Why Your Business Should Go Paperless in 2014
If you run a successful business, it can be difficult to justify a change. The phrase “don’t fix what isn’t broken” is of particular comfort to business owners whose old school methods have been beneficial despite recent technological developments. However, adapting to changing market conditions and employing new assets are fundamental to business survival. One of the most potent ways to keep pace with the pack is to go paperless in 2014. In this post, we’ll outline a handful of reasons why you should consider going paperless this year.
Improved Efficiency and Productivity
In business, time truly is money. Lost man-hours spent sifting through paperwork can compromise time spent on more productive endeavors. To this end, paperless solutions are the epitome of streamlined operation. By choosing the right platform, your management team, employees, and customers can reap the benefits of improved access and better organization. Furthermore, the time spent maintaining filing cabinets and tracking down lost records is a thing of the past thanks to databases and digital search.
Less Errors = Happier Customers
And while saving time is an attractive prospect, perhaps the most important aspect of a paperless office is reduced error. Information entered into a digital form is stored in plain text, eliminating errors due to handwriting. Databases can be backed up, eliminating errors due to lost records. The net result of paperless systems is less customer confusion, greater confidence in your ability to handle their requests, and a smoother, more pleasant experience.
More Responsive Customer Service
With paper records, there is a potential, even a likelihood, for requests, particularly urgent requests, to fall through the cracks. Paper records are stored in filing cabinets and not brought to the attention of staff members without conscious human acknowledgement. In this way, paperless helps alleviate the mental burden of workers and the pain of dissatisfied customers. Through automated alerts, workflow systems, and better records monitoring, paperless solutions provide a dynamic look at your existing customer base and provide both metrics and awareness that can be leveraged into improvement.
In the age of “Big Data”, this capability cannot be over-stated. Customer expectations are rising daily, and businesses are looking for better ways to respond to their needs without the arduous, and obnoxious, undertaking of asking them daily. By analyzing customer orders, employee schedules, and even company payroll, you can better streamline your business operations and deliver a tailored product or service, all without the hassle of trial-and-error attempts.
Paper Costs More to Maintain
Contrary to common belief, expensive computer systems and effective software solutions are actually less costly to maintain than paper records. Each paper record must be stored in a physical location that have a sufficient volume of business and whose records multiply quickly. Physical storage solutions like filing cabinets and boxes consume a large footprint of existing store space, compounded as the volume of records increases. Paperless takes all of this additional space needed, and compresses it into a single server, reducing overhead from property costs.
But space is not the only issue of paper-powered workplaces. Paper schedules, checks, training, and requests can all be lost in the fray of a busy workday. The time lost and anxiety that comes from this unnecessary challenge can lead to worker turnover, aside from already being expensive. Paperless solutions, particularly mobile ones provide de-localized, accurate, and collaborative environments that help alleviate these burdens and lead to happier workers and business owners.
Paperless is More Secure
Even with locking, fireproof, “indestructible” file cabinets, paperless provides a more secure solution to office record keeping. While filing cabinets can provide robust anti-theft measures to help secure documents, natural disasters and determined criminals are still capable of finding entry, rendering the solution a liability in keeping customer and employee information safe.
Paperless helps mitigate these security risks through two key solutions. First of all, paperless systems can be backed up to a de-localized location, which means that flood waters and fire do nothing to compromise the integrity of your vital data. Second, paperless systems utilize encryption that takes sensitive information and codes it in an unreadable format, making all but the most sophisticated efforts at data theft ineffectual at best.
And between these measures, it’s difficult to understand why anyone would opt for a paper solution. The vast benefits of improved operations and reduced costs greatly outweigh the challenge of initial investment. If your business is still working with paper, make 2014 the year you switch. Your workers, costs, product, and customers will all thank you for the change.