You’ve been told for years that you need to do it, but you keep putting it off. Is now finally the right time to ditch paper and digitize your business processes once and for all? It’s a topic worth exploring in a bit more detail.
Why Go Paperless?
The paperless office is exactly what it sounds like: An office void of paper and flush with screens, devices, and electronic alternatives to the cumbersome files that load down cabinets and drawers and subtly swamp desks and tables. But the question is, why? In other words, what’s the point of going through the complicated effort of digitizing paper processes?
Well, as it turns out, there are more than enough reasons. Some of the biggest perks and benefits include:
- Customer satisfaction. It’s all about the customer. Today’s customer expects a frictionless digital experience that’s quick and painless. Removing paper from the equation greatly simplifies key steps of the purchase process.
- Save time. Less paper means less time spent printing, scanning, filing, and retrieving documents. If you’re in an industry where paper approval processes slow you down, a digital signature platform can shorten turnaround time by as much as 90 percent.
- Enhance security. Believe it or not, digital files stored in the cloud are safer than paper files that are tucked away in physical filing cabinets. They’re immune from rain, fire, burglary, and other major risks.
- Improve the bottom line. At the end of the day, all of these perks combine to improve the bottom line and give businesses the best chance of being successful.
4 Simple Steps for Ditching Paper
Did you know that, over the last 20 years, the use of paper products in the United States has grown by 126 percent to 208 million tons annually? But as sobering as this statistic is, there’s clearly value in going paperless. Here are some ways you can make it happen:
1. Notify Your Business Partners and Customers
You can’t go paperless in isolation. While the majority of the responsibility is on your own business and how you handle internal processes, there’s also something to be said for limiting the influx of paper from vendors, suppliers, clients, and shipping partners. By keeping them in the loop and providing them with alternative modes of exchanging information, you can do a better job of reaching your goals.
2. Remove Printers and Copiers
The fastest and most effective way to cut down on internal paper usage within your company is to quit cold turkey. You can do this by removing printers and copiers from the office and forcing employees to find other ways to communicate, store files, and share information. It might seem harsh, but it works.
3. Adopt the Right Digital Solutions
Use the money you get from selling all of your printers and copiers to adopt digital solutions that make your paperless mission easier and more practical. You’ll need a cloud solution to store digital files, file-sharing platforms for circulating information, and a scanning app that allows you to quickly digitize any existing paper that you run across. (CamScanner is a pretty awesome app for your smartphone.)
4. Reward Your Employees
Going paperless isn’t always easy for employees who rarely see the big-picture benefits of digitization. To get employees on board, use some sort of reward system to motivate them for their participation.
Now’s the Time to Act
It’ll be years before every business is paperless, but we’re getting closer and closer to a point in time where the majority of competitive, successful businesses are fully digitized. This isn’t something you want to get left behind on. Now’s the time to take action and get ahead of the curve.