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The paperless office used to be considered the pipe dream of the technology minded. A paperless office was going to be the next wave of the future, the way that businesses will run in the year 2250. But the future has come earlier than expected, and the good news is that it’s even been field tested: if you were hesitant to make the switch because you wanted to see how it was going to work out for the people who have already tried, the reports are in and the reports are favorable. There are many ways that ditching the filing cabinets and overstocked printers will benefit your business, but here are four of the choicest examples laid out for you.
Ink Is the Most Expensive Liquid in the Office
Ink may not actually be the most expensive liquid in the world, despite some infographic claims otherwise. Snake venoms (used to make anti-venom injections for people who get bitten) are fantastically expensive when thought of in terms of “per gallon”. However, ink is definitely the most expensive liquid that you use in your office life. Ink (just plain, black ink) costs an average of $3,330.14 per gallon, according to Techopedia. Everything that you have to print out is costing you more than any other office resource. If you wanted to leave your air conditioning on all night, it would be cheaper than letting the printer run for the same amount of time. Going paperless will slash your printing costs. That money is basically pure saved profit, as you’re not going to be paying to make the switch forever.
Return on Investment Is Extremely High
Are there expenses associated with going paperless? Yes, of course there are. However, these costs are typically much lower than what you would expect. The average business is able to pay them off in weeks or months, according to AIIM. For a small business with only one or two locations, going paperless can be even easier. You can manage your inventory in real time which makes sure that you don’t sell that same beautiful hand dyed scarf in the store when there’s an order for it online. Not only that, but you can streamline the checkout process by offering to email receipts to customers and keeping the printer there only for the rare client who’s as wary of going paperless as you used to be. The standard setup for a checkout has moved from a bulky, several-thousand-dollar register to a cash drawer, a card reader, a receipt printer. A stand for an iPad replaces the old checkout counter. Without considering the cost of the iPad itself, the rest of this hardware can be purchased for less than $500. Between the money that you’re going to save on paper and ink costs and the fact that your work is going to be much more searchable, you’re going to be able to save that $500 very soon. From then on every penny you save will be profit.
Online Security Is Far Greater than in Person Security
Some companies are quick to cite recent cloud hacking issues to explain why they don’t want to store everything digitally. However, this overlooks the alternative: how safe are the documents that you don’t store digitally? A locked filing cabinet is a good precaution, but if someone wanted to force the door to your office they could make off with the whole cabinet, or just break the lock itself. When you store sensitive information in the physical world, you only have two locks: the lock on the cabinet and the lock on your door. When you’re working online with reputed companies like Shopify, however, you can put up as many levels of security as you like. A good virus protection will make it very difficult for anyone to access your files remotely, and strong, rotating passwords will keep the access to your sensitive files limited and the credit card information (among other things) of your clients safe. On top of that, you’ll be able to look at the logs to see who was looking at which files and when.
It’s Easy to Search and Find What You Need
Over the course of years, a business can build up a lot of information that becomes unmanageable with filing cabinets and paper. When you’re paperless you can search your own files to quickly bring up that projected sales report from last quarter to see where you went wrong, or you can find all the shipping orders that were sent to a specific customer. In fact, how easy it is to locate the information you need even outranks the money you save on the list of important features, according to Business News Daily