What are the reasons to go paperless?
There are plenty of reasons why it's a good idea to go paperless in the office—ranging from environmental to budgetary. Here are our top ten to keep in mind the next time you make the case to your boss.
1. Get Access Anytime, Anywhere
Getting and using information within seconds—not days—is the norm in today’s global and mobile world.
With electronic documents, workflow automation tools, and the cloud, you can create and route documents and data that can reach the right people, right away, without manual intervention.
2. Find Information Faster
It’s estimated that employees spend one-third of their time looking for paper documents.
Electronic documents are easier to file and find because they can be indexed using keys like date, document type or other user-defines criteria. You can even use full-text searching, making it simple and quick to find important business documents—on-premises or in the cloud.
3. Automate Your Manual Processes
Process automation is the intelligent management and routing of information through a business process or workflow.
With process management software, you can build business rules to route, distribute, and store electronic documents, reports and other data. You can also collaborate with colleagues or customers by sharing documents digitally so they can be reviewed, edited, and saved.
4. Capture Data Automatically (Instead of Re-Keying)
Using web-based forms technology to collect and exchange information not only speeds up the process, but improves data quality.
Digitally captured data is more reliable and means access to better information, faster turnaround, and lower costs because pre-printed forms and mailing expenses can be eliminated. In addition, inbound data can be integrated with back-end applications, and custom forms or documents can be generated from applications automatically, eliminating manual processing.
5. Speed Up Approval Processes
Companies utilize electronic signature solutions to speed up approval processes for external and internal documents.
Electronic documents can be signed digitally and routed for the next step quickly, reliably, and securely. This can speed up purchase requests, loan approvals, expense reports, contracts, and much more.
6. Bring Documents Together
If you’re in a business where various documents have to be assembled, routed, and distributed, going paperless is a huge boost to productivity and speed.
By using document assembly software, you can automatically pull together a single custom document from multiple other documents, which might come from different sources and be in different formats. And you can save, route, or distribute it to customers or vendors.
7. Customize Documents to Meet Your Needs
Customers want business documents to meet their unique needs.
Electronic document management systems and e-forms solutions allow you to create personalized electronic or paper-based forms and reports to fit customer formats or unique business processes. You can also set up your files to be split, formatted, distributed, and archived automatically.
8. Prove Compliance
These days, regulations such as HIPAA and SOX require companies to take documented measures to maintain data confidentiality and integrity.
Paper-based systems make tracking and managing data more difficult and expensive than electronic-based systems.
Electronic document management systems can provide an audit trail of when documents are received or sent. Built-in security prevents unauthorized access, maintaining data confidentiality.
9. Save the Environment
With global warming and excessive CO2 polluting the environment, the world has begun to see the value in going “green” and reducing our carbon footprint.
Going paperless by utilizing electronic document management systems helps cut down on deforestation and pollution, leaving more trees to do the dirty work of absorbing carbon dioxide (and slowing down global climate change).
10. Make Customers Happy
Many customers prefer self-service over calling you and waiting on hold.
You can securely provide key information to customers electronically, enabling them to inquire on their own when convenient. In fact, providing electronic access to all relevant data not only gives customers more accurate and complete information, it makes them happier and more loyal customers.
So, why go paperless?
The bottom line is that your processes will be easier and faster (oh, and your bottom line will be happier). What more reason do you need?