In any business, communication is very important. Communication is not only vital with the customers, but also within the company. There are different modes of communication, and most of them are paper-based. Along with these, there are paper documents involved in every business. From financial statements to receipts and bills, these documents need to maintained in an organized and secure environment. Maintaining paperwork is really challenging, and it requires immense time, efforts and can slow down business processes. Technology has influenced all aspects of business, and with evolving technology; business environments have also changed drastically. Now, business processes are integrated with technology, and companies are continuously trying to make their operations paperless.
Businesses are victim to several myths when it comes to adopting technology for their offices. One of the most commonly found myths is that creating paperless business environment is expensive and increases operating cost of the company. But, this is not the case and if adopted correctly paperless workflow environments help you save money. By transforming the working environment into paperless, companies can save thousands of dollars they pay for printing and eliminate cost related to printers, cartridges, ink and paper. When calculated over a long period of time, for example like a year, the savings are really significant.
Another myth is that businesses need to purchase complex and expensive software solutions to go paperless. Well, software is a great way of building a paperless work environment, but it’s not the only way and buying expensive software is not the only solution. Scopes of paperless work environments are not constricted to use of software; in fact, software is not an optimum solution for all business environments. Paperless software solutions need to be customized depending on the size, nature and operations of an organization.
When companies implement software for their business processes, they need to ensure that their employees completely understand the software, its features and functions. Business cannot risk losing their customers due to complex paperless software solutions, as it will undoubtedly cost them business revenue. Hence, companies need to consider lot of points before opting for expensive off the shelf paperless software solutions.
Going paperless influences several aspects of an organization, and its prime benefits include –
- Cost Effective – Storage of paper documents is a time and cost consuming task. One of the major costs involved is the storage costs, especially for offices located in big cities. Also, paper documents increase by the day, and the storage costs also increase proportionately. Costs related to printing are also significant in every organization, and going paperless reduces these costs too.
- Productivity – As employees do not spend time sifting through papers and organizing them, their time and efforts can be utilized for more better and productive business processes.
- Security – Paper documents are vulnerable to damages and face several risks of theft and destruction. From disasters like fire and flood to physical damage, confidential and sensitive documents also face risk of being accessed by other people. By opting for paperless solutions, businesses can add an additional layer of security for their important documents. Thus, it enables them to restrict access to selective people and also protect from untoward hazards.
- Consistency – Any business can function smoothly only when all their processes work consistently. By opting for paperless solutions, businesses can create a standard format for their processes and ensure consistency. Also, these solutions make it easier to comply with legislations and industry standards related to book keeping.
- Environment friendly – With the world going eco-friendly, businesses should not miss an opportunity to transform their working environment. Digitization reduces consumption of paper, and reduces the carbon footprint of the company. These efforts also go a long way in making the world greener.
- Management – By going paperless, businesses can easily manage their digital documents. From searching and sorting to instant access, paperless management of documents makes it very easy to handle the documents.
For small businesses, adopting complex paperless software may not be feasible, in terms of functionality and price. From PDF forms to digital stamps, emails to digital documents, there are several solutions that businesses can customize, design and program as per their requirement. Going paperless is not about expense; it is about integrating technology into the business environment and finding effective ways to reduce consumption of paper in their organization.
Organizations, across sectors, are moving towards paperless practices and making their environment more productive and effective. But, the transition is still in its early stage. There is still a lot of apprehension amongst businesses and their approach towards going paperless. With the growing dependence on technology, businesses can no longer isolate their business processes. For businesses, the key is to start somewhere, and adopt the digital ways of documenting as fast as they can.