Paper documents are still being used in many industries and play a crucial role in multiple business processes. However, paper filing systems are difficult to manage. Important documents should be stored securely and be ready to be accessed by the right personnel at any time.
As the world is increasingly becoming more digital, it is important that organisations stick to strict guidelines. Compliance regulations are changing the way businesses manage their processes. This is a challenge to businesses who still have manual processes in place, which are usually time consuming and costly. There will always be reasons for using paper but considering the digital nature of many of today’s business processes, the reasons are few and far in between.
There are several reasons organisations are switching to paperless systems. Going paperless can help lower costs associated with printing, such as paper and toner, printers and copy machines. It can also help with organisation as there will be no loose papers gathering and there will be no need for paper storage solutions. There are many benefits of switching to a paperless office. Some of the main ones are:
The ability to quickly locate information can enhance a company’s efficiency. Spending time searching through multiple paper documents slows down response time. By switching to digital documents, information can be sorted, filed and organised for quick retrieval when it is needed the most. A paperless system eliminates the hazards of managing paper trails, which saves time and money.
Printing documents is expensive when you take into consideration all of the materials needed. But storing paper records is even more expensive. Research has shown that it costs €780 to maintain a five drawer filing cabinet per year and businesses spend €10 per year, per inch of paper documents stored. Add to this the cost of time employees spend locating paper files, and the cost of manual filing systems rise again. Cutting back on the costs of printing and filing documents can boost revenue and reduce risk.
Employees waste more than four hours every week on paper-based tasks. This includes 10 minutes to retrieve and refile a single paper document and up to 50 trips per week to the printer or copier to retrieve paper documents. Two in five employees believe that productivity levels would rise if paper is replaced with digital tools. Not only will switching to a paperless system increase productivity, but it also makes for happier employees who can focus on the work at hand.
With a paperless system the number of documents that can be stored is limitless. Documents can be signed digitally using a tablet in real time and automatically saved and filed. E-signatures can be collected and multiple documents can be approved at one time without printing a single piece of paper. Paper documents are fragile and subject to damage and loss. A document can be dispatched, only to be delivered back with signatures missing, e-sign eliminates this risk. Having signed documents at hand whenever they are needed ensures that organisations are more compliant during audits. Employees do not need to spend time searching through paper files only to realise that the document they need has been misplaced.
The shift towards going paperless is constantly increasing as new technology is becoming available. Taking action to reduce paper usage can help organisations be more efficient and enhance productivity and overall be more compliant.