In the earliest days of technology, we were promised that in the future, we’d all be living in a paperless world. No more stacks of paper, everything documented electronically, it would be Nirvana! Well flash forward to today and most business owners are still surrounded by paper clutter.
It’s a normal part of doing business. Faxes, invoices, bills, legal documents, memos and manuals all piled up, filed away or just thrown about. Every piece needing to be managed, read, filed, retrieved, scanned and disposed of. This cuts into company profitability and is a symptom of inefficiency. In fact, a Coopers and Lybrand study found that 20 – 40% of a worker’s time is wasted searching for documents.
So why are so many businesses still relying on paper and not switching over to a paperless office? Here are a few of the most common reasons:
1. Bad Habits – Employees have developed normal habits revolving around these devices and 90% of companies that can benefit from the paperless office are still tied to the old methods of print, copy, file. Employees who are exposed to and use secure libraries of indexed, searchable and sharable electronic documents and data find that paperless saves time and hassle. They welcome the change.
2. Analysis Paralysis – When companies understand the scope of digitizing all of their documents paralysis often sets in. As a result, this task often gets put on the back burner, despite the benefits. Document capture has advanced to the point where the time needed to digitize, capture and manage data has been greatly reduced. These new systems allow you to implement the process in stages without disruption of your day-to-day business.
3. Stalling – After doing their due diligence and realizing that there is an investment involved, many businesses stall. This is based on the assumption that a paperless office needs to happen “all at once.”
The benefits of the paperless office far outweigh the costs. Businesses can reduce paper, encourage collaboration and manage compliance more easily when digital. The value and ROI of a paperless office is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is take the first step. It’s a smart business decision whose time has come!
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