The universal digitisation trend among businesses has cultivated a cashless system. Tech giants, such as Amazon and Google, have paved the way for digital transactions, allowing consumers to pay anytime, anywhere using their personal gadgets. As consumers and businesses alike reduce their dependency on cash payments, the corporate world is pushed towards the use of other digital solutions.
The cashless economy eventually inspired the idea of going paperless. If businesses can conduct payments online, what else can they do digitally? The answer: plenty. A paper-free work environment offers many benefits, both for internal and external processes, as St. John’s Buildings (SJB) shows. The leading Barrister’s Chambers developed its own document-sharing and collaboration cloud-based tool that may reduce the firm’s environmental footprint and save up to £350,000 each year.
If SJB’s positive experience with going paperless isn’t enough to convince you to go paperless, here are more reasons to encourage you.
Streamline Business Processes
The usual enemies of on-time project accomplishment are the bottlenecks in the chain of production. When a task is passed from one department or one employee to another, it’s easy for papers to pile up and get unnoticed. Transferring your processes online eliminates this holdup and reduces turnaround time for tasks. It also lets you evaluate your current processes and take out the unnecessary parts.
A paperless filing system means all the information you need are available in a few clicks. Like SJB, you can transfer all of your data to a cloud-based software that is accessible by all the members of the company. This reduces the need to bother coworkers about past records and documents. It also eliminates the time-consuming task of digging through stacks of papers, no matter how strategic your old filing system is.
One of the greatest advantages of document digitisation is allocating your supposed paper budget for other purposes, which may lead to cost savings. Also, reducing your paper waste has a positive impact on your company’s environmental impact, which you can use to bolster your green corporate social responsibility (CSR) program.
Paperless as a Green Corporate Social Responsibility Program
Paper and cardboard recycling is gaining popularity as a CSR initiative because of the UK’s alarming paper waste problem. Corporate offices are responsible for most of this waste accumulation; the average employee uses up to 45 sheets of paper a day, half of which only go to waste.
The World Economic Forum released its industry agenda entitled ‘Beyond Supply Chains Empowering Responsible Value Chains’. Some of the actionable items in the list have recycling at its core.
One of the ways your organisation can embrace the paperless culture is by following the paper waste hierarchy.
The first step is prevention, which focuses on reducing paper usage. Steps include lessening the number of desk printers, using both sides of the paper and favoring electronic communication over print. The second is preparing the papers for reuse, such as segregating, donating and shredding for infill.
The third step is recycling. Provide proper recycling bins in the office and train your staff to support the recycling scheme. Contact the Waste Directory for details regarding paper recycling organisations in your area. The last step is recovering other value from your paper waste. Segregate the items that aren’t recyclable to send to energy recovery.
Another benefit of going paperless is that it allows you to better meet the demands and preferences of your consumers.
Make Customers Happier
Consumers across generations now care about retailers and what they stand for. Those under the age of 30 feel a strong affiliation with brands that have a larger purpose. Having a CSR program like the paperless initiative can build you a good reputation among these age groups.
Also, today’s consumers are highly digital and mobile, so traditional direct marketing methods may not be effective anymore. Seventy-three percent of consumers say email is their preferred marketing channel. News about the latest products and services, follow-up or confirmation messages, reminders and other updates require immediate attention, which is achievable through email.
Going paperless is another change brought by the digital revolution. Although companies shouldn’t jump at every trend that comes, a paper-free culture may be something worth considering, especially if it will propel your business forward. As a service or product provider, it’s your responsibility to make sure you don’t stop growing and evolving to find better ways to cater to your customers.