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Moving from Paper-focused to Paperless: Document Management and ERP software

in: Company News

A while back, we took a look at the true cost of NOT considering document management and how Sage 300 ERP can simplify the document management process. You can learn more here. You may still find yourself wondering what it even means to be paperless and what impact that can truly have on your business, so let’s take a closer look.

What is “Paperless”?

Notice, we didn’t say “paperFREE” but “paperLESS.” There is a misconception that going paperless means eliminating paper altogether. Although some paper documents are necessary, there is opportunity to substantially reduce paper use, and this comes with a focus on using less and less.

Why is it so important to use less paper? There are environmental, organizational/ financial, and security benefits to going paperless.

-Environmental Benefits of Going Paperless:

The average office worker in the United States uses 10,000 sheets (1.2 trees) of copy paper each year. Four million tons (96 million trees) of copy paper are used each year in the United States. To put it into visual terms, that is enough paper to build a wall that is 10 feet high that could stretch all the way from Tokyo to New York! If the United States cut office paper use by just 10 percent, it would prevent the emission of 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gases. To put this into perspective, this would be just as impactful as taking 280,000 cars off the road! Now take into consideration that 7.5 percent of all documents get lost, 3 percent get misfiled, and the average document gets copied 19 times. The amount of unnecessary waste that occurs with the normal operations of a paper-based company is significant on a global basis. Imagine what a significant and positive impact we could have on the environment simply from becoming more paperless.

-Organizational/ Financial Benefits of Going Paperless:

If each worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year, that’s more than 833 sheets per month. This translates to potentially 833 chances for secure information to be incorrectly edited, stored, or deleted. The dollars associated with the paper and ink is actually minor compared with the cost of handling and processing the information on the documents, and errors are costly, too. Going paperless means allowing employees more time to focus on their jobs instead of on organization of documents and error correction.  

-Security Benefits of Going Paperless:

Threats to document security can come from human errors and natural disasters alike. Instead of having a Human Resources department worry about where confidential employee documents are that must be retained or how to dispose of them safely when the time comes, going paperless allows this information to be safely stored electronically. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires, floods, and tornadoes can damage, ruin, and mix up paper documents. Just because they are filed away in a sturdy cabinet or locked in a closet of boxes does not mean they are safe. Should a disaster strike, companies with paperless document management solutions in place won’t have to worry about their electronic files. Don’t risk it! Consider going paperless, and rest assured that your critical data will be kept safe.

There are document management solutions that can be the answer to managing documents without the need for paper versions of all of them. To best understand how you can take full advantage of a paperless solution, you need to wholly understand document management. We will take a closer look at what document management is next week. In the meantime, if you are in need of more information or assistance to address your needs to go paperless, please contact us here at Mindover Software. We offer a document management solution called Doc-Link that can help you go paperless and that seamlessly integrates with your existing ERP software.