A Few Unconventional Reasons to Go Paperless
My livelihood is contingent upon me convincing clients to digitize their paper yet my company uses paper every day. Why is that? Going one-hundred percent paperless is a pipe dream for most. The fact remains that not all paper is created equal. Digitizing rarely accessed documents does not make business sense in a lot of cases.
On the flipside, going paperless can transform your business and save you a lot of hair pulling out. Here are a few things for you to consider if your documents have never seen the warm glow of a scanner.
1. Your competition is using it to their advantage.
Name an industry, any industry. The market leaders are using their documents to build advanced business processes, improve customer service, and cut costs in order to compete in the marketplace—against you. 5, 10 years behind? It’s okay! No one likes to be the first one to jump into the dark and murky water that is document management. The first movers are also the ones that make the first mistakes. Use those mistakes against them by not making the same ones.
2. Software is cheap now.
Electronic Document Management (EDM) systems were adopted by most large companies a decade ago. Only the Floyd Mayweathers of the world could afford them back then. Remember the 900 dollar VCRs or the 3,000 dollar vacuums? The same thing happened to the software industry. Once these systems made it a few steps up the product lifecycle bell curve, they became affordable to the masses. There are even some “free-ish” versions out there if you are just getting your toes wet.
3. Lost records.
Here is a story I hope you can’t relate to. A client called me during a difficult time. He is a public official in charge of a large collection of historical records. A less than tech-savvy individual wandered into his office in search of her parent’s marriage record from the 1920s. She found it. Then she proceeded to deposit it into to a large box that she thought was a copy machine. It was a paper shredder. That’s an interesting way to end a marriage.
4. Disasters happen all the time.
What would happen if you drove to the office tomorrow and a tornado had moved your building to another zip code? First, you probably need to watch the news more often, but more importantly, what if you lost access to your files forever? Would your business continue to exist? I live and work about 45 minutes from New Orleans. I have seen businesses decimated by natural disasters. Call me a fear monger if you want, but I don’t want you to be one of those people that have to helplessly watch their filing cabinets float away on the 6 o’clock news.
5. Office? Who needs one?
Warning: contradictory statement coming in hot. I am literally sitting in my office writing this piece of tech-poetry. But the fact remains that more and more people are working from home. Paralleling this movement is the need for anywhere access to documents. If you have a distributed workforce and paper-based processes, getting anything done is like herding cats.
I hope you enjoyed these less than conventional reasons to go paperless. Let me know if you'd like to discuss going paperless in your office.