No paper means no need for:
- Stationery items (reams of printer paper, ink cartridges);
- Office space for filing cabinets or file storage areas;
- Off-site document storage; or
- 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?
It seems a little pathetic to claim that the money saved on paper and ink and printers and storage is a legitimate benefit to going paperless. But all those little things add up. Check this out:
Statistics show that the cost of processing paper is 10 times the original purchase price of the paper itself1. Multiply the amount you spend on paper each year by 10 to figure out how much you could save by going paperless.
And let’s not forget that time also = money. Office workers spend a minimum of 25 days on average per year searching for information2. 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.
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.
Yet another money-spinner is 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?
It’s a weight off your shoulders that you probably didn’t even realise was there. And it feels good.
Though the technology and the hours spent on de-papering the office by your team members may be a turn-off for the cash-strapped, consider your paperless efforts an investment. Your initial outlay will pay for itself over and over with your newfound efficiency and reduced expenses.
1(Kofax White Paper: The Business Case for Automating Document Driven Business Processes (2010)).
2(IBM Blog (20 January 2011) https://www-950.ibm.com/blogs/goingpaperlesswithwebdocs/?lang=eng_us).
3(IBM Blog (20 January 2011) https://www-950.ibm.com/blogs/gopaperlesswithwebdocs/?lang=eng_us).