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The Trust Walk of Document Conversion

The Trust Walk of Document Conversion

Chicago’s Willis Tower Sky Deck is an exercise in trusting what your brain knows, not what your body is telling you. Even though you know the glass-floored balcony is perfectly safe, it’s still tremendously nerve-wracking to take that first step onto an invisible floor more than 1,300 feet above the ground.

Document conversion can feel the same as walking onto a glass floor. You know it’s a good business decision, you know it will save money, and yet taking the step creates profound anxiety. Paper is a familiar and safe medium, and the unfamiliar world of document conversion feels very risky. Like stepping out onto a glass floor, your brain is telling you “Yes,” but there’s a very real visceral reaction saying, “No!”

Fear of the unknown can paralyze you into unproductive and expensive inaction. Josh Steimle, writing for Forbes, recommends a number of steps to transform anxiety and fear into a useful tool that actually informs decisions in a positive way. He suggests:

  1. Name your fear. Determine exactly what it is you’re afraid of. Once you name it and analyze it, you begin taking control of it. If document conversion is making you lose sleep, say so.
  2. Educate yourself. Extend control over your fear by learning about the facts. You’ll very likely discover that the truth is much less daunting than you had imagined. Read about document conversion, check out webinars on the subject, and talk to colleagues who have gone through the process.
  3. Take time to consider your options and make a plan. Now that you’ve learned more about the thing you feared, you can begin to plan for a positive outcome. A deliberate, thoughtful decision is better than a hasty, impulsive reaction. A fully-informed and well-planned document conversion project will be a success.

A fourth tip for facing your fear: Don’t go it alone. Reach out to an expert who will be your partner through the entire process. An experienced document conversion consultant or service provider will help you analyze your concerns, educate you on procedures, and develop a plan for moving forward with your conversion project. It’s far less frightening to walk onto a glass floor if someone you trust is standing by to keep you from falling. With a document conversion partner at your side, you can face your fear boldly.


Photo © alphaspirit / AdobeStock

High-Performance FM: Technology or People?

High-Performance FM: Technology or People?

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but technology is the mother of productivity. Noted anthropologist Jane Goodall, in her studies of chimpanzees, observed a few clever chimps making simple tools from twigs, tools which allowed them to collect a greater number of tasty termite snacks. (Apparently they taste like chicken.) The chimps’ food productivity was increased by the application of technology.

The link between technology and productivity is, of course, the driving force behind the lifestyle we enjoy today. Like other management sectors, facilities management applies technology to improve operational productivity and support overall organizational productivity. From space-efficient mobile shelving to RFID inventory management and document conversion databases, FM pros routinely boost their department’s productivity with the best technology available.

But technology on its own does not improve productivity. Technology has to be applied by people, and facilities managers find themselves managing people as much as they manage space. Brendan Robinson, who leads the FM team at Under Armour, emphasizes the importance of dialogue as well as data. FM software delivers data which Robinson then uses to begin a problem-solving dialogue with his team – part of Under Armour’s culture of continuous improvement.

And the dialogue should be a true two-way street, according to Robinson. Interviewed in, he said, “So we trust our front line teammates with the real challenges and the real messy data and information that leadership is trying to grapple with when making decisions. And then they reward us with their real challenges and the opportunities that they see every day when they’re doing their jobs.” Robinson’s policy of listening to his team’s boots-on-the-ground analyses has helped him build a strong team that takes ownership of their work and feels empowered to make decisions.

Managing human capital is one of the primary qualifications for a skilled FM professional. Combined with the right FM technology, the people who make up the facility manager’s team (including an outside storage consultant) will make any facility function more productively and enhance the organization’s bottom line. Just don’t reward the team with termite snacks.


Photo © MonkeyBusiness /