The Paperless Office | The True Cost of Paper

Posted by Gary Skalyo on Thu, Dec 30, 2010

A 'Paperless Office' is a Work Environment in which the use of paper is eliminated or greatly reduced, according to Wikipedia. The definition continues that “It is argued that "going paperless" can save money, boost productivity, save space, make electronic documentation and information sharing easier and minimize environmental damage. The concept can be extended to communications outside the office.”

Paperless Office

This is all absolutely true, and it leads one to ask, “Why are most Businesses still working with Paper Documents, Files and Manual Workflows?” – "Why are businesses and Organizations not using Document Management Solutions to get all of the benefits defined above?"

I really believe that it is the reluctance to change, but many will argue that Companies don’t think they can afford Document Management Software and it is too expensive to implement. Lets take a look at the True Cost of Paper and see what that suggests:

Office Green Initiative

 

Gartner Group Reports that Corporate Information is doubling every 2.5 years
• Gartner also says Pages per employee is increasing at 10% per year
• Organizations now maintain 30 times more data than in 1999 (Gartner)
• The U.S. annually spends $25-35B filing, storing and retrieving paper. (IDC)
• The number of pages consumed in the U.S. offices is going up at the rate of 20% per year.
• Typical office workers spend 40% of their time looking for information.
• Professionals spend over 500 hours annually reviewing & routing files, and another 150 hours looking for incorrectly filed documents.
• A Gartner Study reveals the average document is copied 9 times
• It is estimated that 80% of information is still retained on paper even though more than 80% of the documents we work with are already in a computer somewhere. (CAP Venture Group)

 

Cost of Handling Paper –a survey published by www.futurelawoffice.com with regard to a modern law office shows:

  • 70% of time is spent processing paper
  • 90% of documents are paper
  • 7.5% of documents are lost
  • 15% of documents are misplaced
  • 30% of documents contain obsolete information
  • One four drawer file cabinet holds 15K-20K of pages, costs $25,000 to fill and costs $2,000 per year to maintain

Cost of Mishandling Paper –according to INC Magazine.

  • It costs $20 to file a document.
  • $120 to search for a misfiled document, that is if you can find it.
  • It costs approximately $250 to recreate a lost document.
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The Question is with all of the costs and inefficiencies of Paper Documents, File Folders and Manual Workflows, Why wouldn’t you use a Document Management Solution?

Topics: Document Management Solutions, Paperless Office, Paperless Filing