Wadih founded PairSoft and PaperSave, and he currently advises non-profits on business process improvement and technology.View all posts by Wadih Pazos
Wadih Pazos • July 24, 2013
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But when company leaders have to think about new opportunities, the financial standpoint of the business will ultimately effect each one of these factors. If the bottom line isn’t taken into account, firms might have to raise prices, lay off workers or a slew of other possibilities.
So what do company owners have to think about when they’re faced with the option of going paperless? Economics is a big factor in this decision. Administrators need to carefully weigh whether or not adopting electronic document management software is a good idea or if they should push this off until they have more money in the bank.
Luckily for organizations in this position, they will find that enabling electronic workflow tends to come with a big payout.
Of the two filing options, it might appear that digitizing can result in numerous upfront costs, but many industry experts would say the same about sticking to paper strategies.
A Microsoft blog noted that when paired with the long term maintenance costs that are linked to keeping paper records, these upfront expenses – like paper and ink, among others – are more expensive than their digital counterparts.
Other than that, the cost of remaining compliant with paper record regulations can often be more contentious to handle than those that accompany electronic workflow, the news source pointed out.
Digitizing can allow even the most obscure of expenses to dwindle after paper is taken away, making it a cost effective move for any office, no matter the industry or size. For instance, overhead electric costs might be reduced. Many employees are already on computers all day long anyway, so that likely wouldn’t change. However, numerous printers wouldn’t have to be on and idling, wasting power, waiting for the next document to be queued.
Plus, think of the time and effort that might otherwise be lost if office employees had to manually deliver internal invoices, as opposed to allowing authorized parties to tap into electronic files and virtually sign documents.
Other small things, like dividers for filing cabinets, new reams of paper, broken printer parts and numerous other elements wouldn’t have to be paid for again. While some of these factors might be relatively cheap, they add up over time, meaning continued future success for the company in question.
The fact of the matter is that immediately after deciding to go digital, corporations have to face upfront costs for equipment like scanners and the platforms that records and operations like electronic invoicing and accounts payable or receivable will be housed on. However, unlike offices with a paper system, they won’t have to maintain costs for things like storage facilities and printer upkeep.
When company leaders decide to pursue this option, they have a number of choices when it comes to initial funding. Saving money is always a possibility, but many small business lenders also extend loans to those who are adopting new technologies.
Applying for grants is also another idea. This was the case in Brockton, Mass., recently when the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center was given a $75,000 grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, The Enterprise reported. The money will be put toward digitizing the medical records of 25,000 patients.