“20% to 40% of a worker’s time is wasted searching for documents.” – Coopers & Lybrand
Most business owners are inured to paper clutter. To them, the paper stacks from faxes, invoices, bills, legal documents, memos and manuals are natural parts of business. However, each piece of paper needs to be managed, read, filed, retrieved, entered into software and disposed of. This clutter is actually symptom of inefficiency and is cutting into company momentum and profitability.
So, why have so many businesses still not made the switch to paperless operations? Here are
some of the most common reasons:
1. Bad Habits
Since the invention of the office copier, office products dealers have been working to install a copier on every floor and in every department. Employees have developed social norms, business practices and habits around these devices throughout the past 60 years. Ninety percent of the companies that can benefit from paperless offices are still tied to the 1960’s method printing, copying and filing.
When employees learn that using secure libraries of indexed, searchable and sharable electronic information will save them time and hassle, they’ll welcome the change.
2. Analysis Paralysis Businesses often fall into analysis paralysis because of the scope of converting all their documents to an electronic format. As a result, this transition often ends up languishing in the backwater of company priorities, despite the clear benefits it provides.
The advances in the document capture and conversion industry have dramatically reduced the amount of time it takes to capture and manage unstructured data. These systems are implementable in stages to allow you to avoid interrupting your business operations.
3. The Big Stall
After businesses invest a lot of time and energy in the discovery process and realize that an investment is required, they often stall. This is born out of the assumption that they have to implement a paperless office all at once – what I call “The Big Bang Theory.”
4. Cultural Barriers
Change threatens the status quo. Some people will always want the form and feel of paper, some might resist the perceived learning curve, and others might be territorial about their data.
Fortunately, going paperless simply reduces the volume of paper. It does not mean that your office will never use a shred of paper again.
Every company wants to find a way to reduce paper, encourage collaboration and manage document compliance. Many of the barriers to removing paper boil down to misconceptions. Despite the resistance, when you compare the business and cultural barriers against the need for improved efficiency and reduced operating costs, the value and ROI of a paperless office is as straightforward as they come. All you need to do is to take the next step.
Milner is a technology services company providing a full spectrum of office solutions and services that enable organizations of all sizes to improve efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. Contact us today for a complimentary assessment to help you better evaluate your options.