Go Green with Document Management

How Long Does It Take to Find a File?

Posted by Mike Paperalt on Aug 16, 2017 4:27:06 PM
How Long Does It Take to Find a File?
 
Can you access the information you need when you need it?  How long does it take?  For too many organizations, the answer is too long!

You know the drill – you’re on the phone with a client, or a vendor, or the auditor and you need an answer now.  The answer is buried in file – someplace.  So, instead of providing the answer right then and there, you say “I’ll have to call you back,” and you spend the next three hours tracking down the information you need.

This is no way to run a business!
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While you’ve heard for some time that paper-based filing systems are inefficient, you just haven’t been ready to go to all of the expense of converting to paperless, so you continue to have these moments of frustration, when you can’t find what you need to do your business.  But, it’s not that bad.  Or is it?

What’s the Real Cost of Paper?
 
According to most reliable sources, a traditional paper-based document management system usually costs between 13 and 31 times the actual cost of purchasing the paper.  That’s because it’s not just the cost of purchasing paper, it’s also the cost of the space for filing cabinets, the cost of off-site archival storage, copy-machine costs, and the cost of time lost looking for files. 
Manually filing and retrieving paper documents takes time. Research shows that it can cost as much as:
  • $20 to file a document in a folder or filing cabinet
  • $120 to find a misfiled document (if you can find it at all)
  • $220 to reproduce a document that was lost
Other commonly quoted statistics include:
  • the average document in an office gets copied 19 times
  • 7.5% of all documents get lost
  • 3% of the remainder get misfiled
  • professionals spend 5-15% of their time reading information, but up to 50% looking for it

Sure, your business may be different.  You may run a “tight ship.” But, the fact is that no amount of good management can make up for the basic inefficiency of paper-based systems.  Maybe it’s time to look at a different way of doing things. 

Consider Re-designing Some Business Processes

If you want to reduce the problems that are inherent in paper-based systems and explore more efficient ways of doing things, you can’t avoid identifying and re-designing procedures that are made cumbersome, costly and inefficient because they’re paper-based. 

Start with paper-heavy departments: (1) Accounting; (2) Human Resources; (3) the Mail Room.
Do away with physical forms and physically signing printed documents.  In the United States, the ESIGN Act of 2000 gives validity to electronic signatures, making an electronic signature as legally valid as a hard-copy signature.

Use a Central Cloud-Based ECM Solution

Face it – the Cloud is here to stay.  Digital is the way of today, and the future.  A properly secured Cloud ECM Solution is safer than paper.  Despite publicized reports of systems that have been hacked, it’s important to realize that, like airplane crashes, hacking incidents make the news precisely because they’re not usual.  And, in most instances, lack of stringent security measures have contributed to the hack. 

There are Cloud- based Electronic Content Management and Electronic Document Management solutions available today that employ hackers to challenge their systems daily in order to ensure their lack of vulnerability.  So what are you waiting for?  See what a difference going paperless can make for your business.

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Topics: ECM, ImageSilo, Paper Files, Paperless Cloud

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