PCB007 Magazine


Issue link: https://iconnect007.uberflip.com/i/1236528

Contents of this Issue


Page 47 of 149

48 PCB007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2020 the next level and gone online. Online ads are one reason it takes so long to load your favor- ite web pages. At least we are not wasting pa- per—just your time—but that is another story. The difficulty is letting go of paper. So ma- ny of us depend on hard copies that going pa- perless is a step that, for some, is that leap of faith. With the internet, there really isn't a need for most consumers to have that hard co- py any longer. Almost all utilities offer paper- less billing and online account processing. For the most part, that is the largest reduction we as consumers can embrace. For the workplace, this can be more difficult, or is it? With the cloud at your disposal, your options endless. One of the major ways I've seen paper reduction is the use of paperless shop order systems. Using our company as an example, we use a virtually paperless system to process work through our facilities. What were once multi-page traveler packets were reduced to a one-page service order con- taining a barcode. All equipment in the facilities have a unique barcode, as well as any of the fixtures that are in use. This has reduced a sig- nificant amount of paper traffic. Programs and tooling are online and on-demand and can be acquired by a simple scan of a barcode. Paper is only generated where needed, such as certifi- cates of compliance, packing lists, and serializa- tion reports. However, even these can be saved electronically and emailed when necessary. By embracing electronic media and the cloud, there no longer remains the necessity for file boxes, closets, and even warehouses to store these reams of paper that were once a necessity. Data retention is the caveat and no longer a problem either. Most systems, like the system created by Gardien, utilize database back-ends where data is stored for retention and easy on- demand access. With the use of cloud-based backup, retention is indefinite. Customer in- formation can be provided electronically and added to the job records, or if paper is sup- plied, it can be scanned into electronic media and retained. Libraries of work instructions, procedures, and industry specifications can all be converted to electronic on-demand docu- ments. In fact, most industry specifications are available as online documents. Security should also not be a concern or a deterrent either, as many cloud-based vendors supply security and encryption complying and/ or exceeding the requirements of the Depart- ment of State (ITAR), Department of Defense, and General Secure Hash Algorithms (SHA) encryption requirements. Remember that on- line libraries don't burn down. You don't have to walk or drive to them to retrieve historical information, and you can set your own reten- tion policies. Expired documents are purged, and when it's a large operation, this eliminates tons (literally) of paper waste that goes to the shredders or incinerators. Today, paper waste still remains the most likely commodity that we can attack to reduce. Next time you're about to click the "print" but- ton, look at your options. Instead, when you get that important document, think of click- ing "save as" rather than "print." Don't cre- ate that new physical folder for a customer, vendor, or employee; create that folder online, scan the document if necessary, and keep it electronic. It's a change in mindset. And what about the cost? Using the cloud versus renting that warehouse or wasting space that could be more productive is an exercise I'm going to leave for you. PCB007 Todd Kolmodin is VP of quality for Gardien Services USA and an expert in electrical test and reliability issues. To read past columns or contact Kolmodin, click here. The difficulty is letting go of paper. So many of us depend on hard copies that going paperless is a step that, for some, is that leap of faith.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of PCB007 Magazine - PCB007-Apr2020