Electronic document storage and management practices provide plenty of advantages to the businesses that use them, reducing spend on supplies and saving time for employees trying to find documents.
Depending on current paper-dependent practices, the switch to digital storage and access can create some significant efficiencies. One extreme example that may help organizations understand the pains that paper can create is the case of agenda delivery for the Fowlerville, Mich. village council. Until the board switched to paperless distribution in early March, agendas were physically printed and carried from town offices in police cruisers for delivery to board members, according to local news source LivingstonDaily.
Saving money and time
While postage, envelopes and other associated costs are often cited as part of the hidden price tag of utilizing paper, the use of police officers’ time, as well as their vehicles, adds another dimension to the financial obligations of delivering information via hard copy. In all, officers spend about an hour delivering the agendas each month.
Besides reducing the unnecessary burden on local law enforcement providers, the switch will save money on the traditional costs of printing. Fowlerville council member David Kuehn said that the annual cost just for printing and assembling meeting agendas is roughly $2,000, and this price doesn’t include the use of police time and resources for delivery.
The paperless process decided upon by the council will also facilitate the presentation of information in a variety of formats, including PowerPoint presentations and other graphically oriented displays. Council members will be given tablets as part of the change, allowing easy access to documents ahead of time. This format for document distribution also allows more time for preparation and review on the part of participants.
What to consider
Although most government boards and agencies won’t be able to reduce payroll hours for the local police department by going paperless, there are definite cost and time savings that can be realized from the switch. Productivity site MakeUseOf points out that a variety of time-saving processes, from electronic signatures to overall document management strategies, areall within reach for businesses and organizations of any size.
For municipal boards and committees, the biggest efficiency enhancer is likely the ability to distribute agendas, presentations and other documents without having to print them. Besides increasing ease of access, this cuts down on administrative employees having to print and prepare materials.