Previous: The Guide to the Paperless Office

Guide to the Paperless Office: Part 2

Why companies need Document Management

Retrieving paper documents is slow

Try this exercise: think of a document that you currently store on-site, in a filing cabinet or a box in the basement. Start a timer, then retrieve that document and return to your workspace. Did it take 5 minutes? 30 minutes? Did you give up and return empty-handed? Multiply that experience several thousand times, and you begin to see the enormous drag that paper documents have on your business.

Routing paper documents is even slower

Many companies have well-established internal processes that are paper and time intensive. For example, look at the Accounts Payable department, where the process of evaluating and issuing payment for a single invoice can take days or even weeks.

Working with paper documents is expensive

The cost of paper documents isn’t just in paper and toner. (In fact, that cost continues to fall!) But paper documents need to be stored, which requires cabinets, shelves, and lots and lots of storage space, all of which have a price tag.

More importantly, paper requires more of your employees’ time to produce, store, and retrieve — and labor is often one of the largest internal costs for any organization.

Paper documents are less secure

With a physical document sitting on a printer or on a desk, anyone can “sneak a peek.” Anyone can make a copy. Anyone can take a picture with their smartphone. It’s very, very difficult to establish and maintain security with physical documents.

Paper documents are vulnerable

Does this scenario sound familiar? You pull your favorite blue jeans out of the dryer and realize you didn’t empty your pockets. The $20 bill is fine, but your receipts have fused into a single, illegible wad. Paper doesn’t hold up well to water. Or fire. Or coffee spills. Now think about the racks of banker boxes in your storage room.  If there’s a flood, a fire, or even a malfunctioning sprinkler system, vital documents could be lost forever.

Next: Why companies haven’t adopted Document Management