3 Reasons to Become a Paperless Organization
Businesses face the challenge of keeping up with technological advancements in today’s ever-changing market conditions. One way to move your company in the right direction is to go paperless. How will your company actually benefit from completing this milestone? We’re going to give you the top 3 reasons your organization should become paperless.
Increased Productivity Through Information Accessibility and Process Automation
The first reason to take your company paperless is to enable you and your staff to access greater opportunities with more accurate and reliable information. By using a digital filing system, your staff can have the ability to access information from anywhere. Information access points become centralized, eliminating the need for a hard copy filing system or support staff to manage all the paper. The cost savings alone could open new opportunities allow that would allow the organization to expand into other regions nationally or internationally.
Additionally, you can also design your digital filing system to include workflow automation features that can create efficiencies for repeatable and typically manual tasks. As an example, an Oilfield Services company that operates on a limited budget with its customers might have to manually keep track of their cash flow. With process automation, they could have all of their purchase orders calculated against the total budget allotment and notify specific employees when budgets are at risk of running low. In addition, the system could notify management if project burn rates are abnormal from previous seasons or if specific trends in cash-flow are identified.
Informed Decision Making Capabilities Through Data Capture and Analysis
When your business is small and intimate, though not a small feat, it can be a simple task to maintain visibility on all facets of your organization. However, as the organization begins to grow, and more compartmentalization is required, it can be a daunting task to predict potential outcomes when making decisions that can impact multiple areas within the business.
By design, automated systems can capture specific data that can outline Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), that can be vital to making a decision. For instance, a restaurant could collect data on how long it takes a customer to receive their meal from the time that they order their drinks. This could tell the front of house manager that they need to add additional serving staff or cook staff. Food order analysis could collate how many customers order appetizers and which items are the most popular. As a result, the head chef could look at updating the menu.
Businesses have a greater chance to optimize, and in a lot of cases, improve current business processes. A Human resource department can determine shortcomings in employee proficiency and competencies by tracking customer feedback data, workplace injury incidents, or task completion times. This new information could help action learning and development programs to reduce costs for a business and increase workplace safety conditions.
Increased Return on Investment Through Operational Efficiencies and Reduced Office Expenses
There’s something to be said about the efficient use of time. When time equals money, outside of human factors, it’s often the little things that can add up to major cost burdens on the organization.
As one example, in an analog world where patients and health consultants are required to fill out paper forms with each visit, let’s assume that the time that it takes to catalog, capture, or retrieve that information for patient visits might be 5 additional minutes per task per visit. That would be about 15 additional minutes on top of the time that it takes to conduct the consultation with the patient. In this scenario, where a patient visit typically takes 20 minutes, in an eight-hour day, that would limit each health consultant to only 12 patients per day (taking into account lunch and breaks) providing that consultant was operating at full optimal capacity and all of the patients were on time. Now, if you removed the need to catalog and retrieve the patient information manually, you could shave 5-6 minutes off of that time and add an additional patient to each consultant. The increased capacity seems small on a 1 to 1 ratio, multiplied by the number of consultant staff and clinics that the organization might have, an additional five to thirty patients per day might make a significant impact the top line revenue of the organization depending on its current size.
Finally, the most obvious reason to go paperless is not only to increase an organization’s sustainability factor, reduce waste, and reduce its carbon footprint, but also reduce the overall cost of consumable office supplies such as paper, printer inks, writing utensils, file folders, etc. An office could even maximize its space by removing traditional file storage infrastructure to make room for a new office or additional customer space.
It’s not an easy decision to make changes to your organization that could require a significant investment of time, effort, and resources. In this case, the long-term benefits could impact the organization in many positive ways. These benefits sound insignificant in the short-term but the long-term impacts will make inroads to future opportunities which would have otherwise been unavailable to the organization.