A good idea on paper, a better idea on paperless.
Businesses have already benefitted from the digital revolution. With faster machines at their disposal, more detailed databases to access, and a potential world-wide reach to customers, it’s clear that the technologic age has been a boon to businesses. It isn’t surprising to see some businesses are taking this a step further and abolishing the age-old reliance on paper in its offices. In fact, with paper management having an estimated annual cost of $8 billion for businesses, it makes sense that business owners are turning to technology again to look for a more efficient solution.
Customer experience software specialists Maplewave have explored the benefits of going paperless, for you and your customers.
The paperless switch has already begun
Switching to paperless is a big change for businesses, with 3% having already removed paper from its operations.
Switching to paperless can seem like a huge implementation for your business, and indeed the technology has only recently developed to the point that it is viable. However, 16% of businesses are actively looking at different methods that will help them remove paper from their procedures entirely.
Digital alternatives, such as paperless technology, can take time to gain traction as a business change. Many businesses view their current methods as ‘tried and true’ and take comfort in that, making them reluctant to change. In contrast, these businesses actually increased their paper consumption by around 20%. This is due to three key factors; a lack of confidence in digital solutions, the need for regulations and quite simply, humans being content with paper. However, studies have found that 33% of businesses are almost paperless.
The capabilities of paperless have been proven in recent research. One study suggests that in the first six months of going paperless, 28% of businesses gained a full return on investment. A further 59% achieved a full ROI in less than 12 months and 84% within an 18-month period.
Businesses cannot afford to ignore the efficiency and financial benefits paperless technology provides. Not only will this offer a return on investment, but it will also allow companies to focus on other areas of their business and not have to think about any administrative tasks that occur when handling paper. Your consumer acquisition costs can decrease dramatically, too.
Paper versus paperless
Businesses across various sectors can benefit from switching to paperless. Technology can be used for a range of requirements, including offering employees their payslips online or even allowing customers to sign for their products on a tablet. All these methods help reduce the amount of paper present in an office.
Looking at just one way paperless technology can work, paperless contract signing technology can save businesses 60-85% on administration costs.
Paperless technology can also support businesses with their compliance to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as it offers businesses a higher security requirement. Although this is set to strengthen and unify consumer data in Europe, it will also apply to non-EU businesses that are trading with EU consumers.
Also, paperless can help identify document authenticity, and the time and place a signature was made. Businesses are able to complete viable audits to conduct regular contract searches, reducing the risk of fraudulent activities.
Your customers will also enjoy the benefits of paperless technology in your business. The beauty of a paperless contract is that it ensures that all fields that are required are filled out by the consumer and can easily be sent to the customer through email. Should it be misplaced, it can easily be resent from an administrative interface. If any issues were to occur, contracts can simply be retrieved and shown as evidence.
A paper-based office will eventually run into the problem of storage, where a paperless office will not. If you’re looking to adopt more advanced features for your paperless installations, biometrics can be utilised to create an easier flow of signing, which can again enhance the customer experience and increase satisfaction.
Improvements to traditional methods help keep businesses efficient and effective — you can’t afford to fall behind. 87% of senior decision-makers are ensuring that digital transformation is at the top of their priorities this year — are you?