Businesses considering a move to paperless operations should note that the efficiency and cost improvements provided by these digital-first practices can lead to benefits in areas that may not have been considered beforehand.
While most organizations making the change are likely contemplating the direct financial improvements that come from not having to purchase large amounts of paper and associated supplies or the significantly reduced environmental impact, the concept of improved customer service may be less noticeable at first. While electronic document storage and automated forms may seem like internally focused practices that help employees and business partners, the efficiencies created spill over into benefits for customers as well.
Outright.com points out that businesses using a paperless office will no longer have to delay providing information to their clients and business partners because a physical record needs to be found. For businesses that have to keep lots of information on hand, like accountants and law offices, the changeover to searchable, instantly accessible documents means less waiting time for customers. This reduced lag will likely be recognized by patrons and can lead to repeat business if they realize the increased efficiency of operations.
Additionally, businesses providing electronic forms for customers to fill out online allow the completion of these items without an extra trip to a physical location, creating a sense of convenience and ease.
Although electronic documents facilitate the location and presentation processes, companies need to make sure they have a coherent and consistent internal organization structure in place. TechRadar points out that making a switch without having an electronic filing system in place can lead to the same problems that paper systems have. The good news is that once an management structure is decided upon, it’s far easier to implement and use continuously than a paper-based organizational system.