If your goal heading into 2020 is to find more sustainable ways to do business, going paperless is one of the best (and simplest) ways to do it. Eliminating paper from even just one area of your business can drastically reduce your carbon footprint while transitioning to digital can help to improve efficiency and productivity. Going paperless can be achieved one small step at a time. Here’s how to eliminate paper from your business.
Top Benefits of Going Paperless
In a 2016 survey, more than 80% of small and mid-size businesses said they want to cut paper out of their business processes. And for good reason. Here are some of the top benefits of eliminating paper in the workplace:
- Increase in Efficiency. Without a digital process in place, data collected in the fields on a paper form must be mailed or carried back to an office before it can be processed and used. And even then, it may need to be moved or sent multiple times to eventually reach the proper person or destination. With digital forms, data can be accessed instantly.
- Stop Duplicating Work. With traditional paper forms, information must be keyed into your system. That means that the form effectively must be filled out twice, which wastes valuable business time and resources. Your business could save an average of 10 hours per week by eliminating the need for duplicate data entry with a digital solution.
- Reduce Errors & Inaccuracies. Paper forms are 50% more likely to contain errors than mobile forms. If there is an error on your paper form, then time must be spent tracking down the right answer and correcting it. These mistakes can have a major impact on your bottom line.
- Access Data in Real-Time. For your business to operate at optimal efficiency, you need immediate access to what’s happening in the field. If you’re relying on paper sales reports, for example, you’re not getting the information from your salespeople in the field as quickly as you need it. Since almost all field salespeople have smartphones or tablets, going paperless means you can connect to them and get information in real-time with mobile data collection software.
- Speed Up Your Billing Cycle. Using paper invoices can cause long lead times between invoice issuance and the receipt of remittance. There’s also the possibility that paper invoices will get lost in transit or even mailed to the wrong address. Both are potentially catastrophic. See how Chemtek was able to bill for jobs twice as quickly with mobile forms!
How to Eliminate Paper at Work
Now that you know the many advantages of going paperless at work, here are some actionable steps you can take to eliminate paper:
The first step toward a more sustainable workplace is a careful, honest, and intentional company analysis regarding company-wide paper use. How much paper does your company use for marketing, internal reports, printing, mailing, etc.? Ask each department to give you an estimate for how much paper they use in a month. With this information, you can set realistic goals for how to move forward with less paper consumption.
Find Alternatives to Printing
Depending on your industry, it may be possible to find ways to distribute and share information other than by printing and making copies. Encourage employees to create and share documents as a custom PDF, so those receiving the information can easily access it on their mobile devices, work computers, and home laptops.
If it is not necessary for a document to be on paper and physically in the hands of those who need it, having electronic access to it can reduce paper use. Digital access can also reduce the chances of losing or damaging a physical piece of paper.
Use Mobile Forms
Chances are, your company uses a variety of forms, checklists, and reports to function effectively. Construction companies, for example, require workers to submit regular work orders and job reports. Retail managers need proper documentation for pricing data and merchandising information, and fleet management companies need timely and accurate documentation to track shipments and perform commercial vehicle maintenance checklists.
Every industry requires significant internal documentation, and a substantial percentage of this internal documentation can be done electronically. Mobile forms allow employers to create custom forms tailored to their business while employees can access, share, and complete them with ease, even if they are offline.
Device Magic's Mobile Forms Software can drastically change the way you communicate with your team on the field while eliminating (or significantly reducing) the need for paper.
Be Intentional About Recycling
There may be aspects of your business that require forms to be printed out on paper. If this is the case, be intentional about the type of paper you use and how you use it. Instead of throwing away meeting notes, for instance, start a scrap paper pile and encourage employees to use the blank side for writing notes or sketches. And when you do buy paper for the office, go the eco-friendly route and purchase recycled paper.
Implement Electronic Signature Software
Sometimes, the only reason a document needs to be printed is that it requires a signature. To avoid this, invest in electronic signature software that allows you (or the consumer) to sign a document without printing it. This is a much faster way to do business and it can also drastically reduce your paper use.
Modify Your Marketing
How much paper does your company use in marketing and advertising? Are there mailers, flyers, or posters, that could be replaced with digital marketing strategies? What would your company paper consumption look like if you utilize email, social media, and mobile advertising instead? In addition to reducing paper use and contributing to a more sustainable office, digital marketing could also help reach a broader audience.
Go Paperless in 2020 With Device Magic
This is the decade of sustainability and eco-friendly practices in the workplace. It is also the year that business leaders are looking for simple yet effective ways to increase profitability and productivity while decreasing waste.
Device Magic makes eliminating paper from your business easy and affordable. Try Device Magic for Free to see how it can help you and your company be more eco-friendly, efficient, and innovative in 2020.
Start going paperless and automating your business processes with mobile forms.