When is your company going Paperless?
What is Wrong Using Paper?
Paper has been part and parcel of companies for great length of time. Paper are being used for record keeping and is at the heart of business processes. Paper documents are light and flexible – makes them easy to handle and store. But paper is also fragile, tedious to copy and difficult to transmit over multiple locations.
To file, store and retrieve paper records is an expensive exercise. The cost of paper systems is enhanced by printing and copying equipment, fax machines, inks, and other office supplies. Paper records take up space with filing cabinets and boxes of archived folders. Space that could be released for revenue generating business processes.
Paper-based systems is time consuming. Employees have to wait upon each other for the release of reports and summaries. The retrieval of important documents could get very time-consuming with misfiled or misplaced documentation. There is also the added risk of important documentation getting destroyed accidently.
The number of employees that could view a retrieved document at the same time is limited and many paper copies add to the cost of paper or get simply discarded into the waste bin.
Governance rules set by the authorities must be adhered to. Records must be kept for a prescribed number of years. And after the prescribed period, the records must be destroyed or shredded. Usually by a waste management company who is in the business to make money – from you.
Have you considered that when somebody in your organization creates a photo copy of a sensitive document, that copy remains in the memory of the photocopying machine? That makes sensitive business and customer information available to all who handles the memory of the copying machine. What happens to your data security? And how does your organization spend on maintenance contracts for copying equipment?
Ever gave the destructive nature of fires and hurricanes a thought? Lets’ face it – fires and hurricanes are unplanned disasters that can wipe out a business. And also, the geyser that bursts, that happens on a Sunday night when nobody is at the office.
The cost of data is not the only aspect to be considered. The matter of data reliability also needs to be addressed. Copying data over or keying data into systems is costly in terms of time and is potentially an unreliable exercise. The copying or keying-in needs to be completed by humans who are prone to mistakes. This takes time, and time is money. But mistakes have the potential to delay processes which could have a negative impact on the business’ cash flow. Part of this problem is the phenomenon of incomplete or partially completed documentation. This can be attributed to customers unwilling to provide data or employees in a hurry.
And let us not spend time on illegible handwriting or oil-soiled documents.
How many companies still have mail rooms? Snail mail received from all over has to be sorted by an employee who could have been allocated to other income generating processes. And usually after sorting the mail, much of the received mail needs to be destroyed. Opting out of paper copies of important documents such as bank statements, bills and invoices can be achieved by e-mail or on-line accounts. The same can apply to your customers. They too can receive their invoices and important communications via on-line accounts.
What is the Solution?
More and more businesses are choosing to do away with paper documents in favour of digital documents. This trend is due to the efficiency, security and accessibility that are associated with a paperless environment.
Implementing a cloud-based system in which to perform most of the administrative tasks saves money and adds positively to the cash-flow of the organization. The cost of running a paper-based system is greatly reduced. No longer is paper required for transactions, no forms need to be printed or copied, records are archived in a safe and secure environment where fire and the disasters associated with nature can no longer create havoc.
Information is shared amongst employees and access to records can based on business roles and -requirements. Business processes can be automated to ensure greater data reliability. Physical space is saved, and obsolete equipment can make way for a better organized office. Access to data is faster and more accurate where data is stored digitally. Responses to customer enquiries is dealt with more swiftly. Using a cloud-based solution means that you can access stored data from anywhere on the globe, provided you have access to the internet. A reliable cloud-based service provider will ensure that your data is backed-up regularly.
Digital data has the ability to integrate with ease with other business applications. This holds a benefit to your employees who are empowered by the data they can share.Remember – if your business is not going the paperless route, the rest of the world is going the route. Do not get left behind.