With the current state of the economy, small and medium businesses (SMBs) everywhere are taking measures to cut costs and save money whenever they can. One such measure gaining in popularity is using technology to transition to a paperless office. “Going paperless” is a trend many SMBs have found is good not only for their pocketbooks, but great for the environment, too. While some might find the idea of forsaking paper impractical, bear in mind the adage “less is more” and consider the benefits of going paperless.
Fewer expenses, more savings
The most obvious benefit of going paperless is having less paper to deal with, which ultimately saves you money, as you won’t need to constantly refresh your supplies. Paperless office technology, such as a Panasonic’s new KV-S1015C or KV-S1026C personal desktop scanners with OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software, can enable the quick conversion of physical documents, including files, receipts, invoices, business cards, mail and more, into easily searchable PDFs. Think of all the money you’d save on overhead if you didn’t have to purchase copy paper, ink and toner, or pay for repairs whenever the printer or fax machine malfunctions. Removing these recurring expenses from your books will free up a lot of overhead costs.
Additionally, storage costs can represent another major expense. Converting hard copies to digital copies can substantially reduce storage costs and free up real estate in your office.
Less downtime, more efficiency
A digital document management system allows businesses to simplify business processes. With OCR software, physical documents become instantly searchable, and may be emailed or faxed electronically and organized efficiently, saving employees from having to dig through filing cabinets or even offsite storage whenever a document is needed. SMBs will benefit when employees have more time to provide customer service and are able to respond to customer needs faster and more productively rather than having to focus on administrative tasks.
Additionally, most businesses adhere to strict guidelines on compliance and need to store records for years. A digital document management system allows a nearly limitless amount of documents to be stored electronically. Further, SMBs are able to make changes to documents while maintaining the original, helping to meet compliance and audit guidelines in a fast and productive manner.
Fewer risks, more safety
Recent natural disasters have highlighted the critical need for SMBs to have a disaster recovery plan in case the unexpected happens and the security of your business is compromised. Physical documents are vulnerable to destruction not only from disasters, but also physical theft. Having a digitized office allows SMBs to store documents on secure, local servers and the cloud for easy back-up and retrieval.
Moreover, confidential documents can be stored with password protection, limiting the number of individuals who may access the information. In the case of law practices and healthcare clinics that must comply with privacy regulations, a secure digital document manager is a perfect solution.
Less wasteful, more earth-friendly
Going paperless literally equates to fewer photocopies, less paper waste and less deforestation. Reduce.org approximates that an average office employee uses 10,000 sheets a year. If you multiply that by the number of employees in a given business, you quickly begin to realize the environmental cost of using paper. A paperless office offers SMBs an environmentally-friendly way of conducting business, and being green can distinguish your business from the pack.
Transitioning to a paperless office can be the quickest way for SMBs to save money, go green and increase business efficiency. The first step in going paperless is to invest in technology that streamlines the digital process. Panasonic recently introduced two personal desktop scanners ideal for SMBs who wish to go paperless. Check out recent reviews of the KV-S1015C and KV-S1026C to see exactly why they would make a great addition to your office!