As a business owner always looking for new and efficient ways to optimize operations, taking a closer look at the benefits of a paperless office should be top of mind.
On average, each person in the United States uses 500+ pounds of paper annually, with 40% of the world’s industrial logging focused on the paper manufacturing process.
According to The Paperless Project, the cost to maintain a filing cabinet per year is roughly around $1,500 with an average cost to file a document of $20, $125 per misfiled document, and $350 for every lost document.
Top 10 Benefits of a Paperless Office
If those statistics aren’t enough to get you started on your journey toward digital transformation, perhaps these ten benefits of going paperless will help get you over the line:
1. Strengthened Document Security & Confidentiality
When choosing paper to power your business processes, you have to invest in locked filing cabinets and paper shredding policies to maintain document security and confidentiality. Even then, you’re left with potential data breaches and the ongoing need to train employees on your records management policies.
However, many cloud-based content management systems offer high-tech, bank-level data security in order to keep information away from those seeking unlawful access to critical data.
2. Easy Access to Data
With the click of a button, you can easily access important documentation from anywhere. Tools such as Google Drive, Microsoft Office 365, and many more ensure seamless collaboration across platforms and users.
Based on your specific business goals and needs, information can be made accessible to numerous employees without hassle or time wasted. Properly indexed digital documents and useful file naming conventions will make your PDFs easy to find, download, and share.
3. Decreased Carbon Footprint
Although the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year, 334 pounds of paper is recovered from each person in the United States for recycling purposes.
Choosing a paperless office not only decreases the number of trees used and reduces carbon footprint in terms of producing paper products, but it’s significant for contributing to a sustainable society.
4. Automatic Data Retention & Digital Backups
Employees are no longer required to manually create backups of every document when it can be done digitally with the right tools and platforms.
Data can be saved automatically on a cloud-based system, flash drives, or external hard drives. This enables digital data to exist in various locations as opposed to a single paper source, reducing risk of damage, loss, or misplacement.
5. Less Expensive Client Communication
As one of the benefits of a paperless office, your business will save plenty of money in client communications. You’re able to maintain relationships with clients via multiple methods, like an email list, which naturally saves you in printing and mailing costs.
In addition, communication in a digital office enables you to track leads and new clients and obtain analytical data for more effective marketing strategies.
6. Financially More Cost-Effective
Apart from saving money on mailing costs, you’re also able to run your business more cost-effectively without having to purchase ink cartridges and office supplies. Ultimately, the use of copiers and fax machines may also reduce overhead costs.
Determine the cost of document scanning for your paperless office needs.
7. Reduced Daily Data Storage & Supply Costs
When you no longer have paper based file retention, you can free up hundreds of square feet of space.
On average, a document is lost in a large U.S. organization every 12-seconds with an average time of 18-minutes to find the missing document. Although not a substantial amount of time to spend, it is time that could be used searching electronic PDF documents via OCR/ICR.
How much will it cost to store digital data? Use our digital data storage calculator.
8. Adhere to Audit Guidelines
As a business, you most likely have to store several years of data for audit purposes. When switching over to electronic systems for document and content management, you’re able to easily and conveniently store as much data as you need while maintaining compliance with audit regulations and guidelines.
However, the new digital data will generate an audit trail automatically by simply scanning searchable text in order to make the process more efficient.
9. Increased Customer Service
The quicker and more cost-effective you’re able to conduct business, the happier your customers. You’ll be able to receive and process orders faster, deliver on time and save money in the long run — all while contributing to a successful customer experience.
Happy customers are repeat customers, and – of equal importance – they are customers who will refer your services to others.
10. More Time Spent on Important Tasks
While your employees are losing productivity by processing physical documents and you’re retrieving information sifting through cabinet drawers, it’s possible you could have achieved far more in less time.
For example, you could have found the data you need, processed the information, and even communicated with a client or delivered a product or service.
Indexing and categorizing digital data effectively can reduce the time you spend on important tasks that don’t directly impact your bottom line.
Understanding The Benefits of a Paperless Office
It’s easy to fall into a comfort zone and conduct business as usual, especially if it’s been working out for years. Although it’s a convenient way of running your business, it also means that your operations may be stagnant, perhaps falling behind your competition.
Don’t overlook the benefits of a paperless office simply because you’re set in your ways as a business.
Go green, increase productivity, optimize workflow, reduce office supply costs, and convert paper documents into electronic formats. If you are interested in learning more or getting started on a project to jumpstart your digital transformation journey, contact ILM today.