Let’s look at the top 4 reasons why many organizations avoid going paperless and how this practice impacts efficiency and hits the bottom line.
It’s The Status Quo
To most workers, paper stacks of invoices, bills, legal documents, memos and other documents are normal aspects of daily business. The system works, so why change? In truth, the system is most likely broke and/or the current paper-based process gives an edge to the competition. Much like the gradual processes of the boiling frog fable or developing cataracts, the ill effects of maintaining paper-based operations only gets worse over time. Ignoring available technology, to better manage your files and processes, marks the onset of wasting money and losing efficiency across the organization.
Managing each piece of paper requires reading, filing, retrieving, disposing, and often times copying for others to duplicate the process. While it may be the status quo, these are no longer best practices. Understanding the “status quo” mentality for why people have a stranglehold on traditional paper helps open the mind to a better approach for managing information in the origination.
Everyone is Set in Their Ways
There is a culture built around paper. This is particularly true with long term employees. Taking paper away means a change in business practices, social norms and habits. This takes workers out of their comfort zone. Avoiding disruption is keeping many companies, who could benefit from going paperless, handcuffed to printing, copying, and filing.
Education is the first step toward evolving to a paperless culture. Share with staff that a paperless environment does not need to change their comfort zone, rather it will make it easier to locate information, search files, retrieve documents and manage workloads. The eBizDocs paperless solution is very easy to use and can even emulate the existing filing hierarchy and processes. Working with existing document types also provides familiarity and makes the change less scary.
It Costs Money
Yes – there is a cost. But first, let’s consider your current costs of doing business. On average, each 4-drawer filing cabinet takes up valuable space. Over 45% of these files are duplicated information, and 80% are never accessed again. The main costs of paper documentation falls into copying, delivery, handling, storage, and retrieval of paper. For every dollar spent printing documents, another $6 is spent in handling and distribution. Considerable the time lost and inefficiently of managing paper documentation, especially since a high percentage of documents already originate electronically.
Going paperless saves tremendously on productivity by making document look-up easier and process automation. It can improve your compliance programs by enforcing best practices for document retention, automating the flow of information, and controlling access rights.
The investment in going paperless has immediate returns for your business as well as long term gains.
Getting Started is Overwhelming
The perception of needing to implement a paperless office all at once is inaccurate. After many businesses complete the discovery process and realize there is an investment in time and financial resources, the project stalls. Considering the licenses needed and the number of paper documents to convert – the picture looks too big and the return on investment too far into the future.
Moving towards a paperless office environment can (and in most cases should) start in one department. For the most impact, select a department that has a lot of paperwork, consistent paper-based processes, and a high need to access files. Two great departments to start are Human Resources and Accounts Payable. You can implement these departments in phases as well.
Consider starting on a day forward basis with active files and adding workflows to improve ongoing efficiencies. Then you can review if there is a need or benefit from back scanning historic files. If there is a need but limited resources, eBizDocs offers document conversion services. This may be the best option since it’s a one-time occurrence.
Many barriers to removing paper boil down to misconceptions. When you compare the business and cultural resistance against the benefits of improved efficiency and reduced operating costs, the business value and ROI of a paperless office is strong and straightforward.
So, what’s holding you back? It’s time to take the next step.
eBizDocs is a premier digital transformation provider focused on helping you put INFORMATION AT YOUR FINGERTIPS. Offerings include paper and microfilm conversion, content capture and management software, scanner sales/service, and process consultation. eBizDocs serves private and public-sector organizations and is a preferred source contractor for NYS entities. To learn how we can help transform your operation, visit eBizDocs.com