Thousands of businesses and companies are going paperless in droves.
As a method to cut costs, businesses are starting to recognize the efficiency and cost-reduction in using paperless systems and processes.
Using strictly paper is both costly and not effective in managing and dealing with sensitive information. Searching for missing documents, workload stress (which reduces productivity) and staying behind in an evolving forward advancing technological society are some of the negative reasons to stick to the “tried and true” of paper only businesses.
Reducing or eliminating paper will help you cut costs, reduce workload, and reduce waste.
In reality, going completely paperless might not be 100% possible. However, instituting paperless offices can be done gradually and without burning a hole in your wallet.
There are some obvious machines you shouldn’t eliminate, such as printers, scanners, and fax machines.
Here are a few things you can do to go completely paperless:
1) Document Management Systems: There are hundreds of different digital document management systems that you can choose to adopt in your organization. Researching, choosing the right one, and training your staff will be your due diligence. Listing these tools and comparing them against each competitor can help you choose a system that’s right for your organization.
2) Storage Service: This is the alternative to rummaging through large dusty file cabinets. Storing and retrieving files digitally can be a complete game-changer in your business. Clicking a mouse to store and retrieve important documents can speed up the workload. Something as simple as a properly setup Google Drive can house all of your important documents and materials, and makes them easily accessible.
3) Make Internal Documents Digital: You can use a multi-function device that offers scanning to convert documents into digital copies. All ancient documents that are scattered throughout an office can easily be converted into documents and stored. The beauty of them being digital is that they are accessible to those that need them, and can have permissions applied to them to keep prying eyes away.
4) Share Documents Online: Cloud Storage, OneDrive, Google Documents, and SpiderOak are better alternatives to sharing documents with office employees. Keep your documents organized by utilizing sub-folders to quickly find what you need.
5) Utilize E-Signatures for Contracts and Documents: One of the most paper-laden part of businesses can often be contracts, and other paperwork that requires signatures, both internally, and from a client or customer. Using software that allows the use of E-signatures can significantly cut down on the amount of paper that needs to move through your office.
6) Digital Receipts for Customers and Clients: If you have retail customers, or clients who often require invoices, going paperless, and digital, can be a huge help. You’ll cut costs on materials like printer paper, and show your clients and customers that you are an eco-friendly business by offering an alternative to traditional paperwork.
7) Digital Expense Reporting: Along the same lines as digital receipts is the concept of moving to a system that allows expense receipts to be entered digitally, instead of having to make another paper copy. These digital expense tracking systems make life easier for both the employee submitting them, and you as a business owner or executive, saving you the time and effort of wading through mounds of paper receipts.
The benefits are endless. As more and more companies adapt to newer technologies, it’s imperative to keep up with your competitors.