Wondering why and how to go paperless?
In this guide, we’re going to be covering what it means to go paperless, how you should go about this practically, and other reasons operations teams should consider the paperless model.
Documents have a tendency to proliferate as your company grows.
If your organization needs to document all the processes in your office, you probably have many cabinets full of paper files.
Faxes, invoices, emails, new-hired forms, customer contracts, and reports alone can create chaos and disorder.
What’s the solution?
Proper document management.
Document management involves converting paper documents and files into electronic form for rapid storage, security, searching, and retrieval.
Essentially, it involved leaving behind all the paper-based operations. Therefore, going paperless.
Companies not only require large monitors, scanners, or a document management system to go paperless, but also a consensus decision from the entire team to execute tasks electronically.
Going paperless may appear to be a large investment at first. But in the long run, it will raise your productivity, improve customer service, lower operational expenses, tighten security, and help you become a more environmentally conscious firm. As we’ll cover below.
Now, for operations teams considering going paperless and adapting to a green office, here’s what we’ll cover:
- What Does A Paperless Office Look Like For Operations Teams?
- Why Go Paperless: 10 Convincing Reasons Operations Teams Should Consider
What Does A Paperless Office Look Like For Operations Teams?
The success of any major organization's IT estate largely depends on its operations team.
They are in charge of the applications and data centers on a day-to-day basis.
A single mistake in operations can lead to a series of events that affect the entire company.
As a result, all members of the operations team must ensure that papers and reports containing sensitive information are correctly managed.
This is where going paperless can be a wise decision.
A physical paper might be a major liability for your business. Documents can be misfiled, destroyed, or stolen, and sensitive files can be easily exploited. Keeping your files locked and shredding them isn't enough to maintain your customers' trust.
Your critical data and your customers' data are substantially safer when you use a paperless method. In addition to faster customer response, reduce staffing, and higher productivity, according to InformDecisions.
The paperless office is the first step in your company's digital transformation. It refers to the intentional elimination of paper from processes in order to increase efficiency.
A paper-based office allows everyone to access the same information. It is possible to provide each employee only the access they require in a paperless office.
A medical practice, for example, can limit the information that a front desk receptionist has access to while giving doctors unfettered access to medical records.
Now, that you know what a paperless office looks like, let’s take a look at why you should strongly consider going paperless as part of your operations.
Why Go Paperless: 10 Convincing Reasons Operations Teams Should Consider
Even though technology has made going paperless easier than ever, many businesses have yet to make the leap. Alternatively, many companies are still balancing paper and digital.
There is a great deal of ignorance about how paperless processes can offer tremendous benefits, and many people are terrified of the prospect of switching to new processes.
It is a fact, however, that going paperless has quite a few benefits, and removing paper from workflows and procedures is getting easier by the day.
Going paperless will help most operations team members such as the IT operation manager, or a cross-functional team of network and system engineers.
For operations teams considering going paperless, here are some of the best reasons why they should do so:
- Saving time.
- Reducing operational costs.
- Accessing data in real-time.
- Saving space.
- Strengthening the security of data management.
- Increasing operational efficiency.
- Enhanced sensitive information security.
- Observing regulations and industry-standard compliance.
- Mindfulness and better balance.
- Going green and helping the environment.
Now, let’s take a look at each in detail.
1. Saves time
According to the IDC whitepaper, handling paper waste leads to a 21.3% productivity loss.
You will save countless hours by staying paperless at work by avoiding sorting, printing, recycling, mailing, and filing documents.
Documents can be scanned and digitally filed, as well as produced and stored easily with paperless solutions.
By converting your records from paper to digital, you are improving your shareability, searchability, productivity, and reducing your storage space.
Digital files are also cloud-friendly, cost-effective, portable, and easy to sync across multiple devices.
By using the search capabilities of your digital filing system, you can easily locate any personal or business document you need without having to sift through stacks of paper.
And it’s just as easy to convert HTML documents into PDfs at scale with the right software.
2. Reduced operating costs
Going paperless can help you save money in a variety of ways.
Paper files, folders, and cabinets all take up space in offices, resulting in significant costs.
A document management system that scans and integrates documents would solve this problem while also saving money for other operations.
Paperless offices save money on everything from office supplies to paper, ink, printers, file folders, and even staff time spent processing vast amounts of paper.
More organization through paperless systems results in better sales tracking, inventory management, and accounting accuracy.
3. Accessing data in real-time
The operations team is expected to take up the challenges that lay ahead while producing detailed reports of day-to-day organizational operations.
These reports include data pertaining to production costs, records, resource expenditures, in-depth examinations of processes, and even accounting.
These reports are most beneficial when they provide highly granular data in real-time.
