It’s 2014 and the debate between traditional document management (i.e., paper filing) and electronic document management (a paperless office) has ceased to be a debate.
It’s really just a reality now: you need to go paperless if you want to have any chance of keeping up with the digital business revolution. However, in the event that you needed a little more convincing, we’ll let the figures speak for themselves:
1. Savings in money
Dollar savings are reduced because there is no longer a need (or at least there’s a dramatically reduced need) to:
1. Purchase any stationary items (reams of printer paper, ink cartridges);
2. Allocate office space for filing cabinets or file storage areas;
3. Pay for off-site document storage; or
4. Purchase, maintain and house the same number of printer and copier devices
Over the years, the cumulative costs of these items could run into the hundreds of thousands depending on the size of your practice. Savings, anyone?
2. Savings in time
Office workers spend a minimum of 25 days on average per year searching for information1. Multiply that by an hourly wage or charge out rate, and the number is alarming.
Looking for information isn’t the only timewaster in traditional offices: the time spent processing paper – filing, printing, copying, storing and mailing – could also be eliminated from your firm. Statistics show that the cost of processing paper is 10 times the original purchase price of the paper itself2. Multiply the amount you spend on paper each year by 10 to figure out how much you could save by going paperless.
Your firm and its staff are not the only ones who stand to benefit from these time savings: your client service will be enhanced as you can respond to client queries immediately as a result of using an effective document and email management system.
3. Savings in space
Did you know that 100GB of disk or virtual storage space can replace the information contained in 110 four-drawer filing cabinets3? If you no longer needed to store paper in filing cabinets, think about the unallocated office space you could have. You could allocate this space to more productive uses (such as additional workspaces) or even reach a point where you no longer need to spend as much as you were spending on office rental. Astoundingly simple, wouldn’t you agree?
1(IBM Blog (20 January 2011) https://www-950.ibm.com/blogs/goingpaperlesswithwebdocs/?lang=end_us).
2(Kofax White Paper: The Business Case for Automating Document Driven Business Processes (2010)).
3(IBM Blog (20 January 2011) https://www-950.ibm.com/blogs/gopaperlesswithwebdocs/?lang=eng_us).