Should Your Business Go Paperless?
Going green is a trend that is fast catching up with the corporate sector. Whether you are a startup or a conglomerate, making your office paperless offers several benefits to organizations across verticals.
Businesses across the world strive to improve their operations and maximize their profits. Cutting back on paper use is not just a viable business proposition, but also good for the environment. Apart from the economic benefits of going paperless, having a paperless business offers many other benefits, such as increased productivity, optimized workflow, enhanced employee morale and greater customer satisfaction.
Can a business truly go paperless?
Eliminating paper entirely from your office is a highly unlikely scenario. But reducing the amount of paper can streamline your business operations to a great extent. If you have efficient processes, you can start your journey of becoming paperless.
Why would a business go paperless?
Going paperless may not be a feasible option for every business, but even a small reduction can result in substantial cost savings and efficiency.
Some of the main benefits of going paperless for your organization include:
It organizes your documents – Having a paperless office improves your company’s efficiency and professional image substantially because you can quickly locate and disseminate information. It takes a lot of time to sift and search through paper documents for one single piece of information. But when you have a paperless office, all it takes is a few clicks, and the information is in front of you. You can scan receipts and invoices, sort documents, file them, and quickly retrieve them.
It makes client communication easier, faster, and inexpensive – You can maintain a customer email list to communicate sales and other special offers without the expense of printing and postage. Electronic communication also lowers storage cost because you don’t have to spend money on maintaining paper documents.
You can easily store, file, and retrieve paperless files on the go – With photo scanning apps, business travelers can conveniently back up expense reports without having to tote stacks of papers. You can also share electronic files with coworkers over the network or through email.
It offers automatic backups – When you have paper documents in your office, you can lose information if a document is accidentally discarded. But when you maintain electronic files, data is automatically backed up.
Improved data security – Documents and other sensitive data are accessible only through providing approved credentials.
It is an environmentally-friendly process – Copy paper accounts for 20% of the total paper usage in the United States. Making your office paperless not only reduces demand for tree products, it also helps you conserve energy, because you don’t need to depend so much on printers and photocopiers.
Safety concerns of electronic communication and storage
Before you seriously consider the proposal for going paperless, it is important to know the pros and cons of going paperless. Drawbacks can include the following:
System failure – Vital data can be lost should your system crash. Having remote backup is essential.
Security – Without proper security protocol in place, data can be hacked or compromised. Document management services offer content encryption, local servers and restricted access.
Going paperless is a time-consuming process – The transition can be frustrating and stressful, demanding full commitment from company officers, stakeholders and employees.
Steps to go paperless, or minimize its use
If you are still doing business the old-fashioned way, you can switch to a paperless office and enjoy the benefits.
But the biggest question is how to reduce paperwork.
Bond Street offers some recommendations:
• Bank online
• Switch to a bookkeeping software
• Use digital collaboration tools
• Invoice electronically
• Scan digital copies for record keeping
• Prepare electronic statements
• Use recruiting software
Review your current processes
If you plan to go paperless, review your current operations processes and find out appropriate alternatives so that the transition is smooth. You may need to use an electronic signature service (an e-signature – also known as a digital signature – is any way of signing a non-printed document), online invoicing and payment services, and other applications that can replace your existing paper documents. You will need to train your staff so that they can properly use the new system.
If your company is considering going paperless, DocuServe has the resources to keep your data secure. We offer industry-leading cloud-based solutions for every aspect of your organization.
Contact us to learn more.