The Real Cost of Paper

An average organization makes 19 copies of each document, spends $20 in labor to file each document, spends $120 in labor searching for each misfiled document, loses one out of every 20 documents and spends 25 hours recreating each lost document. (Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers). 

I’m sure you can think of better things to do with your time and money, not to mention the floor space occupied by those big ugly file cabinets.

How safe are your files?  You’ve spent years accumulating all that paper.  How long would it take for them to be destroyed by a fire, flood or other disaster?  What would you do if you lost them?

Electronic document management (EDM) solves these and other problems inherent in paper filing systems.  Converting your paper documents to an electronic form and storing them in an EDM can greatly reduce costs and improve employee productivity.  With EDM, searching for client or employee records, legal contracts, tax returns, insurance statements and general correspondence no longer requires a trip to the file cabinet.  Instead, you simply search by name or keyword without leaving your desk.  If a client asks you for a copy of a document, simply email the electronic version; no need to copy and mail.  Some EDMs also provide a web-based customer portal that enables your customers to save and retrieve their own documents (if you permit this), saving you the trouble.

If you are properly backing up your data files (you are backing up your data, aren’t you?), your EDM files can easily be added to your backup.  In the event of even the worst disaster you can retrieve your backup, restore it to a new computer and be back in business quickly.  Some EDMs also provide a cloud-based solution so you don’t even need to store the files on your own server.

Paper filing systems do offer one big advantage over electronic document management systems; they allow you to get more exercise.  Doing the cabinet dance—stand, walk, pull, push, walk, sit—several times each day will help you keep in shape.  If daily exercise is already a part of your routine, then maybe you don’t need paper files at all.

While the totally paperless office is still a thing of the future, great strides have been made in this direction over the past few years.  Next time you find yourself pulling a file drawer, consider the alternative.  If you’d like to discuss how electronic document management can help your business, give us a call at 303-728-9647 or use our contact form.