The benefits of switching to an office based on electronic processes instead of paper-dependent ones are many.
There are plenty of time-saving advantages created when important files are accessible through typed search commands.A physical search and retrieval process is dependent on proper filing and far more prone to human error. Data entry automation allows employees to focus on more important tasks than the rote copying of information from paper to screen. And almost all of these processes help companies save money by significantly reducing spending on paper, ink and even big ticket items like printers and file cabinets.
One concept that trips up organizations interested in switching to a paperless office is the misplaced notion that such an operation has to completely eliminate physical documents. This idea can work for some businesses but is neither practical nor possible for many others. Depending on the industry, paper may be a legal requirement, and as the Tulsa World points out, paper can provide a sense of security in some very specific instances.
Companies should instead focus on limiting paper use to significantly reduce the amount of hard copies printed and stored during operations. Driving down the amount of physical documents that are necessary for regular business can have much the same effect as going completely paperless – improving efficiency and saving money – while still allowing for situations where printed items are necessary.
Improve customer relationships digitally and on paper
For some organizations, such as public records offices, banks and legal practices, having paper copies is a necessary part of business. Even if a company isn’t in one of those fields, it may still want to maintain important records on both the physical and digital planes. If a customer or business partner demands a hard copy, it will be easy enough to provide it. Maintaining these limited files can work in concert with electronic records, allowing more routine information to be located and provided to clients quickly, further enhancing customer service efforts.
Small and midsize business advice magazine SMB Now points out that a quick answer to a query from a purchaser can help positively differentiate a business and generate good feelings among customers. Businesses that want go paperless shouldn’t worry about completely eliminating hard copies, but instead focus on the time and cost savings they can realize.