Does your business still print out documents and keep paper copies of key data? This may be the way that you have always worked but it doesn’t mean it is the right way when there are far better alternatives in terms of digital storage. Here are five good reason to switch over from paper to digital documentation.
- It’s easy to switch!
One of the reasons that holds businesses back from switching over from paper documents to a digital system is that they believe it will complicated and problematic to make the changes. If you have run with a paper system for so long, it might be daunting looking at stacks of documentation and not see a way to achieve switching over.
If you are in this position where you would like to make the switch but you are worried about the logistics of the operation, you shouldn’t be concerned. It is reported that some 60% of businesses believe they are behind in their digital transformation programmes, with the drive to change and funds proving the key barriers to change. However, it has never been easier to digitise your paper documents and move onto a system where it is all stored in the cloud. Document scanning can be carried out on your premises via specialist firms like Images Online, allowing confidential records to be handled easily.
Once you have all of your documents digitised you can work with a purely computer based system which has a huge range of benefits.
- Space saving
You might be surprised at just how much space you will gain from switching from paper to digital documents. Think about your current system for holding documentation – aside from the physical size of the paper, you will likely have folders or boxes where the documents are contained, and these may be sitting on large shelving units or even in their own room.
Eliminating all of your paper records can be free up a huge amount of space. In some larger businesses with sizeable amounts of paperwork, this can actually open up space that allows additional members of staff. Alternatively, the space can be used efficiently for other physical storage such as stationery or servers.
In any case, removing the paper from your office will inevitably declutter it and created a more practical working environment.
- Customer service
It is also the case that a digital system can allow you to improve your customer service. If you currently have a system where everything is on open, it can take time to search through files and folders to find a document that you are looking for. Not only does this waste your time, but it can also mean that the customer is waiting for a significant amount of time to get an answer to a simple question.
Having your documents all in digital form means they can be found extremely quickly. This means less stress for employees and a better experience for customers. Additionally, reducing the costs of infrastructure and printing means that you will have additional budget you can put towards customer service and front-of-house.
- Better security
Paper systems are notoriously insecure. It is unfortunately the case that criminals have become adept at stealing paper documents – this can even include files that have been shredded. When you consider the implications of data loss on your business under the GDPR regulations, it is more important than ever to ensure that all of your documents are secure.
When data is purely digital you can maintain complete control over the system by only allowing access to specific individuals. This means there is always a trail as to who has accessed the data.
Every business wants to do more for the environment, and there can be no doubt that using up significant quantities of paper is not the right thing to do when there are far more efficient digital alternatives. More than 50 per cent of pages get thrown away and when you consider the efforts that individuals go to at home to recycle and live greener lifestyles, this seems a terrible waste.
Switching to a digital system not only benefits the environment it can also make your staff feel more positive, as individuals prefer working for businesses with a sustainable ethos. It may not be possible for your business to go entirely paper free, but there are always changes that you can make to improve the overall sustainability of the company.