Today’s businesses constantly seek ways to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance their sustainability. According to a 2022 Boston Consulting Group study of 850 companies worldwide, 80% of businesses planned to increase their investments in sustainability. Furthermore, McKinsey found that nearly 2,500 company leaders learned that 40% of respondents expected their sustainability programs to generate profit in the next five years by attracting more environmentally conscious consumers.
One area often overlooked in sustainability efforts is the excessive use of printing. The International Data Corporation (IDC) has found that businesses spend between 5% and 15% of their annual revenue on document management, including printing. While it might seem like a small percentage, the negative consequences of excessive printing can be substantial.
Below, we’ll show why businesses should reduce their printing activities and the benefits of going paperless.
How Excessive Printing Harms Your Business
From lost documents to rapidly increasing costs to questionable security, there are a myriad of ways in which excessive printing harms businesses.
The cost of lost or misplaced documents can be significant. According to AIIM, companies spend an average of $20 in labor to file a single document, $120 trying to find a misfiled document, and $220 in labor to reproduce a lost document. In addition to the monetary costs, there’s also the risk of losing critical information that negatively impacts operational decision-making.
Printed documents are susceptible to security breaches. They can be easily accessed, copied, or stolen, leading to potential data leaks and compliance issues. Research conducted by Quocirca found that 63% of businesses surveyed had experienced one or more print-related data breaches. These security breaches can result in potential legal consequences, loss of customer trust, decreased productivity, or a complete business shutdown.
Printing can be costly. The expenses extend beyond just paper and ink; they encompass equipment maintenance, energy consumption, and the time spent managing printed materials. According to one source, businesses spend between 1-3% of their annual revenue on printing expenses alone. By reducing printing, companies can significantly reduce these unnecessary expenses and use that extra money elsewhere.
Mistakes can occur at any stage of the printing process. From selecting the wrong document to printing too many copies, these errors can drain resources. Automating printing processes decreases the chances of errors occurring, including misfiling or losing documents. Automation can also result in more efficient and streamlined processes.
Bad Customer Experience
Today’s customers are increasingly environmentally conscious and expect their preferred businesses to adopt sustainable practices. Printing excessive paper documents not only contributes to environmental degradation but also reflects poorly on a company’s commitment to eco-friendly practices. One study found that 57% of customers were more likely to buy from a company with a strong commitment to sustainability. Reducing printing and embracing digital alternatives can help improve a business’s image in the eyes of eco-conscious customers.
Transform Your Business by Going Paperless
In an age defined by digital transformation, businesses can reap numerous benefits by reducing excessive printing and embracing a paperless approach. Companies that focus on minimizing their reliance on printing can unlock the following advantages:
- Cost savings: Going paperless reduces expenses associated with paper, ink, maintenance, and energy consumption. These funds can then be reallocated towards more strategic initiatives, driving growth and innovation.
- Enhanced security: Digital documents can be stored and encrypted securely, reducing the risk of data breaches. This not only safeguards sensitive information but also ensures compliance with data protection regulations.
- Operational efficiency: Digital files are easily searchable and accessible, minimizing the time spent on document retrieval. This streamlines workflows, reduces human errors, and enhances overall efficiency.
- Environmental responsibility: Embracing a paperless approach contributes to a greener and more sustainable environment. It aligns businesses with eco-conscious customer expectations and demonstrates a commitment to responsible practices.
- Improved customer experience: Customers increasingly value businesses that prioritize sustainability. Going paperless portrays a forward-thinking, customer-centric approach, fostering positive brand perception and loyalty.
- Digital transformation: Reducing printing is integral to the broader digital transformation journey. It empowers businesses to leverage technology for increased competitiveness and adaptability in a rapidly evolving business landscape.
Don’t wait to adopt these measures to reduce excessive printing—shift toward sustainable and efficient document management practices now. Position your business to thrive in a digital future by reducing legacy infrastructure and going paperless. Schedule a demo with Vasion to learn more about the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of eliminating paper processes.