Businesses are more conscious than ever of their impact on the environment. And with studies estimating an annual spend for companies of around $8 billion a year to manage their paper usage, digital alternatives are looking more and more appealing. So, what are the benefits of ditching paper processes in favour of digital replacements?
Maplewave, who are experts in retail management software, has looked into the paperless revolution and how you can not only use digital alternatives to replace paper usage, but actively improve upon them.
How many businesses are already becoming paperless?
It’s not a small decision, to decide to turn an office that may have been using primarily paper documents for years to paperless. 3% of businesses have already eradicated its use in every process which has allowed them to witness incredible results across their organisation.
Paperless has only recently become a real option to consider, so it can seem like a mammoth task. However, 16% of businesses are actively looking at different methods that will help them remove paper from their procedures entirely.
Businesses tend to adopt digital methods, such as paperless technology, at a slower rate. This is likely down to a sense of comfort in their old ways. In contrast, these businesses actually increased their paper consumption by around 20%. This is due to three key factors; a lack of confidence in digital solutions, the need for regulations and quite simply, humans being content with paper. However, studies have found that 33% of businesses are almost paperless.
Studies have shown the effectiveness of paperless options. One study suggests that in the first six months of going paperless, 28% of businesses gained a full return on investment. A further 59% achieved a full ROI in less than 12 months and 84% within an 18-month period.
But the financial implications of paper versus a switch to paperless are too great to be ignored. Not only will this offer a return on investment, but it will also allow companies to focus on other areas of their business and not have to think about any administrative tasks that occur when handling paper. Your consumer acquisition costs can decrease dramatically, too.
Paperless: considerations before switching
From technology that allows customers to sign for their goods on a tablet, to employee payslips being online, there’s a wide array of ways paperless can help every business.
Just looking at contract signing in paperless technology, businesses can see costs reduced by 60-85%, which gives bigger savings and lower budgets on administration expenses.
Also, now that the General Data Protection Regulation is in place, paperless will aid you in having higher security requirements. Also, it will help you stay compliant with the legislation. Although this is set to strengthen and unify consumer data in Europe, it will also apply to non-EU businesses that are trading with EU consumers.
Plus, you will be able to check the authenticity of documents, with the time and location of signatures visible thanks the paperless technology. Businesses are able to complete viable audits to conduct regular contract searches, reducing the risk of fraudulent activities.
Paperless also benefits for your customers. The beauty of a paperless contract is that it ensures that all fields that are required are filled out by the consumer and can easily be sent to the customer through email. Should it be misplaced, it can easily be resent from an administrative interface. If any issues were to occur, contracts can simply be retrieved and shown as evidence.
It’s also worth considering that masses of physical paper in the office has to be archived away somewhere. Paperless doesn’t have this storage issue. If you’re looking to adopt more advanced features for your paperless installations, biometrics can be utilised to create an easier flow of signing, which can again enhance the customer experience and increase satisfaction.
Don’t get left behind as other businesses get ahead and become more efficient. 87% of senior decision-makers are ensuring that digital transformation is at the top of their priorities this year — are you?