Managing documents effectively can cut costs, increase profits

Managing documents effectively can cut costs, increase profits

Every business owner's dream scenario involves finding a technology that can reduce costs significantly while leading to revenue growth.

Effective document management, such as that offered by paperless systems, can help decision-makers reach that goal.

"It basically eliminated all of our FedEx activity in accounts payable," said Robert Kubat, senior director of accounting at MTN Satellite Communications.

Manual document management is both time-consuming and expensive for businesses. Employees have to spend a substantial amount of time filing, leading to higher labor costs, and purchasing paper and printing can be costly, resulting in mailing expenditures adding up over time.

Many business owners are probably resigned to the fact that these are permanent costs, but there is an alternative: paperless document management.

But can paperless systems really make an impact? According to an IDC study, they can. The report found that adopting document management software achieves a return on investment (ROI) within one year, with half of organizations seeing an ROI by the six-month mark. On average, the companies involved in the study experienced a five-year ROI of 404 percent.

Paperless document management is cost-efficient for a variety of reasons, including:

- Lowering paper handling costs. Filing, mailing and distributing files, among other processes, can accumulate large expenditures over time. For organizations with 10 locations, for example, postage costs typically exceed $10,000 per year - which was the case for Integrated Business Group prior to implementing PaperSave solutions.

"Twenty times $10, which is $200, times 52 weeks - that's about what it's going to cost [the company]," said sales and marketing director Ron Ullyo.

Paperless document management, on the other hand, dramatically reduces those costs, eliminating some of them entirely.

Simplifying disaster recovery for business continuity. Paperless systems have the ability to be up and running faster than on-premise ones, and employees can access them remotely if need be. Along with enhanced recovery capabilities, this typically leads to better continuity.

Improving customer service. Slower delivery times, files getting lost in the mail and the inability to find relevant documents during client calls can all lead to disgruntled customers.

"All of a sudden we're getting a call from a vendor saying, 'I sent you an invoice three months ago. How come you haven't paid it?'" Kubat said.

But through paperless document management, organizations can respond to issues in a more timely manner, allowing for quicker resolution to billing inquiries and increased collections. For companies that operate across state and national borders, this can dramatically boost their relationships with customers.