Go Green with Document Management

What's Your Document Scanning Sweet Spot?

Posted by Mike Paperalt on Jan 18, 2017 2:02:15 PM

What’s Your Document Scanning Sweet Spot?

sweet spot



  1. the point or area on a bat, club, or racket at which it makes most effective contact with the ball;
  2. an optimum point or combination of factors or qualities.

For most organizations, the sweet spot for document scanning is that point at which the benefit of going paperless surpasses the cost of scanning

But, when you’re trying to convince those who hold the purse strings that going paperless is the way to go, just how do you get to the sweet spot, or ROI?  Just how do you convince the accounting gurus that scanning documents is not a waste of time, money or resources?   How do you prove the benefits?


Of course, there’s no way to absolutely prove benefits beyond a shadow of a doubt.  And, there’s no way to provide a guaranteed to-the-penney ROI.  But…there are some industry-accepted statistics that you can cite to push your ideas toward acceptance:

Paper Usage Facts

  • The average office worker uses about 10,000 sheets of paper per year (US EPA).
  • Office workers in the US generate approximately two pounds of paper every day (US EPA).
  • 210 billion sheets of paper are consumed by faxing in US companies every year (US EPA).
  • Each year enough paper is thrown away to make a 12’ wall from New York to California (University of Colorado).
  • It takes 1 15-year-old tree to produce ½ a box of paper (Midpoint International).
  • One tree filters up to 60 pounds of pollutants from the air each year (Trash to Cash).
  • Filing costs an average of $20.00 per document
  • Every 12 filing cabinets require an additional employee to maintain.
  • Every misfiled document costs firms $125 in lost productivity
  • The typical office worker makes 61 trips per week to the fax machine, printer, and copier
  • An average of 4 weeks is lost each year waiting on misfiled, mislabeled, untracked or lost documents

Conduct Your Own Internal Paper Audit

Using the statistics cited above as a starting place, you can begin to conduct an internal paper audit in your organization.  We offer a Document Management and ECM Workbook to help you get started.   We think you’ll find that when it comes down to improving your IT systems budget, and the bottom-line you’ll find that a well-documented, well-managed plan for scanning your documents and reducing your reliance on paper. 

A Cautionary Tale

As we caution every client who comes to us for document scanning, simply removing paper is not enough.  You also have focus on storage and transmission of electronic data throughout your organization.  This requires a serious look at the paper processes you have in place now, and what the best way is to replace them with electronic processes.  Here’s an example:

A government agency that was heavily reliant on data supplied in customer-filled forms decide that it would be far more efficient to scan the forms rather than use data entry to get the forms into their computer system.  While they were on the right track, we understood that by going one step further and eliminating the paper forms entirely, a document scanning service wasn’t required.  By setting up a web form and a SaaS cloud-based data capture system, we could increase their efficiency, reduce their costs, and win not only their favor, but the favor of the customers they serve. 

The moral of this cautionary tale is to select a document scanning service that has more to offer than just turning paper into electronic files. Our EBook tells more..


Topics: Document Scanning, Document Management

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