There may be some upfront costs for training, hardware and software when you go paperless. You get paid back by saving money on paper, pens and pencils, paper clips, hole punches, shredders, erasers, white-out, Scotch tape, staples, thumb tacks, reinforcements, highlighters, clipboards, binders, and more. Often, the payback period is well under a year.
3. Printing Cost
Imagine a world without printers. We wonder if you can. A world without ink cartridges, and printer maintenance people too. Imagine all the people, working without hard copies. It’s a dream, and you can join.
4. Missing Documents
Documents are innocently misfiled, damaged or lost every day in millions of offices across the U.S. This can have repercussions ranging from mild to disastrous. This won’t happen on a well-maintained digital document system that keeps backups in the cloud.
5. Photocopier Costs
Big photocopy machines can be very expensive to buy/lease and maintain, and of course they consume a lot of paper and toner. Paper jams are wasteful of employee time and create frustration and higher maintenance bills. Electronic documents can be shared at will — you don’t need no stinkin’ copiers.
6. Labor Costs
Paper has many unseen costs — ordering, tracking, receiving, storing, distributing, filing, retrieving, re-filing, shredding and disposing, to name a few. Think of how many hours a month your office could be saving by dispensing with these tasks.
Blessing in Disguise Department: You will undoubtedly see an increase in email if you eliminate paper. Take this as an opportunity to set up a proper email management and document handling system that files, backs-up and keeps track of emails for easy access and retrieval.
8. Storage Costs
Big companies spend zillions on paper storage costs. There is the space set aside that might be used more productively or not at all (think rented storage space) plus all the storage and warehousing operations. Nothing burns faster than a warehouse full of paper (well, excluding offshore oilrigs), which creates insurance costs.
9. Disaster Recovery
Speaking of fires and such, what happens to all those paper files when disaster strikes — fires, flood, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombings or whatever? If you’re paperless, all your important files are backed up in the cloud, safe and secure. You can temporarily relocate and have all your electronic documents immediately available, safe and undamaged.
10. Customer Service
For an irate customer or vendor on the phone, nothing could be worse than a harried employee trying to locate the caller’s papers. Prevent violence, or at least violent words, by having all information in searchable, electronic form. Many firms recognize incoming phone numbers and automatically retrieve the appropriate files before an employee answers the call.
We’re sure we could think of some more blessings that accrue from eliminating paper, but we think if you’ve read this far, you are convinced. Tell us the benefits your business has seen (or would see) by eliminating paper! The good public relations you receive by going green are, after all, another important benefit!