In today’s modern economy, “going green” is more than a trendy buzzword. Forward-thinking organisations rally around sustainability, conservation, and global responsibility.
We at On Device Solutions chose to contribute to this positive movement by developing a digital forms solution myForms, one of ODS’ digital products that help organisations significantly decrease their paper dependency. Request myForms Demo here.
Dependence on paper-based products is responsible for more than 14% of global deforestation. Approximately 85 million tons of printing and writing paper were consumed worldwide in 2021 only. You may or may not be aware that a whopping 15 billion trees are chopped down yearly, which invites global problems like climate change, reduced crop production, increased greenhouse gases, soil erosion, flooding, and other natural calamities. The sad news is that unless things change, this number will likely continue to rise in the upcoming years.
But things are changing, and every business – whether large or small – should closely examine its paper consumption, considering its impact on the environment as well as its bottom line. Research shows that big corporations spend more than $30 million each year on paper, printing, and file management. In small organisations, although more minor, these amounts could still add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. Just imagine the environmental impact of reducing these numbers by even a tiny fraction!
However, the environmental impact and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are only some of the reasons to go paperless. Paper processes are known to be slower, more tedious, inaccurate, less secure, and frustrating for both employees and customers. A typical employee spends nearly two hours a day searching for information that could be spent more productively elsewhere. In addition, accessing official paper documents while working from home is almost impossible. Finally, sending messages back and forth to get scanned copies is a complete waste of time – it takes time and focus away from at least two workers.
Most organisations use paper for scheduling, work orders, reporting, certificates, guides, purchase orders, surveys, service requests, tax returns, etc. The examples are numerous and not limited to businesses but include schools, universities, and other organisations. In many organisations, forms, and documents get printed out multiple times. Subsequently, copies are physically distributed amongst the workforce. It leads to inefficiency due to reduced productivity and increased unnecessary movement. In addition, the company’s costs increase (physical space, print infrastructure, cost of paper, etc.), plus compliance risks and reputational damages can also occur due to input errors or document loss. The diagram below shows an example of the HR business process and how many of its activities are paper-based.
According to the Insightful Accountant website, each year, more trees are lost than planted. Cutting down your paper consumption is helpful from an environmental perspective, but, as previously mentioned, it is also a wise move towards improving office space efficiency. Of course, making your office paperless will not solve this problem immediately, but it is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.
The “Paperless Office” concept was first envisioned in 1978 (Epson.eu). Yet more than 40 years later, notwithstanding the many technology companies working in the space and businesses’ expenditure to accomplish the goal, it is still a work in progress. However, the focus on valuable resource conservation keeps growing, and more companies are transitioning to fully digital processes. This trend is bound to grow as more global corporations and governments continue promoting climate-saving ideas, incentives and legislation.
Below are different reasons why various industries are leaning towards a paperless office.
The world of digital progress and unmatched technical momentum thrives on data. Every company, process, brand, and entity wants to know everything about their operations and regular consumers, hoping to squeeze out as much relevant information from patterns and structures as possible. In this age of analytics, the smart move is to extract the maximum benefit from it. Hence, today, every monetary-driven industry relies on Data and Analytics for survival.
You can increase your organisation’s sustainability by implementing a robust and secure data collection platform. Apart from helping save natural ecosystems and environmental resources, this can help your organisation develop replicable processes that promote business growth year after year. Not to mention that, naturally, in today’s digital landscape, consumers may hesitate to submit personal or sensitive information through a paper-based process.
With increasing digitisation, forecasts show that the demand for printing and writing paper will steadily decline over the next decade, falling to 74 million tons by 2032. Global graphics paper production decreased by more than 30 per cent between 2010 and 2020.
So, is your business ready to move towards a paperless office?
Every organisation is on a Digitisation journey, which gets reflected in its reduced paper consumption. However, the key is to make this journey faster – using technology. Digital Forms are one of the ways to do just that. Although the technology of digital forms has been here for years, today, it is more sophisticated than ever. Hence, there is plenty to choose from in the market. Similarly, one can also experience decision fatigue and there’s plenty to get confused by.
On Device Solutions is a niche IT Consultancy specialising in enterprise mobility. In the coming blogs, we plan to describe in more detail the pain points of manual processes and rich features available in Digital Forms available in the market today. Furthermore, we will help you avoid confusion by explaining how to use Digital Forms to automate business processes in your organisation and have them tightly integrated with your enterprise and ERP platforms.