The concept is appealing: less clutter, storage space, and document costs. Achieving paperless offices has drawbacks, but reducing paper still has benefits. Research done by Price Waterhouse Coopers about the cost of continuing to do business with paper shows mind-boggling statistics about the cost of handling paper.
- Filing a document costs $20 while finding a misfiled one can cost $120 and replacing a lost document can cost up to $250.
- Over 10% of filing is for naught as 7.5% get lost and 3% are misfiled
- While professionals may spend 5 to 15% of their time reading documents, they spend 50% of the time looking for them.
Going Paperless Is Possible...Even For You
The filing costs may seem artificially high, but the estimate includes the cost of file cabinets, file folders, labels, and preparing the file folders for use as well as the wages and benefits of the persons doing the filing. Most companies have no argument with the cost and inconvenience involved in looking for or replacing a misfiled document, until they realize the amount of time spent in paper shuffling.
Document Management May Be The Answer
The way around this is to have a document management system that has documents captured electronically in a properly networked office. Newly created documents can be scanned. They can then be put online so that any authorized person can access them. If the electronic file management system is set up correctly, properly filing (and finding) new documents should be easy.
The dilemma in many companies is that they already have files filled with reams of hardcover files. When doing new business with an old customer that has paper files already created for them, the temptation is to make a paper copy of new documents to put in the file. The way around this is to scan old files so that all of the company’s records will be in one place online. Document scanning services can assist in converting paper files at established companies, speeding up the process of going paperless.
Changing Employee Mindsets
A second impediment to a paperless office is employee mindset, as clients often feel more comfortable with a paper copy of the document in their hand. As workers become more aware that documents are always available online in scanned form, they will become less likely to do unnecessary printing. Employers who want to promote a more paperless approach can change attitudes by having user-friendly electronic filing system and by encouraging employees to only print what they need.
This acknowledges that there is a time when having a paper copy is often necessary, while stressing that if someone needs information on pages 7-10, they need not print the entire document. In most companies, the reality is that a paperless office is one that uses a minimum amount of paper, while not totally eliminating it.
The Document Group Can Help You To Go Paperless Too
Is going paperless a practical concept for your office? The Document Group, which offers professional document management and scanning, as well as storage solutions for old paper documents, we CAN help you decide how to eliminate unnecessary paper usage and paper storage in your office. Call us today at (888) 316-4670 or via our website form.