A new study conducted by Wakefield Research and Infotrends has revealed the extent of the printing crisis in small to medium-sized businesses. Printing and other paper-based activities are still flourishing in the corporate office, despite new eco technologies, and the main offenders are those in HR departments, legal offices and accounting firms.
The studies show just how dependent businesses are on paper for daily routines – with 73% of owners and decision makers at companies with less than 500 employees print at least four times a day. Paper is still a major part of the workflow in many sectors, including legal and HR.
The Research Vice President of Gartner, Ken Weilerstein, says that companies have tried to go paperless but failed to eliminate it altogether. Today, he says employees print an average of 400 pages per month – that’s A LOT of paper. He says many companies have figured out the easiest ways to “go paperless” by scanning and storing documents online, but it wasn’t possible to eradicate all in-house printing and scanning completely.
The trouble with implementing a paperless office isn’t the in-house documents. Once all records are scanned and in an electronic management system, employees can convert to the paperless process quite easily. Being completely paperless becomes an issue when dealing with other businesses and sometimes clients, who still have a reliance on paper.
They may ask you to post a hard copy of a contract to sign, rather than use a digital signature. Some companies may want to fax or post you a shared document instead of email it across. Others may not accept a digital invoice...the list goes on. The secret of successfully implementing a paper office is cooperation. One company has to be brave and take the first step, start the tidal wave in the corporate world. Everything is being transferred to digital, it’s just a matter of time before those businesses which resist the movement have to conform.
So why not be ahead of the times and be the first company in your area to make the move to a paperless office? It’s something you could brag about in the future as a cutting edge forward thinking business.