Going paperless is all the buzz for businesses today but what does that really mean? With paperless business practices and procedures, companies have cut costs, maintained stronger organizational practices, and helped save the planet.
Digital tools like Excel, Google Drive, and email have brought business a long way from the snail mail procedures of the past, but innovations haven’t stopped there. Today companies are prioritizing digital transformation so that they can streamline business processes with automation and secure cloud-based systems.
A paperless office saves revenue, declutters that filing cabinet, and keeps Mother Earth clean from paper waste. We’ve provided a list of the best ways your business can benefit from ditching those paper documents and choosing digital solutions.
Organization is one of the key benefits of a paperless office. Physical papers like paper bills, paper statements, legal documents, and tax records take up physical space and they are much harder to organize. When piles of paper mount up on desks, in drawers, or filing cabinets, it can become time-consuming and exhausting to locate that one document that you need on command.
A paper-free office can benefit from more physical space on desks and in drawers when paper copies are replaced with electronic documents. These digital files can be easily organized on your desktop through Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Digital storage is much more realistic to manage than physical storage because documents can be located and moved with the click of a button.
Digital storage is much more realistic to manage than physical storage because documents can be located and moved with the click of a button.
An efficient office is clutter-free with paperless documents that can be accessed from the comfort of your office chair. Don’t stress yourself out by sifting through mountains of paper and setting aside valuable time to constantly re-organize your office space. Paperless solutions like email were created to relieve the stress of clutter and allow documents to be easily transferred without a half-hour at the copy machine.
Important misplaced papers are also a common occurrence when businesses use paper processes. Physical paper memos, purchase orders, and invoices are likely to be lost when they are transferred through the mail or from desk to desk which slows business processes.
As we mentioned, email was created to speed up document transfer and communication, but today there are even more digital tools that allow you to ditch those current paper processes that cost you time. AP Automation fixes the invoice approval process by replacing manual processes with digital workflows that streamline the process. Automating B2B payments with AP Automation will save your staff valuable time and remove the object of common human error with data entry.
Similarly, implementing sales order automation will bring your sales order processing to a whole new speed. These digital tools use Artificial Intelligence (AI) like Intelligent Data Capture (IDC) to extract data off of documents and automatically send the data on to the next step of the procedure. These tools allow for an efficient paperless environment with faster business procedures and valuable time saved for staff members to dedicate to more pressing matters.
Digital file shares in place of paper files allow for easier collaboration efforts between teams and departments. Sheets of paper are difficult to collaborate on and contribute to slow company-wide initiatives. Paperless processes can be implemented in every department to make collaboration easy and more manageable.
Google Docs is one of the best tools for co-writing and editing presentations, newsletters, and business plans but true digital transformation offers more paperless solutions like HR Automation Software. Onboarding employees can sign new hire fillable forms with digital signatures and easily send back these forms with HR Automation Software.
Electronic signatures can also be used for other business documents like B2B payments or contracts. These paperless solutions are effective strategies for easier communication and collaboration that save time and stress.
A paperless workplace can also benefit from increased security. Important paper documents are a liability as they can be easily lost, misplaced, thrown out, or stolen. Electronic documents can be backed up with cloud-based storage software to avoid losing or misplacing the file. Electronic documents and digital files can also be locked with encryption, passwords, and safeguards that restrict access.
Your business documents may be top-secret or contain classified information that the average employee should not have access to. By encrypting your digital documents, zipping files, and restricting access your company can protect against security breaches that put your business at risk.
One of the myths of digital transformation is that it is too expensive when in reality, a paperless office will provide significant cost savings and return on investment. Research shows that American corporations spend $120 million on printed forms that become outdated within only three months.
The costs of paper, ink cartridges, and paper-based systems like printers and copiers, lose valuable revenue on top of wasting time with constant maintenance. A paperless work environment is much more cost-efficient and document management software like Enterprise Content Management (ECM) drives ROI by expanding the value of a single technology implementation.
Digital transformation is worth the upfront cost because these digital tools and software provide lasting cost savings while speeding up business processes which will increase revenue.
Save Our Planet
It’s no secret that our planet has taken a hit from our inconsiderate paper usage and paper waste. Research shows the average office employee uses about 10,000 pieces of paper a year and paper contributes to 50% of office waste that ends up in landfills. Think about those file cabinets that you have cleaned out at the end of the year for the daily useless piece of paper that ends up in the trash.
We have a responsibility to save our planet and decrease our paper consumption. Recycling is a great practice, but digital transformation is the paperless strategy that most effectively cuts down on waste. It’s time for your company to set paperless goals and get started on your mission to save the trees.