One of the great business debates that used to be hotly discussed among entrepreneurs and office workers was the death of paper. Computers are, and will always be, a lot more efficient at holding data than a single sheet of paper. A single A4 page, if you write really small, could probably hold as much information as a couple of bytes of computer storage, and considering that a standard smartphone comes with around 32 gigabytes of storage, there are some obvious advantages to using computers. With computers getting smaller, more efficient and larger in storage capacity, paper is seeing a slow and painful decline in the business sector.
Archiving and searching is a major issue
One of the biggest issues with paper is that it physically takes up a lot of space and can deteriorate over time. That’s not to say that computer data is invulnerable to damage, but with the help of cloud storage and archival disks that are made to be long-lasting, it’s a lot easier to manage and keep safe than paper records.
With archived records, one of the biggest issues is withdrawing that information. Many old businesses have plenty of large rooms dedicated to storing documents, and whenever they are needed it takes a specialised individual to search the boxes and pull out the relevant documents. This is not only expensive, it’s inefficient. If you’ve used a computer, then you’re probably no stranger to the search function that can pull out a word in thousand-page document instantly.
The same applies to customer records and other sensitive data. If you’re searching for information on one of your clients, then you can simply search the name if you used a computer. The records are always accessible and it’s blazing fast to find a specific word or name. However, with paper records, not only can the document be subject to wear and tear damage, it also takes longer to search for it.
Switching is easy
There are many services that will help you switch from paper to digital. It’s neither expensive, time-consuming or difficult. Most of these companies offer turn-key solutions that will even scan and manually input data for you from your physical records. The process of digitising can be monotonous, but with specialised computer tools and dedicated data entry specialists, the entire process is smooth and you don’t need to worry about the process itself.
Once you’ve switched, you can then turn your focus to replacing your paper services with digital ones. For instance, financial IT services can help you determine what kind of software you need to manage your books now that you’re not using physical mediums. You can train your staff members to use the new software and they’ll easily be able to adapt to the change. Not only will they be more efficient working with a computer, they’ll be able to save time and focus on other tasks in the office, greatly improving the overall productivity within your business.
Keeping impressions up
Companies all over the world are now charging more money if they’re required to send clients and customers information via snail mail instead of email. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, paper can get expensive when you’re only printing a couple of words onto a piece of paper then sending it to a client. Secondly, it’s more bothersome and time-consuming to print a letter, put it in an envelope, attach a stamp, then send it off. With email, you get an instant response that can even be automated with almost no human interaction required.
This gives people a great impression of your business and it shows that you’re keeping up with the times. You’ll show people that you are conscious about the environment and you’re willing to save trees, but it also tells them that you know about efficiency and that your business is capable of adapting to new trends.
If you’re still using a lot of paper in your business then it’s a fantastic idea to try and make the switch as soon as possible. Don’t let the initial cost of the switch scare you because the amount of money you save in both paper deliveries and efficiency will quickly make up for the costs. As technology advances, more and more components of our office will become redundant no longer be worth the cost. If you want to grow your business and stick with the times, then you’ll need to embrace change and come to terms with getting rid of the old and bringing in the new.