Here is one indisputable fact: paper is robbing us of our productivity. And what’s critical – we can’t afford using paper anymore.
The average employee uses more than 10,000 sheets of paper a year. This usually costs somewhere between $80-$100, and with the costs of toner, energy and employee time spent on printing, filling out and searching for documents, this figure more than doubles in size.
The staggering waste of time and money doesn’t end there. The average enterprise wastes $2.5m-$3.5m per year just on searching for information and re-creating lost documents.
As you may have guessed, this is another attempt to convince you how much time, money and energy you can save by going paperless. It’s never too late to implement this useful strategy in your office. In fact, it’s never been easier, especially since you can be 100% sure where to start.
Step 1: scan every piece of paper you can find in your office
By the way, we hope you not only scan, but recycle them too.
The average company spends over $8,000 on filing cabinets. In comparison, digital document management systems cost less than one-fifth of their physical paper counterparts.
So the only reasonable way out of such costs is converting all that paperwork into a digital format using a simple scanner, or a scanning service on your mobile device.
With all that said, let’s be fair. We know you can’t implement all of these changes in a matter of minutes. But don’t let that stop you from striving to achieve maximum efficiency in you document workflow.
Cutting on clutter is just one of the many advantages when going paperless. When you scan and electronically save all of your paper forms, you save thousands of critical documents from being lost, stolen, or damaged due to a natural disaster.
Natural disaster can cause a business to lose large amounts of critical data. According to the U.S. National Archives & Records Administration, 60 percent of companies that lose their data are out of business within six months of the causing disaster.
In fact, after a natural disaster, such as a flood or hurricane, 40% of small businesses close immediately, 25% will be closed one year after the disaster and in three years that number can jump up to as high as 75%!
Your company may easily avoid being a part of these unfortunate statistics simply by converting your documents into a digital format.
Step 2: find a digital document platform to store your documents
A digital document platform is like your documents’ shelter – your calm and loyal assistant. But the market is big, and you can’t afford to make mistakes while choosing the right digital document solution.
During your search, pay attention to the following:
- Integrations. They make your digital workflow easier and allow you to expand your overall workflow capabilities. In today’s office environment, integrations with Google Suite, Salesforce, Office 365 and Slack are a must. About 80% of our clients use some or different combinations of these services for completing comprehensive work with documents and doing business.
- Security. You saved your documents from natural disasters, so don’t let some nasty hacker steal them from your computer. Check whether the platform you want to choose provides a high level of security for your stored documents. PDFfiller stores all of its users’ data in the most secure cloud storage available – Amazon Web Service. Amazon S3 data centers have multiple backup locations, instant and uninterrupted data access and military-level physical security barriers.
Physical security, however, is only a baseline measure. It would be better to have some additional security features, such as encrypted folders and an audit log which keeps track of all activity, such as when a document is changed, when your account is accessed etc.
- Legal standards. Check whether the digital document platform complies with the ESIGN Act to create legally-binding e-signatures. E-signed documents must also include a verified audit trail and the signer’s ID. Those processing documents in the medical field have to pay special attention towards being in compliance with HIPAA standards.
- Pricing. As we already mentioned above – the digital market is a big one, so you’re going to find different services with different pricing policies. But note that in this case ‘the more expensive – the better’ can’t be the rule.
Many platforms set high pricing because of the number of features they offer. But the thing is, that most of these features are not really unique, and what’s more important – you will likely use less than half of them.
Just to compare – PDFfiller’s Basic Plan will cost you 6$ per user per month, which allows you to use various features that you actually need.
- Features. Effectively streamlining your document management means being able to easily edit, file, share, sign and protect your documents. Moreover, you should have instant access to them wherever and whenever is needed – and from any internet connected device.
PDFfiller’s Basic plan includes a complete PDF editor, an e-signature solution and fillable form builder – which allows you to host your fillable documents online and quickly get them filled out and e-signed. Moreover, you can share your documents with others via email, text message or fax for just $6 per month.
The Plus plan includes nine more additional features for 10$ per user per month. For the most persistent users, PDFfiller offers the Premium plan that features encrypted folders, email custom branding and court admissible audit trails for only 15$.
Step 3: streamline your business workflow by implementing digital signature policies and digital faxing
Digital signatures reduce document turnaround time by 80%. Using digital signature technology helps you close more deals in less time, make approvals in a matter of seconds, and make signing easy for customers.
You may be surprised to know that faxes can be helpful and paperless too. When searching for a digital document platform, pay attention to digital faxing. With PDFfiller you can get your fax number and receive faxed documents right into your PDFfiller account.
Step 4: train your employees on digital innovations
More than 33% of U.S. employees say that they haven’t taken steps to improve their digital skills last year. This is the most common reason why paperless strategies often fail.
Make sure you provide your employees with all the services and resources needed to invest in their training.
Go completely paperless with the whole office using PDFfiller’s platform. Get a 30-day free trial