Paperless office strategies should be priority for 2013

With the new year just beginning, many CEOs and executives are offering their advice and listing resolutions for 2013. According to a recent blog on The Business Review, organizations should continue to embrace paperless document management strategies.

"We are closer than ever to being a 'paper-lite' office," Howard Gross, president of E-BizDoc, told the news source. "More and more transactions are being completed without being printed."

However, despite the many known benefits, an earlier survey by Nitro and Vision Critical revealed that the paperless movement has stalled. More than 40 percent of respondents said they still commonly use fax machines, and more than 70 percent regularly review printed items.

"Through this survey, we're seeing that while a majority of office workers are sharing documents electronically, almost half are still relying on physical paper to get work done," said Sam Chandler, CEO of Nitro.

At the same time, electronic workflow and paperless document management do appear to be gaining traction in the workplace. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they share the majority of their documents electronically, and 74.6 percent use PDFs. In addition, 63.5 percent of workers use less paper now compared to five years ago, and the biggest obstacle to the paperless movement - one-third of respondents said it simply wasn't a priority - appears to be correctable.

Advantages of the paperless office
The paperless office sounds like a great, environmentally friendly idea, but are the benefits worth the transition? A 2011 Outright blog indicated it was, highlighting several advantages of paperless document management:

- Cost-efficiency: The source noted that office space is usually a company's second-largest expense, after employee salaries. Paperless document management reduces the need for storage space, which could lead to lower spending on rent. In addition, electronic workflow processes enable companies to spend less on traditional functions like printing and faxing.

- Better worker productivity: Electronic document management software typically makes digital documents easier to find than hard-copy files and can be accessed by multiple employees at the same time. More productive workers can produce positive results for companies.

- Enhanced service: Because of how much easier it is to locate certain documents, business representatives may be able to help their customers in a more timely manner.

Better customer service and worker productivity, combined with lower costs, tends to be a successful formula for companies. Add in the environmentally friendly component and paperless document management seems like a no-brainer.