The history of the paperless office is a relatively short one. It began in the 1960s, when the advent of the modern computer, combined with increasing public awareness of the importance of preserving our natural resources, began fueling innovation at an unprecedented rate. The very real benefits provided by today’s paperless office would have been unimaginable in the 1960s.
Preserving natural resources, cutting down on pollution, and slowing climate change are all good reasons for offices to go paperless, but there are much more. Not the least of those reasons is the skyrocketing cost of commercial rents. Physical files require physical storage space, and the cost of space is increasing at an alarming rate. Another cost-saving feature of cloud-based document management software is that you don’t need to invest in expensive hardware and an IT team to maintain it. The number of other costs is also reduced or eliminated, including salaries for staff hired to manage physical files, mailing expenses, and the cost of purchasing pre-printed forms.
Cloud-hosted document management software allows you to access any file from anywhere from any device. You can create, save and store files in any form, including spreadsheets, word-processing files, emails, or PDF’s, and search your entire file library using a single keyword. You can also make files containing information and answers to frequently asked questions accessible to your customers. That reduces customer service costs and helps build customer trust and loyalty. The ability to restrict access to certain documents means you’re always in control of the flow of information. You’ll never lose important data because all your files are automatically backed up in the cloud.
The collaboration capabilities of document management software can benefit any business as much as it benefits international corporations. It allows you to monitor who is viewing documents and when, track any edits being made, and retrieve previous versions. You can also create a single document from multiple source documents, even if those sources were created in multiple formats. As new documents are created, outdated documents can be quickly and easily deleted and the new ones distributed to customers and vendors. Your customers will always have access to the most recent and relevant information.
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This is the age of the customer, and today’s customers want the option to be able to do business in their preferred mode of communication. More people are conducting business from their smartphones than ever before. Document management systems allow you to create personalized electronic or paper-based forms that fit your customers’ preferred formats. They also give you the ability to format, split, distribute and archive all your files automatically.
Government regulations require companies to maintain a high level of data confidentiality. Tracking and managing data security with paper-based systems is more difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. Paper-based systems also lack the added security of encryption and passwords that prevent unauthorized access. Encryption provides an extra protective layer around your sensitive data, a layer that requires proper credentials to decipher. In addition to added security, electronic systems provide an audit trail of when documents are sent and received.
Document management software allows you to automate many of the repetitive processes and tasks that employees dread. That raises their level of engagement and productivity. Freeing your employees from mind-numbing repetitive tasks results in higher staff retention as well as encouraging innovation. The cost of losing good employees due to not providing enough interesting work or opportunities for professional growth is often more than just financial. That kind of loss can adversely affect the morale of the whole company.
Document management systems are like electronic filing cabinets for organizing digital documents. To take full advantage of all the benefits of going paperless requires some research on the best type of paperless office software for your particular business. Whatever type of business you have, great document management software can make it a more efficient, secure, and profitable one. It can also raise company morale by reducing repetitive tasks, and that makes everybody’s job more enjoyable. While it may take some time to scan all of your documents to create digital versions, considering all the benefits, it will be time well spent.
Author Bio – Marie K.Powell is a business, technology and environment specialist with years of experience in the field. While working at Ademero.com, she is always trying to find the best ways to go green in every possible way.