Filing cabinets with paper documents have been the way to organize information in offices for decades. Physical searching, creating tedious filing systems and just trying to keep the paper safe; unfortunately, it hasn’t always been the best option.
With markets in competition for businesses, the pressure to improve efficiency and cut costs while maintaining a high level of customer service is constantly felt. One great way to accomplish this is by going paperless. More and more, business people realize that paper is an expensive and inefficient way to manage their information, and a paperless office is a way to go. Here are 7 reasons to go paperless:
1. Better organization
Going paperless will save you the headache of keeping up with the mess. You will also never have to fret about losing that one invoice that you need to get approved because it slipped through the cracks.
Organizing and keeping track of papers is time-consuming. A cluttered, messy stack of loose documents takes so much time, especially if you’re trying to find something specific. Disorganization can seriously hamper how much you can get done; the average person spends about 10 minutes per day looking for lost items.
Digitization of your paper-based processes means that your whole team has the necessary access to information. A file left on someone’s desk, a random note with important news, a filing system that only one person understands.
If a crucial person calls in sick, or you need to be away from the office, your employees may struggle to find the information they need. Paper-based processes can cause a loss of productivity and a potential drop in customer service.
You can avoid a breakdown in necessary information-sharing by going paperless. Instead of potentially becoming lost, files become accessible from anywhere at any time, allowing your team easier access to the information they need.
3. Increased efficiency
Efficiency is at the heart of any successful business. When you minimize the time spent on busywork, your team can repurpose that time to focus on critical, value-add tasks. Going paperless means less time spent on clerical work and more time doing what matters.
Completing, filing, organizing, and keeping track of paperwork can severely strain your time; time spent on paperwork is cut down to a minimum after going paperless.
Filling out paperwork is also simpler with technology; digitally-captured data can be used to create rules to automatically generate applications. Automated systems allow you to fill out information quickly and reliably, as validation algorithms reduce errors and ensure complete data.
4. Reduced costs
Your organization saves more than just paper by adopting a paperless office. The money spent on printer upkeep, ink, toner, postage, and physical storage, to name a few, will all significantly decrease as your reliance on paper diminishes. This is why companies save an average of $80 per employee when they switch to a paperless system.
Your company will save more than just the material costs of printing and paper. Increasingly efficient offices will repurpose your spending as well. For example, you pay for your employees’ time; the more they spend their time doing value-add work instead of manual paperwork. You will see more return on their investment.
5. Enhanced security
Physical paper can be a significant liability for your company. Sensitive files can easily be compromised, and paperwork can be misfiled, destroyed, or stolen. Your customers’ trust in you should depend on more than a locked filing cabinet and shredder.
A paperless approach offers much higher security for your and your customers’ sensitive data. Numerous safeguards and encryption measures work together to protect your documents. In a paper-based office, everyone has access to all the information. It is possible to give each employee only the specific access they require in a paperless office. For example, a medical office can limit the information a front desk receptionist can access but gives doctors complete access to medical history.
Suppose your office is subject to a natural disaster, such as a flood or fire. In that case, you won’t lose any vital information. Cloud-based technology also provides backup in case of an emergency.
6. Easier access
A paperless system allows you to access your information from anywhere. Whether you’re discussing with your employee at the office or travelling out of town, cloud-based storage means you maintain access to your necessary information. It also improves customer experience when you can answer questions by quickly accessing essential information.
Using relevant metrics and based on their needs, a targeted campaign will be much more effective for lead generation, up-sell, and retention. For example, a targeted email campaign will be easier to track, analyze, and optimize than mailing out general promotions. Customers also appreciate personalization.
Reducing your reliance on paper allows you to create a more sustainable business. The average employee uses an astounding 10,000 sheets of copy paper per year. Your company can contribute to the environment’s well-being by cutting down on the amount of paper you use.
An eco-friendly approach is more sustainable and better for the planet, but it also helps your brand image. In today’s culture, most customers know how much waste is produced in an office and are concerned about the environment. You can showcase your company’s concern for the environment and how your business is making a difference by participating in different reporting initiatives and certification programs.