We know that every organization has its own unique set of business challenges.
Whether you’re a manufacturing company producing auto parts or a pharmaceutical company producing heart medication, you both deal with paper. And, in most cases, too much of it. When you hear the term “Go Paperless,” most people think it means that paper is completely removed. That’s neither accurate nor possible. What going paperless really means is that you pinpoint the areas of your business that are paper-heavy, manually driven and time-consuming and then streamline those areas to improve efficiency. Streamlining will involve some type of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution that utilizes workflow and automation to replace those processes that are slowing you down and costing you too much time and money.
First and foremost, it’s always about the bottom line. Most people think that switching to a paperless solution will cost more in terms of purchasing new software and hardware, plus training as opposed to sticking with their paper-based manual processes. There is, of course, the initial cost of your solution but the ROI of these investments are huge and fast! In most cases, businesses realize their full cost of investment within the first 18 months.
2. Labor Savings
The very nature of paper documents requires time-consuming work to organize, store and retrieve. According to the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), office staff spends, on average, about one hour per month searching for and replacing files.
3. Printing Costs
Printing documents and materials involves many expenses from paper, toner, ink, to printers and their maintenance. It all adds up. In most organizations, going paperless can save more than $500 per person per year just in these supplies alone, according to AIIM.
4. Storage Costs
How much of your valuable office space is taken up by filing cabinets and shelves with stacks of documents? Paper takes up space and businesses spend money renting storage facilities to house all of their documents. With a paperless strategy, you can store millions of documents in the Cloud or on a single hard drive.
5. Lost & Misplaced Documents
You don’t have to worry about losing or misfiling documents when you have a document management system in place. On average, between 2% and 5% of an organization’s files are lost or misplaced on any given day, according to AIIM. In the case of a natural disaster, documents that are stored digitally can be recovered, which just might save your business.
6. Improved Document Security
With an ECM solution, you can track every single document, what changes have been made, who viewed them and who made changes. It adds a whole new level of accountability and document security to protecting your business and your clients.
7. Improved Customer Service
I think this is the most important benefit. The ultimate goal of every business should be to provide the best possible product or service to their clients. Your products and services need to stand out from the rest and be better than the competition. You need to be able to access the right information at the right time from any place. You need flexibility and efficiency. Give your staff more time to devote to your clients and serving their needs rather than tracking down documents.
“Going Paperless” isn’t scary and doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If anything, it will make your employees’ lives much easier and will help your bottom line by saving costs and time. This process can be a smooth transition when you take the time to have a well thought-out plan and partner with the right solution provider. You will not only increase your productivity rate, but make your information more secure and improve your processes.
Les Walker is responsible for the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) group. Konica Minolta’s ECM practice helps organizations achieve business efficiencies and cost savings through the better management of business content and the automation of workflow processes. He also directs Konica Minolta’s ECM acquisition strategy.