Despite the ever-growing list of digital advances, the paperless office hasn’t really come to full fruition. Head to any office location and you’re sure to find stacks of files and piles of paper. Going paperless is something that companies have on their list, but the priority of such task tends to slip in importance. According to an AIIM study, only 17% of people work in a paper-free office, while 31% says that their office is full of paper documents and paper processes.
Companies that do go paperless experience a wide range of benefits. According to the same study, 84% of companies that implement a paperless system have a return on investment in 18 months or less.
Keep reading to learn how you can money and enjoy other benefits by going paperless.
Save Money on Printing
Printing seems like a simple everyday process, but when looking at the big picture, printing is extremely expenses. One report found that the average employee uses around 10,000 pieces of paper each year. The cost? Around $80 per employee, per year.
However, this cost only accounts for the cost of paper. Printing comes with all sorts of other expenses such as printer maintenance and ink.
The bottom line is that printing rarely offsets the costs that a company incurs when printing. Most printed pieces of paper are used for internal purposes and don’t contribute to company profits. By integrating a paperless process where tasks are completed digitally, the business is able to save money in many areas.
Save Money on Storage
Another big expense associated with paper is the ever-growing need for physical office space. Companies with a physical office have to pay lease costs along with heating, cooling, lighting, and more. As the company grows, these costs continue to increase, especially as more space is needed.
In today’s modern offices, paper takes up a lot of space that could be used for another desk or office. Large file cabinets take up precious room that becomes space that goes to waste.
By using a paperless system, files can be digitized by scanning them in and making them available on the cloud. This makes physical copies unneeded. In fact, they can be thrown away, freeing up space in the office.
Companies can also use a free invoice maker that completely automates and digitizes the invoice process. This negates the need for printing invoices for in-house use, along with invoices that are sent to partners and customers.
Cut Distribution Costs
Not only does it cost money to print and store paper, it costs even more money to distribute it. In fact, the InformIT study found that for every dollar spent on printing costs, the company will spend another $6 on handling and distributing costs.
Because paper files are manually sorted and filed, there’s an increased risk of mistakes, which only makes an already ineffective process even slower. There are also costs associated with shipping and handling paper to include:
- The cost of envelopes
- Stamps & postage
- Delivery costs
A digital paperless system can cut all of these costs, allowing more money to be used on important business processes such as marketing and accounting.
The Cost of Lost Paperwork
Because employees handle dozens of different pieces of paper each day, it’s easy for paperwork to get lost, and typically when this happens, another copy is printed. But, have you ever thought about the cost of losing a large amount of your company’s paperwork? Natural disasters can happen at any time, and your office space could be the victim of a flood, fire, or some other event that ruins paper files.
Natural disasters highlight one of the biggest benefits of moving to a digital file process. By having your file stored on servers or in the cloud, physical damage isn’t a big worry.
Even though a server could be impacted during a natural disaster, there’s minimal risk of losing them altogether. This is because servers have backups and recovery locations to ensure file availability.
Using paper takes time. Printing requires employees to walk away from their desk to pick up files off the printer. Employees lose work time by having to replace low ink cartridges, toner, and paper. Loss of productivity is costly.
A completely digital system negates the need for employees to leave their desk to get work done. In fact, a digital system allows employees to edit, collaborate, and share files in just a few clicks. There’s no need for physical paper, which saves money on lost time and materials.
Paper is a traditional part of the office, but after considering all of the costs associated with using paper, it only makes sense to switch to a digital process that will cut these costs and many others. When deciding whether or not to digitize your company’s paper-based process, keeps these cost-savings in mind.