Now is the perfect time to think about changes you can make around your business to reduce your environmental impact. While there are many earth-friendly practices you could implement, there’s one change you can make that will have a positive impact on the environment and on your bottom line: going paperless.
Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to collaborate digitally instead of by sharing paper documents, so now’s the perfect time to ride that wave and create a paperless workplace.
What does it mean to go paperless?
Essentially, there are two steps to going paperless. The first step is to reduce your reliance on paper by digitizing your documents, and the second step is to maintain your new paperless environment by securely storing, sharing and managing your digital documents using document management software. Implementing a digital mail room is the final step in going paperless as it stops paper from entering your organization at the point of entry and digitizes it for distribution.
Organizing existing documents
Having your documents digitized is simple when you work with a trusted document management partner. They’ll systematically prep, scan, and index each document, creating crisp digital images that can be easily stored and managed with document management software. Not only are digital documents easy to store, but they’re easy to access, too. Whether they’re on the road or working remotely, your team will be able to access documents in the cloud from any authorized computer or mobile device.
Documents of all sizes can be digitized, including oversize blueprints and engineering drawings. Specialized scanners even make quick work of scanning delicate bound books that could be damaged by a flatbed scanner.
Keeping the paper from piling up
Once the documents you already have are digitized, you’ll just have to handle the ones that continue to come in by mail and email. That’s where a digital mailroom comes in. With digital mailroom services, incoming mail is received at a dedicated PO box, then brought to a document scanning facility where it’s prepped, scanned, and indexed. The end result? Digital images of each document provided to you for storage in your document management system.
Digital mailroom services can also be used to manage incoming email. Your incoming email is directed to a monitored email inbox and goes through a quality-controlled data capture process. From there, the captured data is ready to be loaded into your business systems or kick off a workflow, totally eliminating the need for you to waste paper by downloading and printing emails and attachments.
Going paperless wastes fewer resources
Did you know that trees aren’t the only resource that’s used to produce and distribute paper? It takes electricity and other energy to process wood into paper, to transport paper to companies, and to distribute paper, for example by mail or by courier. The less paper you use in your business, the better it will be for the Earth. Practicing sustainability also attracts loyal customers who want to do support businesses that are socially responsible.
Need some more concrete reasons? Here are five earth-friendly reasons to go paperless for Earth Day:
- Prevent unnecessary deforestation by using less paper
- Lessen the energy required to cut down trees and manufacture, transport, copy, and store paper
- Decrease the emissions of paper factories as well as the trucks, trains, and planes that transport paper to you
- Reduce emissions from distributing paper documents by mail or courier
- Shrink your business’ carbon footprint and get closer to qualifying for green business tax incentives
Less paper means better efficiency
There’s much more to celebrate in addition to the earth-friendly factor of going paperless. Without paper documents holding you back, your business processes will go much more smoothly without the bottlenecks that are common when a coworker is out of the office or when a document is buried in a pile on someone’s desk. That’s because digital document management enables you to set up automated workflows that seamlessly transition between steps in a process and provide helpful alerts when documents are missing or actions are delayed.
In addition, being able to easily search for documents with a keyword instead of digging through filing cabinets cuts back on wasted staff time, allowing your team to spend their time on more critical work that adds value to the business.
Digital document management is more secure
It’s difficult to store paper documents securely. Not only can they easily get into the wrong hands, but they’re also susceptible to disasters like fire and flooding. Keeping digital documents secure, on the other hand, is easy thanks to redundant backups and customization levels of permissions.
Storing less saves on real estate costs
Real estate is expensive, so it’s a waste of money to use your valuable square footage to store documents. Digitizing your documents frees up the space you’re currently using for file storage, allowing you to repurpose the space for revenue generating activities instead.
Ready to do your part for the Earth and go paperless in your office? Here’s how to choose a document management partner to help you go paperless.