Document management issues result in a 21% productivity decline. Employees waste hours looking for the necessary document in filing cabinets or recreating lost files. They often don’t know whether the required document is stored in paper or digital format, complicating the search.
Such problems contribute to the growing popularity of document management services. Software vendors release dozens of products for paperless document management designed to simplify businesses’ lives with the advantages of paperless billing. According to Statista, in 2023, document management systems market revenue will amount to $6.78 billion.
Yet, despite the effective digital solutions, companies cannot just eliminate paper. They still have to deliver some documents offline, print them on request, or provide physical copies. Therefore, it’s essential to find the balance between paper and digital.
If you are wondering about the best way to manage paper and digital documents in your company, find the answer in our blog.
Advantages of Paperless Billing vs. Offline Documents
Automated digital invoice template generation has become more popular than paper bill payments, but offline still remains preferable for some types of documents.
Paper copies are sometimes better for legal documents since they feel more reliable for many businesses and customers. The hiring process paperwork is also frequently kept offline. Many managers like to print out CVs and other documentation for note-taking. It’s more convenient to leave notes in writing than to type them in Google Docs during an interview. Besides, all level employees still use paper planners for personal notes.
In other cases, digital invoice templates, bills, agreements, and other documents are used. They are more cost-efficient and easy to handle.
Check out the advantages of paperless billing and documents vs. paper documentation to compare.
Advantages of Paperless Billing and Documentation
- Cost-efficiency is one of the primary advantages of paperless billing. Transition to electronic documentation allows businesses to save on document printing and offline delivery.
- Faster processing. Since digital invoice templates, electronic bills, and other online documentation are easy to reuse and edit, employees need less time to handle them. Besides, if you fully automate document management, the software will automatically generate documentation and deliver it to the necessary recipients.
- Improved security due to the reduced risk of mail identity theft and managed access to documentation. Using electronic document services and invoice generators, you can specify access permissions and log any interactions with data.
- Reduced carbon footprint. If you care about ecology, it may be one of the most significant advantages of paperless billing and online billing statements. Paperless document management allows you to cut paper use and comply with carbon footprint regulations.
Advantages of Offline Documents Management
- Essential to stay regulatory compliant in some cases. Customers can request to receive bills, invoices, and other critical documentation offline. That’s when you need to switch from digital invoices templates delivered online to postal address delivery to stay regulatory compliant. If customers don’t mind getting paperless billing statements and invoices to pay their bills electronically, there is no need to send offline copies.
- More familiar for conservative industries. Many customers and business partners still want to get print copies of legal, financial, and healthcare documents.
- Convenient for brainstorming and note-taking. Print documents are more illustrative and help people to better process and record information. Therefore, offline is preferable to work on agreement drafts, brainstorm ideas, or support presentations.
Five Steps to Keep the Balance Between Paper and Digital
The balance between paper and digital varies among organizations. Small businesses with fewer operational processes and regulatory responsibilities can quickly go paperless. Large corporations will need more paper documents to send invoices, monthly bills, paper statements, and other communications.
Here are five simple steps that will help a business manage paper and digital documents:
#1. Differentiate what documents you store in paper and what should be digital
83% of employees must recreate the documents that already exist as they cannot find them. If this is your case, you should start with an audit. Before implementing any new document management practices, make sure you know the current situation. To do this, list all the types of documents processed in your company (e.g., financial documents, customer communications, agreements, free invoice templates, etc.) After you specify them, indicate what documentation is processed in paper and digital forms. This should help you standardize document management and easily go through the next steps.
#2. Consider what documents are mandatory to keep in paper form
Depending on the industry you operate in, your activities fall under specific regulations. This is particularly true for healthcare, finances, and utilities. If you belong to one of these fields, you will need to keep the physical copies of agreements or deliver some kinds of communications, like invoices, utility bills, or medical records, offline. Hence, you need to figure out when offline documentation is required by law to balance between paper and digital.
#3. Digitize the paper documents you don’t have to store offline
Onсe you know what documents must be stored offline, it’s time to digitize those you can make paperless. Implement a document management policy in your team to guide employees on how to handle documentation. They need to know about the implemented changes and adhere to the new rules in the future.
#4. Adopt a digital rendering platform to automate paper and digital document management
Regardless of whether you can go entirely paperless or need to combine paper and digital formats, rendering software is a must. Thanks to HTML to PDF conversion, rendering tools can generate any kind of documents and automatically store them in the system. They convert HTML digital invoice templates to neat PDFs with 100% accuracy, saving all the payment terms, due dates, business logos, and other details.
Apart from document generation and archiving, Inkit’s Render allows you to automatically deliver documents online and offline. This makes it a perfect option for businesses that need both paper and digital communications.
#5. Ask customers’ opinion on the format of communications and set up the software accordingly
The choice between paper and digital isn’t only about document storage. It’s also about the ways to stay in touch and exchange information with customers. To know the preferable format of customer communications, you will have to ask people. Let your customers select between paper bills, invoices, letters, and notices or electronic messages.
Based on their preferences, you will be able to configure document delivery and personalize communication for each customer. This step will help you balance paper and digital, improve regulatory compliance, and increase customer satisfaction.
How to Balance Paper and Digital with Inkit’s Render
Inkit is a reach enablement platform (REP) with rendering capabilities for paper and digital documents. It converts HTML files from your database to PDFs and automatically stores them in the cloud for record-keeping. Any employee with access permission can easily retrieve the necessary file. This will save time and save money compared to manual document processing.
Thanks to ultimate automation and multiple integrations supported, you can choose to send generated PDFs electronically or forward them for printing and delivery. The document management is based on triggers and, therefore, highly customizable.
Excited to test Inkit in your organization? Contact us to get the demo.