In today’s highly digital world, one would think that most businesses would have left the paper-based way of doing work behind, but that is not so. A Xerox study found that 80 percent of companies want to create paperless processes and workflows, and other research points out that the average office worker generates about two pounds worth of paper and paperboard products every day. With the average worker using 10,000 sheets of paper a year, clearly, there is much room for progress on the paperless front. But why go paperless? Going paperless can help:
- Increase productivity
- Improve customer service
- Reduce operational costs
- Tighten security
- Reduce a company’s environmental footprint
Eliminate the Need to Search Through Physical Files
A survey shows that paper-based work environments lead to workers losing six or more hours searching for documents every week. Not only are your employees wasting time, but your business is losing productivity and profitability every minute they spend searching and sifting through stacks of paper. Paperless software – otherwise referred to as document management or content services – allows your employees to search for and retrieve documents instantly. Workers can scan documents, turn them into image files, and then convert them into searchable text images through OCR software, so search and retrieval are quick and easy. Users can enter the document management system, plug in any phrase, number, name, or date, and gain instant access to the relevant information.
Provide Faster Response Times and Improve Customer Service
The last thing a business wants to do is keep a customer waiting – especially in today’s world where customers want instant gratification. If your employee has to keep the customer waiting while he/she retrieves paper documents, you are already at risk of losing business. Document management software allows your employees to attend to customer needs rapidly by pulling up relevant information in a few moments. Faster turnaround times equals greater customer satisfaction.
Cut Paper-Based Expenses
Do a quick tally in your mind of all the pieces of equipment included in a paper-based environment: files, folders, cabinets, printers, ink, etc. Not only do you have to pay for the equipment itself, but you also have to pay for the space in which to house the equipment. A paperless environment transfers your documents either to a digital environment that you host on your premise or one in the cloud. In either scenario, you cut the costs of maintaining actual paper and reap the benefits of making this digital transformation.
Protect Your Data and Be Environmentally Conscious While Doing It
Moving to document management software simultaneously removes the risks associated with paper-based environments and also helps your business reduce its carbon footprint. The worldwide use of paper has risen 400% in the last 40 years, and paper manufacturing is a significant contributor to pollution. While electronic devices have an environmental impact, by going paperless, your business will be contributing to a global effort to reduce deforestation and the use of non-renewable energy sources.
Additionally, consider the risks all your paper data presents to your business. From fires to floods to human error and misplacement, paper-based data is never as secure as data stored digitally. Not only does document management software ensure your data is safe, it prevents the wrong eyes from getting access to documents. You can set protocols in your software system to ensure only the right employees have access to relevant documents.
Once the paper is digital, there is unlimited potential for automation. Digital documents contain data that can be extracted via OCR through data locators (regular expressions/format masks) or based on data in your ERP systems. That data not only can be used to index a document, but can also be used to run rules for workflow routing required for validations, approvals, or exception processing. This leads us to the concept of intelligent automation, which can connect separate automation technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, analytics, mobility, process automation, and information management.
Intelligent automation (IA) is similar to digital transformation in that it overhauls the way a business works. It can help humans better use their time, which in turn allows businesses to reduce inefficiencies. As the umbrella under which automation tools live, IA enables the automation of repetitive tasks, which enables humans to spend more time on tasks that require human-only attributes such as intuition or empathy. A combination of workflow, RPA, AI, and other tools integrate into a business that embraces IA for a smarter allotment of labor. This waterfall effect of technology and automation all starts with digitizing paperwork and generating useful information out of the documents.
If you think going paperless can help your business in these ways, contact All Star Software Systems today. We can help you move into the next era and leverage document management systems to transform your business.