The Business Value of Going Paperless

August 19, 2019

Going “paperless” is more of a pipe dream than a reality. But the fact that, according to the Small Business Administration, 80% of the papers we file are never referred to again, would make you think that a paperless office could one day soon be achieved. 

Filing takes up a lot of physical space. If we aren’t using it, it may as well be in some digital, spaceless archive, right? 

For now, the reality is that the business world still very much relies on the printed page. From invoices and correspondence to reports and receipts; business is fueled by paper. 

Many businesses struggle with managing paper consumption which could be why 45% of pages printed in a day end up in the trash. But where is a small business to begin in streamlining their paper usage?  

Tools Right Under Your Nose

An easy way to start, especially for those with Xerox ConnectKey Technology®, is to implement simple workflows right from your multifunctional printer (MFP) device. MFPs are the centerpiece of most office functions. Something as basic as scanning an invoice, routing it to a specific recipient, and saving it to the Cloud, can create instant time savings for an organization, and eliminate the need for a document to be physically copied multiple times so that coworkers can use it.

Bad Habits

Another thing to consider is your everyday document habits. There is no doubt that paper can slow you down, but how exactly are you using that paper? Is it being copied and distributed? Scanned and shared? Indexed and archived? Knowing how your employees use paper is an important part of streamlining the process and helping your employees work smarter, not harder. If your sales team have tablets or laptops to use on the road, why not email them an agenda instead of printing a stack at every meeting.

In the end, easing towards a “less-paper” workflow can have true business value and:

  • Save an average of 3.1 hours each week on document-related tasks. 
  • Decrease the time spent looking for and/or recreating lost or misfiled documents by 12.5%.
  • Save 3% on paper costs
  • Reduce the amount spent on consumables such as toner each month
  • Eliminate the need for document storage space by 41.2%

Track It

No one wants to be monitored, but keeping track of the who, what, when, and where of your company’s printing habits can give management insight into what should and shouldn’t be printed. In fact, one of the first steps in a managed print service agreement is the monitoring of printing habits on your network. With a simple software application, you can gain valuable insight into how your devices are being used over a specific time period. Then, based on your findings, recommendations can be made as to ways you can save.

Make Printing Less Accessible

If you are the kind of organization that has a fleet of desktop printers scattered around the office, have you ever considered what that is costing you? A free assessment from a managed print provider can give you insight into that strategy and help reveal if that is the best use of your printing resources. While it may be nice to have a printed page at your fingerprints, if it wasn’t so convenient, would your employees be printing it at all?

Consider Electronic Signatures

One of the main reasons that paper is still so widely used, especially in a sales-driven organization, is the need for forms and signatures. If nothing else, do away with internal signatures and create electronic forms where you can with common applications such as Adobe Acrobat.

Use Printers Defaults to Your Advantage

A hidden feature of most MFPs is the ability to print on both sides of the page and make that a standard default for your employees print drivers. With duplex printing as a default, a four-paged email is automatically printed on two sheets of paper, cutting paper consumption in half. 

Realizing the true business value of less paper in your office is the first step towards a commitment to honestly assessing your habits and resources and developing a long-term plan to streamline them. Starting now is the best way to make any future digital conversions much easier on your operations. It’s only a matter of time that the modern office will use less and less paper. Want to learn more about document management for your office? Contact us today!

Source: idc.com

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Beyond copiers and printers, CDS offers a full suite of technology solutions ranging from Managed Print Services, to Managed IT Services, and Project-Based IT Services, providing our customers a Single Source for all their business technology needs.

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