According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average office goes through 10,000 sheets of paper per year. As a result, an increasing number of companies are going paperless as a savvy business decision in order to reduce costs, improve security and help the environment.
Here are a few of the reasons your company may want to consider going paperless, along with some other considerations to make the transition easier.
Save Time: A paperless filing system makes searching through thousands of files much easier. The Small Business Administration (SBA) suggests that going paperless can increase productivity and efficiency by up to 40%
Reduce Costs: Paperless offices save an average of almost $80 per employee, according to the EPA along with ink, toner, postage, storage cabinets, and time spent shredding.
Save Space: A whole cabinet full of documents can be condensed into a gigabyte data on a hard drive.
Security: Storing documents in the online eliminates the need to secure sensitive papers in the office. Safeguards can be built into back-up systems to ensure data is not lost or compromised.
Accessibility: Digital documents can be accessed from anywhere in the world. In the event that there is a need to relocate digital documents do not have to be shipped.
Some other things to consider:
While larger companies may need to hire an outside firm to implement a paperless system, a small business can typically convert to paperless in a single weekend. Keep in mind, however that converting less than 100 of the company’s documents to paperless ok. Not every document can be in a digital form. Your paper system can be phased out over time.
You will want to prioritize files so you only scan documents that are relevant to current operations. Likewise, some documents, may already be stored electronically by other departments and digital duplicates don’t need to be created.
Be sure to engage all of the appropriate stakeholders. Informing customers that you are going paperless is a good practice. If they buy into your effort it can often help accelerate the process. Engaging employees can help reveal additional solutions and workarounds for problems that inevitably appear during the implementation.