These days, businesses are going paperless for every reason you can imagine. Whether it’s to cut costs, improve security, or keep up with the Jones’s, companies recognize that efficiency is key to driving a successful business.
When people talk about going paperless, they often mention positive environmental changes. While it’s true that digital documents are better for the environment, there are plenty of other benefits that impact your business cost- and productivity-wise.
Below are other significant benefits of digital document management that improve the overall health of your organization and justify the move to a paperless workplace.
Digital Documents Are (Much) Cheaper
First off, digital document management can help your company save money and those savings kick in almost as soon as you start using your new platform.
Consider how much money you spend on paper and ink. Printer ink is one of the most expensive office supplies you can buy. When you use digital documents instead of paper, you cut down on your ink usage drastically by only printing what you absolutely need to print.
Digital documents aren’t just cheaper, either. They cut down on labor costs associated with physical document mishaps.
Physical documents interrupt even the most well-constructed workflows. Between filing, organizing, locating, and making sure that everyone has a copy, paper documents can keep your team members from fully focusing on the important work. They lose precious minutes trying to find a document they printed an hour ago that was signed by a client in the office. These minutes spent roaming around searching for paper documents cost businesses money.
On the other hand, digital document management lets your team members access their documents within moments. Between search functions and impeccable organization, digital document platforms allow employees to dive into their work right away. They’ll spend less time finding the right document. As a result, your company will see more productivity, resulting in more time and money.
Digital Document Management Systems Boost Productivity
Speaking of saving time, going paperless means more work completed due to quicker document flow. This happens because documents are sent electronically in a matter of seconds instead of exchanging a few hands before getting to the right person.
Consider all the time your company wastes on physical documents. In almost every situation physical documents leave employees waiting, particularly when printing a document or waiting on a few other colleagues to use the best copier in the office. Depending on how often those tools are used, team members can waste a lot of precious time waiting for items to print.
Furthermore, what happens if the printer breaks down or the copy machine stops working? Everyone who’s ever worked in an office is familiar with printer struggles. They’re common, so any chance to bypass the printer is a chance to save time and avoid frustration.
Then there’s the time that gets wasted when everyone has different versions of a document. When one person makes updates to a document, it means that the rest of the team is suddenly working with an outdated version of that document. Then, when team members meet up with one another, they have to spend several minutes catching each other up on the latest document changes.
On the other hand, with digital document management, team members can work with the same document simultaneously. They can all have access to the document in its digital format, making changes in real-time. This way, everyone has the most up-to-date version of the document, so they don’t have to waste time catching up or making sure that everyone’s on the same page.
With paper documents, getting a signature can be a long and tedious process. The paper has to safely make it to the signee and back without any mistakes. Furthermore, your paper may sit on the signer’s desk for days, getting lost in the other papers that can clutter a desk.
Digital document management can also help you save time on signature collection via an e-signature feature, allowing businesses to streamline the entire signing process by automatically sending documents to the next signee in line until it’s signed by all parties. Instead of waiting for hours, days, or even weeks for a signature, you can have a signature within minutes. This helps you expedite those ever-so-important contracts, sales, and invoices without breaking a sweat.
Digital Document Management Systems Are More Secure
Next, digital document management provides more safety for your business files. Digital files are far more secure than paper files, and hard drive-stored files can’t compete with the safety of a cloud-based document management platform.
Physical documents can easily be misplaced, lost, or forgotten. Even the most careful employee can drop a piece of paper on their way to someone else’s desk. By the time they realize that the document is missing, that document may have fallen into the wrong hands.
Digital documents remove that risk because they virtually eliminate the need for paper documents to travel between desks and further ensure that documents are only seen by those who need to see them.
Digital documents also protect company information from theft or natural disaster. While physical paper can easily be taken or destroyed, digital documents can only be accessed by those with permission. Plus, if anything should happen to your office, you can still access your digital documents from virtually any location.
Digital documents provide safety by preventing misuse and allowing secure sending and retrieval. Digital content management puts you in complete control of your information.
Digital Document Management Systems Offer Sustainability
The cost of inefficiency is high. But in terms of environmental impact AND customer satisfaction, the effect of unsustainability on your business is much greater.
Document misprints, typos, and unused documents are a huge reason for planetary woes in the workplace. Digital document management systems eliminate the costs and pressure on the environment instantly. And while employees still may need to print every now and then, they will be doing much less of it.
In terms of customer retention and overall satisfaction to help sustain your business, digitizing your document management provides a streamlined method to collect customer data and deliver your products or solutions to them.
We live in an era of instant gratification. If companies can’t process documents to deliver a product or service to customers within a short timeframe, business is all but lost. Additionally, more customers are looking to do business with companies that have strong sustainability initiatives in place. According to Deloitte’s The Future of the Consumer Industry, “Consumers are likely to seek products and services that contribute to reversing this [ecological damage] trend.”
Digitizing document workflows in your organization helps you keep your current customers and quickly build trust with prospective customers. Lasting customer relationships translate to longer-term, predictable customer payments that help you sustain your business into the future.
Digital Document Management Systems Are Intelligent
Companies that haven’t moved to digital document management systems most likely have thousands of customer documents sitting in filing cabinets. And while they may be organized, they require employees to move around, skim through names, and then grab the desired document from their folder.
You may think, “It only takes a minute or so,” and you may be right. But consider all the effort it takes to organize those filing cabinets, recoup a document that has been lost, and create folders for new customers. If you’re a growing business, it’s simply not a feasible way to store customer info and data.
Digital document management systems enable you to leverage your existing data by scanning your documents and automatically moving them to the correct folder location. Using OCR and ICR technology, you simply scan your document, and the system can identify where to digitally file it.
Digital intelligence doesn’t stop there.
These systems can index all of your company data so you can pull up documents easily in a search bar by last name, type of document, department, etc., and eliminate the possibility of losing valuable customer information.
Customizable Document Management at Your Fingertips
Not every document solution fits your needs and not all companies can achieve full-fledged digitalization.
And that’s okay.
Whether you’re trying to be completely paperless or just decrease the amount of paper you use, make sure to choose a solution that can be modified on the fly to help you achieve your long-term digitization goals. At Vasion, we customize your digital document processes to fit your needs and consolidate your siloed, manual work processes—all on one platform.
Schedule a demo today to learn more.