Did you know that companies have reported spending up to 15% of their annual revenue on paper document related processes? Or that Xerox estimates 30-40% of all offset printed materials end up wasting away in warehouses? The sad truth is that many organizations are giving themselves a disadvantage by relying on hard copy documents. It’s time to stop wasting money, time, and paper and seize the technological opportunities offered to us in these increasingly digital times. Going paperless may be a long process, but it doesn’t have to be an intimidating project to put off until your office is literally buried in paper. It’s something you build up to from simple beginnings, where even small changes can make big differences, and the incentives to do so are quite persuasive.
It’s no secret that managing business materials on paper is messy and inefficient, but what exactly are the repercussions of that? According to the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), organizations lose an average of 7.5% of their paper documents forever, and 3.5% of the remaining documents are misfiled. These missing documents not only serve as a source of frustration and lost time, but also take a toll on your customer service as well as your security compliance. It’s hard to keep track of anything when you can’t tell what’s missing.
In addition to being risky, handling business processes on paper is also significantly more costly and time-consuming. A study by AIIM concluded that the average cost of processing one paper form was $4.56 with 20% of businesses reporting a cost of $10.00 or more. The monetary benefits of electronic forms are considerable -an average cost of $2.84 gives it a price reduction of almost 50%. Possibly an even more substantial gain is the 30-50% increase in process productivity and the 3-10 times reduction in turnaround times reported by organizations that switched to electronic processes.
Have I caught your interest yet? You can start to go paperless today with a few small steps towards easy business process improvements.
Here’s a few tips:
1. Don’t print unless it’s absolutely necessary, and consider putting a reminder to others at the bottom of your email signature.
2. When you do print, use both sides of the paper. This simple initiative will already cut paper use in half.
3. Eliminate the need to print, sign, and scan documents by using a digital signature.
4. Start considering the possibility of scanning all your current paper files into one electronic repository for easy information management.
The cost of paper is much more than just the paper itself – it’s also the money spent on processing and losses in productivity, time, and customer service, not to mention the effect on the environment. A paperless office doesn’t happen overnight, but small changes lead to bigger changes and the payoffs will just keep adding up.
If you’d like more information on how to start reducing your paper usage, contact us or download our case study below to see how we’ve helped other organizations.
AIIM’s The Paper-Free Process Revolution Handbook http://www.aiim.org/pdfdocuments/Revolution.Handbook.WPFD.pdf
Xerox’s The “Less Paper” Office: How to Reduce Costs, Enhance Security and be a Better Global Citizen
AIIM’s Process-Critical Forms and the Mobile Workforce