5 Reasons to Dump the Paper
It is interesting that with all the computer technology and capabilities we have for managing information that so many companies are still tied to paper files. So, let’s consider what some of the downfalls to paper are.
1. Take up space: probably the biggest problem with paper is the amount of space they take up. A typical file cabinet will occupy 9 square feet. Now take that and multiply it by the number of cabinets you have in the office that are not part of your desk. So, a typical office/company with 100 people will have approximately 100 file cabinets, but probably more. That is 900 square feet you are paying for at $10 a square foot (adjust for your price, probably much higher) is $9000 a year just for the file cabinets. Of course, most companies also have a massive storage room(s) of boxes for past years documents like PO’s and Invoices, etc.
2. Accessing these documents: The next problem is accessing these documents. If you have paper stored everywhere how much time do people spend go and getting a file. It is estimated that employees spend about 20% of their day just looking for information. Just think, every five days you could recover a full day of productivity if you had immediate access to the documents and workflows in place.
3. Controlling access: The flip side of having access is controlling access to the documents and know who has accessed a file or made a copy of it. So, without extremely tight controls it is almost impossible to keep files from being copied and kept. The other problem with this is having to go thru another employee to get to the file. This causes double the loss of productivity.
4.Copies of documents: Paper files beget paper files. As part of number 2 in problems getting to a file, personnel invariably make their own copies of a file they feel they need access too. So now we get into item number 1 of increasing the amount of space taken up by paper files by everyone wanting to have their own copy. And then this also leads to item 3 in the loss of control of who has access. Outside of paper you may have a file share, and everyone is making their own filing system on the share and have their own copies. This is just increasing the amount of storage required.
5.Printing and Copier costs: With paper files you are continually facing the costs associated with printing the document originally and then with multiple people wanting their own copy, either printing it again or making a copy.
Take a break from your paper and solve all these problems with a document management system.
All your files in a document management system with your files on a disk somewhere in the computer room saving a dramatic amount of space.
Immediate access to all your documents in a way that makes sense.
Searching by the name of an employee and receiving every document you have access to, or
Searching by a vendor name, a PO number,
Search by document types of: Contract, Resume, Invoice, etc.
Search any of the above by a date range
This is just part of what you get beyond just using a file server to store images.
Access controlled not just by the group a person is in, but are they the Department manager, or project manager so they can only see Project documents that they are assigned to, or employee documents of a certain type that are in their department.
Multiple Copies of documents are eliminated. Everyone can access documents in the manner that makes sense to them based on the metadata (properties) assigned to a document.
Sales – can see the orders by customers assigned to them only.
Sales Management – can see the orders for everyone on their sales team.
Company Management – can see all the orders for a given time period.
No Printing required – with everyone having access to the documents they need immediately there is very little need to print or copy documents.
Markups of in process documents can be done in the software and then applied to the original.
Electronic signatures can be used instead of wet signatures.
With no printing, or greatly reduced printing, you can eliminate many of your printers, toner, and paper costs.
If you would like help evaluating your current document management/control processes click on the link below and schedule a 20 minute call with us.