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Considering Going Paperless? Here are the Positive Effects!

January 18, 2016

going paperless

A growing trend in offices is going paperless. Reams of paper are being replaced with folders and documents on a server. Consider some of the benefits of going paperless.

Paperless Office Benefits

  • Document organization: If you need to find a document, either internally or for a customer, it will be quicker to pull it up electronically than look through filing cabinets. Many companies have hundreds of filing cabinets across the office. It’s easy to look in the wrong place or misfile a document. Paperless mitigates these problems.
  • Improved client communication: There are two aspects of this: speed and money. Communicating via email is faster than traditional mail. For example, sending an electronic invoice is easier than sending a paper invoice. Financially, it is less expensive to send documents electronically because there is no need to pay for postage. Small postage fees add up over time.
  • Access to documents: It’s easy to retrieve files when they are organized and saved electronically. When traveling for business, you can pack lighter because you don’t need to carry paper.
  • Data security: When you go paperless, you can create electronic backups via a cloud or other system. When you store paper, if it is accidentally thrown away, it’s likely gone forever.
  • Environmentally-friendly: Everyone knows making paper is not good for the environment. Recycling can be expensive. Going paperless solves both of these problems.
  • Financial advantages: Think of all the costs associated with paper. Costs go beyond the actual paper. You have to buy a printer and ink, plus a copier. When file cabinets get filled up, you have to buy additional ones.
  • Compliance and storage: Changes can be made to the original document, and you can keep the original document. This can be beneficial for any company audits or other compliance issues.
  • Saved time: You’ll no longer have to waste time looking for documents that may have been lost or misplaced. Don’t underestimate the advantages of saving time. If you spent 30 minutes trying to find a misplaced document, that’s 30 minutes you can’t spend on important business tasks that could bring revenue to the company.
  • Simplicity: Most everything is better if it’s simple. Rather than adding steps to invoicing customers with actual mailing, consider electronic invoices. This process can be done from a computer with just a few clicks.
  • Business development: Related to saving time, business development is an overlooked advantage to going paperless. Even 30 minutes a week saved by not having to locate paper documents and instead devoted to business development adds up; think how you could improve your business if you had 26 extra hours a year to devote to business development! That is possible when converting to a paperless system.
  • Security: Paper documents can be hard to track. For example, if the filing cabinet is left open and someone makes off with a sensitive document, there’s no way to track who has it. With paperless storage, access to documents can be limited to certain users, increasing the level of security.

Paperless Office Return on Investment

One of the most important aspects of any investment made in a company is the return on investment. Is there expected to be one? How quickly will it come? How big will it be? Paperless offices are a smart investment for any business of any size.

Is There an Expected Return on Investment?

The answer is yes! The time and money you’ll save by switching to paperless will pay for itself over time.

How Quickly Will the Return on Investment Come?

This depends on your business. If you need to convert hundreds of thousands of documents in a multi-million dollar business to an electronic system, the cost will be higher than for a small business. As such, it may take longer for the larger business to recoup its investment.

How Big Will the Return on Investment Be?

This also depends on your business. A larger business can expect a higher dollar amount returned than a smaller company.

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