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What are the differences between digitalization and dematerialization?

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Dematerialization is a concept often linked to sustainable development. Nowadays, we use the principle of dematerialization to preserve the environment and to encourage less pollution.

In the context of the continuous development of technology, computing and communications, we are witnessing the emergence of a global digitization. It leads to the dematerialization of the main tools and objects used in the organization of work.

Today, the strategy of companies is based on digitalization. The digitalization is related to the database. This strategy is based on the modeling and digital automation of business processes. Digitization does not only affect document management but the entire organization.

No digitalization without dematerialization.

Dematerialization concerns above all paper documents (Dedicated article: “Paper is dead, long live Beehave: top 10 roblems with paper“). Its purpose is to manage data or business documents (contracts, invoices, administrative support, etc.) throughout the company and/or in the context of interactions with partners (customers, suppliers) in a completely dematerialized manner.

The dematerialization process also includes the transfer of analog files (paper or microfilm) to digital media. Thus, all the company’s documents can be made available to employees through the Internet.

The dematerialization of a document flow and its treatment are made around three big steps which form a process of dematerialization:

  • The digitalization, which involves a scanner but which is also a tool of recognition of fields and characters, in particular for the taking into account of form.
  • The archiving, which is manual or which can be partially automated while being based on the solutions of ADR (Automatic Document Recognition) or on knowledge management solutions, such as category and classification engines.
  • The transmission and evolution of the document requires the implementation of a process management tool.

The objective of this process is to ensure the digitization of all paper documents, to collect the data and then to exploit it for each company (customer, supplier, etc.). The dematerialization is applied to each entry of a document in the company.

Dematerialization allows a better information tracking, an optimized archiving and a response to the current regulatory environment (CHORUS Pro, NF Z42-026 standard, etc.). This allows the use of 100% of the company’s information flows.

Digitizationand dematerializationare two complementary functions aimed at improving incomes and lowering costs while increasing productivity (See “Make process optimization your competitive advantage).

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