ADDS: Five signs you need to go paperless

Perhaps you’ve considered going paperless for months, but procrastination has led to inaction. Or maybe you’re just ignoring important indicators that point to the inefficiency of your paper-based system. Here are five signs it may be time to go paperless:

1. Your file cabinets aren’t opening

Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to open a filing cabinet drawer because it’s overstuffed with documents. Overflowing file cabinets are a clear warning sign that paper is taking over your business. Stem the tide by digitising the records in your file cabinets (and the ones stacked around and on top of them). Several file cabinets’ worth of documents can be stored on a single DVD or hard drive.

2. Customer service complaints are increasing

If you’re seeing a spike in customer service complaints, paper-based workflow processes may be the culprit. Pulling customer files manually takes time, and if you aren’t meeting your clients’ requests promptly, they may take their business elsewhere.

3. Lost documents are the norm

In busy offices, paper files can easily go missing. It’s not uncommon for coworkers to misfile documents or simply forget to re-file them. If your staff is spending more time looking for documents than focusing on the business, it’s probably time to go paperless.

In a paperless office, digital files are stored in an easily-accessible, centralised online database, and can be accessed with the click of a mouse. More than one person can view and edit a document at the same time, and all file retrievals are logged and tracked so you’re never on a wild goose chase to find your information.

4. You file more than ever

The irony of paper-dependent organisations is that majority of files are created digitally only to end up printed and duplicated many times over. As a result, paper record filing takes up a considerable portion of each workday. This is a sign it’s time to go paperless. Investing in an electronic document management system (EDMS) lets you keep your digital files in an electronic format and gives you a place to store newly digitised paper records.

5. Your office is an obstacle course of boxes

In addition to creating a tripping hazard, an office filled with boxes of documents can cost your company big money in terms of real estate. Converting your paper files to digital images frees up valuable floor space in your facility so it can be used to generate revenue for your company, rather than just serving as expensive storage space. Employees also feel more comfortable and can be more productive and creative in an uncluttered office.

If you see these five signs in your business, consider going paperless with all the benefits it offers.

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