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In today's knowledge-based economy, relying on crucial data and information on paper is an outdated strategy, and can be a tremendous detriment to an organization, regardless of size. It's important for businesses to understand the use of paper in their own office before undertaking radical paperless-office changes. Even a preliminary investigation of paper use will often show immediate opportunities for reduction. Possible approaches to these paper reductions vary in labor intensity and IT investment; some are simple, some can be larger initiatives. Each business must understand the role of paper in its operations, as well as how reducing paper and using electronic data systems can not only reduce paper but improve efficiencies, reduce personnel time costs, and increase worker effectiveness.

K.J. McCorry is the owner of Officiency Enterprises, Inc., which provides productivity and sustainability consulting services. She is the author of Organize Your Work Day In No Time and is currently working on her second book, The Paperless Office (scheduled for publication in 2009). She has a B.A. in psychology and international business from Metropolitan State College and an M.A. in business from the University of Denver.

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