Paperless systems can make pulling up these reports faster and more accessible. This helps in making faster, better-informed decisions.
4. Saving space
Paper piles up in folders, which mount up in filing cabinets, which are heavy and cumbersome. And as your file collection grows, you'll need extra filing cabinets.
That takes up a lot of room, including extra storage space outside your facility!
Consider how much money you could save if you could get rid of that excess storage and instead use the office space for a conference room or an espresso machine.
As a cherry on top, you save time as well by instantly being able to track down and filter digital PDF documents.
5. Strengthening the security of data management
The files stored in digital form are clearly not at risk of being destroyed in a fire or stolen in a break-in.
To protect the personal information of the team members, measures can be taken to encrypt the data.
An engineer handling a particular client, for instance, may be prohibited from accessing a report by the manager.
Encrypting sensitive data digitally is much more feasible than storing sensitive files in secure vaults. Alternatively, you can set up user roles so that only the project manager can access certain, sensitive client data.
6. Increased efficiency
Any successful firm relies heavily on efficiency as part of their day-to-day office activities.
When you reduce the amount of time spent on manual work, your team can devote that time to more important, valuable tasks. As a result of going paperless, clerical tasks can be delegated and time can be spent on more important tasks.
Before, operational teams and employees would spend a lot of time on:
- Filling in.
- And managing paperwork.
All this becomes much more efficient, if not instant when working with documents digitally.
In automated systems, validation methods reduce errors and ensure complete data, allowing you to quickly and accurately enter information.
7. Enhanced security
Paper is subject to a variety of external influences, the most common of which are physical theft and physical damage (e.g. from water, fire, etc.).
Unwanted staff may also have access to sensitive documents.
Scanning confidential documents can be limited and restricted. This guarantees that important information is not visible to everyone.
Your company may easily comply with compliance laws if you have document management solutions in place. You have fast access to information when you need it, avoiding any penalties for violating federal or state restrictions.
Though, going paperless has some security challenges as well. Such as:
- Legal issues related to paperless payment processing and communications.
- Rendering software issues in the paperless payment processes and paperless communications.
- Storage and software security problems.
To learn how to overcome those software and security challenges, see our full guide to going paperless: legal, software & security challenges.
8. Observance of regulations and industry-standard compliance
Businesses are responsible for the data they collect about their customers.
Regulations have been put in place to ensure that all data is kept safe against a possible breach. These rules aid in maintaining consumer confidentiality and confidence.
In a paper-based system, complying with these standards is difficult. An open file on a desk, a customer who walks into a secure location, or a misplaced document all pose the possibility of a security breach and a problem for you.
With proper electronic document management system protections and safeguards, keeping sensitive information secure and up to regulatory standards is significantly easier. Your documents can be traced at any time thanks to an audit trail.
Additionally, you can set up user roles and management settings so that specific people with a specific role can access certain information and documents.
Working in a fast-paced atmosphere may be both thrilling and frustrating.
Going paperless can help alleviate some of the tension. A more pleasant workstation is created through less clutter, easy access to data and other assets, better security, and reduced busywork.
You can reduce paperwork confusion, and the worry of losing something vital, eliminate errors, and increase your organization's security.
You won't be able to eliminate all of the stress that comes with owning a business, but you can make it a lot easier.
Manually looking for paper copies and documents is not only time-consuming but also stressful if you have a lot of work to catch up on.
10. Going green and ESG benefits
Finally, by going paperless, you’ll be directly helping the environment by going green.
A typical business processes over 10,000 pieces of paper per year, which is the equivalent of a small tree.
Digitizing documents reduces the number of copies made, the amount of paper used, and the amount of money spent on consumables.
Furthermore, you can recycle all of the documents that you can now toss away, including new copies. Giving back to the environment benefits the entire world while also lowering the carbon footprint.
So, to recap, why go paperless?
- Boost team efficiency.
- Save a lot of money by reducing wasted space.
- Eliminate time spent hunting for paper.
- Simplify compliance needs (HIPAA, GDPR, ISO, and other industry-standard compliance).
- Improve client service and communication.
- And more.
Though going paperless might seem like a time-consuming task, it doesn’t have to be difficult. You don't have to make all of the changes at once. Even tiny reductions in daily paper usage will begin to yield cost benefits.
And to begin with, you can balance paper and digital as needed.
With the right document generation software, you can start automating manual tasks like:
- Document conversion (from HTML to PDF).
- Creating standardized documents from customer data.
- Generating documents at scale from secure storage.
- Integrate document generation software into your existing systems.
- And more.
Ready to go paperless? Or looking for more information on how document generation can help your company?
See our full guide to document generation API for more examples, practical use cases, and how you can benefit from going paperless with the right document management tools.