We have long relied on paper documents to understand the world before our time. Cultures, world events, even our own family lineages can be understood and examined as if they were happening right in front of us because of the ability to record ideas, events and entire world histories onto everything from early fibers to today’s modern paper choices.
But even then there were burdens. Paper doesn’t always stand the test of time. Documents are lost. Opportunities to record things are missed. Technology has given us unique ways to very quickly overcome the burdens and limitations of paper documents.
For example, paper documents consume unnecessary time, space, and cost. You don’t have to go very far to consider how the existence of paper documents within your own home can sap you of these very things. If you are organized, you may very well be able to find that homeowner’s policy you need to reference or last year’s tax return. But having a paper storage system still takes up room that could be used otherwise—and still requires that you take the time to box up or clear out your files annually to keep clutter at bay. For the disorganized, good luck! You are probably already very familiar with time and money lost when you can’t find the paper you need, like purchase receipts for things you don’t want or quotes for services with expiration dates attached.
Paper Documents in Business
Now think about it from a business perspective. We aren’t talking a file or two of wasted space. We are talking hundreds, to thousands, to hundreds of thousands of paper documents that need to be accessed and/or stored in-house or offsite. In this sense, paper management costs are very real and add up in a variety of ways. Finding solutions that better manage these costs and remove the limitations inherent in paper processes is key.
Cost Scenario 1:
Paper and paper-related products.
Paper costs can include the actual cost of paper and printing resources, ordering and reordering of preprinted forms and documents, and copying costs. Don’t forget paper-related office supplies like staples, staplers, paperclips, tabs, highlighters etc.
Relying on paper information leaves room for errors, confusion and duplication.
How many times have you put in that last name? How much did that numeric mistake really cost you? How much are you investing in redundant processes and paper trails compared to work that actually adds value?
Leaving information on paper ignores opportunities to increase its value to an organization.
What we’re talking about here is the negative value of missed opportunity. Static information like client data, demographics, financial figures—all of these can be used to create a digital worldview of a client, an organization and entire industries to help drive better business decisions, engage more successfully and ultimately increase ROI.
How you can overcome these costs and related limitations:
- By converting some or all of your paper processes to digital forms and digital document management processes, costs are limited to the software platform most relevant to your needs or business market.
- Additionally, document management solutions often include efficiencies beyond simply digitizing a document that help recoup costs over time.
- Document management solutions can help you dial in on ROI that is otherwise elusive in paper processes. This ROI can then be used and tracked for a variety of business improvement initiatives
- Applying cutting-edge analytics solutions to digitally tagged data is allowing companies to better understand whom their customers are, how to better engage with them, and how to refine business processes for increased profitability.
Paper was considered cutting-edge technology when the Declaration of Independence was signed, but the fragility of that paper document today has it under constant guard and care. Businesses today recognize similar fragility and value in their hard-earned customer information and are turning to technology to preserve, protect and increase the value of their investments by digitizing every last name, number and character.
Find out how iDatix can help you increase the value of your customer information.