one state to another for
action, according to a set of rules defined by
your workflow scheme.

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Benefits of Work Flow Technology
 Operational staff can process more
 More informed decisions can be made more
 Security is increased because only authorized
personnel are able to view work in process
 Errors are reduced due to less manual
searching and more controls on data input

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Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

 EDI is the computer-to-computer exchange of

business documents.
 Data accuracy – No manual re-keying of data.
 Faster processing times, easy to implement
and easy to maintain.
 All transactions are acknowledged.
 No need to mail or fax.

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What Others Are Doing :GOI
E-trade Initiatives
 Customs (35 locations)  Export promotion
 DGFT (39 locations) councils (12 locations)
 Port trust (12 locations)  DG commercial
 Airports( 7 locations) intelligence (all )
 Concor (38 locations)  Inland container depots
 Banks (160 locations) ( 50 locations)
 Apparel export (24

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What Others Are Doing ?

 LifeInsurance Corporation (South Zone) to be

a paperless office in the next two years. It has
3.5 crore policies which is about one sixth of
the entire policies handled by the Corporation.

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A Roadmap for “Paperless Office”
 Phased implementation
– A file tracking system
– A file management system
– Digital signatures to all
– An electronic document management system
– Work flow technology
– EDI with trading partners
 Pilot projects
 At every stage, roll out after successful pilot

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Key to Success
 Top management support
 Involve all users in planning
 Written standards, policies & procedures
 End-user training
 Change management
 Hand holding
 BOOT model for hardware
 ASP model for software

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Key to Success

 Define requirements clearly

 Form Task Force
 Identify Champions
 Place Technology Committee
 Empower Project Manager

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Paperless Culture

 Create right mind set

 Coping with cultural change
 Retention policy
 Conversion of legacy documents
 Cut-off date
 Implementation & training

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A Final Thought !

 It’s not hardware or software, it’s people ware.

– 20% of the solution is the technology . 80% is the
process and people.

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Summing Up
 Paperless office is a journey, not a destination.
 A phased implementation plan is
 A cultural change is essential, all of us need to
agree to reduce paper and then eliminate it.
 ASP model is best suited for us.
 There may be obstacles , but we shall

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Thank You !

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