While businesses using hard-copy documents and physical storage is a longstanding tradition, in recent years scanning files and going for a paperless business communication model is now becoming a growing trend.
Paperless document management can serve as a great advantage for businesses in helping to extend their marketing reach, however one of the primary reasons businesses use a paperless system is for how much they can save on their expense budget.
Including both direct as well as subtler indirect costs, paper-based document management has always come with financial baggage for required resources, however now these strategies are slowly becoming outdated as new, more efficient and affordable paperless storage and management systems are instead becoming the norm.
Here’s a few of the greatest cost savings paperless businesses can take advantage of, and just how big of a difference a digital conversion can make for a business compared to hard-copy document management.
Saving Valuable Office Space
Used for employees, machinery, and supply storage, office real estate is a valuable commodity to businesses across nearly industry. With the rise of virtual offices, when a business ever has an opportunity to free up office space—whether by more efficiently using the space or trimming the fat to clear out room—they’re likely to seize the chance to devote space to higher priority needs.
Given that the estimated national average for the cost of office space sits at roughly $23 per square foot, the reasons for businesses to focus on most efficiently using space extends beyond just a streamlined workflow and includes financial incentives as well.
When square footage in the office is dedicated to storage spaces such as shelves of files or filing cabinets, the monthly $23 for every square foot that these spaces consume is nothing more than another expense for businesses to factor into their monthly budget.
While on one hand hard-copy document storage creates an ongoing expense, when businesses instead turn to paperless document management via document scanning and digital conversion services, the storage space needed can be reduced to the size of a single computer.
By freeing up the office space and business furniture previously used for physical file storage, a business can fill the area with revenue-generating employees who, rather than being another monthly fee that comes out of the business’s budget, can instead be an asset that brings money in.
Reducing and Eliminating General Document Management Costs
Maintaining hard-copy document storage comes with several caveats for businesses—such as ensuring files remain organized, spending the time to track down misfiled documents, and then afterwards needing to refile the document after use.
While each can slow down workflow and waste time, paperless document management strategies provide solutions to each problem. Document indexing systems keep documents organized and easily accessible for employees, and because the documents are digital files, needing to remove documents to use them can also be eliminated.
A good example of the contrast between the two is when businesses need to copy and distribute documents.
With paper on one hand, while in the moment making copies of papers to distribute for office meetings or for individual reference may not seem like a large or significant expense, over time the costs using paper can stack up. Naturally, there’s the greater direct cost of needing to buy more paper, but there’s also the subtler expenses like disposing the potentially sensitive information that’s being distributed.
The more paper businesses use, the more they’ll need to shred documents as well. As the amount of paper increases, eventually shredding services will become the more cost-efficient option—although still another expense to keep in mind.
Paperless businesses on the other hand can again resolve these cost concerns in one fell swoop. Electronic documents can be copied with two clicks of a mouse rather than two buttons on a copy machine and then easily distributed via email. Similarly, disposing and deleting digital files doesn’t require running them through a shredder, and can likewise be taken care of with just a few clicks.
Lower Cost of Labor
The phrase “time is money” is well-known, and when it comes to paperless versus paper-based businesses the term is particularly relevant.
Stemming from the general operating costs of hard-copy document storage and management, businesses also need to consider the labor costs that come with maintaining the system. Because of the time required to retrieve, refile, and locate misplaced documents, many opt for hiring a single document manager to simplify the process, however this once again is a cost that a paperless business can sidestep.
With file indexing from paperless document management systems, files are organized upon entry to the system, and because they can be quickly accessed, distributed, and never need to be removed from their place for use by employees, businesses can cut out the middleman of needing an employee to individually manage company documents and records.
Furthermore, with a streamlined system for using documents, the labor costs for all other employees can similarly be cut down, as the time needed to track down files on their own is also vastly reduced—as a result leading to long-lasting savings for paperless businesses.
Sharing Organization Knowledge
When companies go paperless, they can keep everything in their document storage system. This stops information from getting stuck on physical paper or notes, making your business sustainable. Rather, everything that is essential to the business’ success is stored online and ready to share with anyone in the company. When a company can share information with employees and executives faster, solutions and technical knowledge are easy to access. Whenever there is a company update, it is much easier to share and disseminate information across the organization by going paperless.