How to Eliminate Paper from Your Business
If you’re looking for a more sustainable way to do business, going paperless is one of the best (and simplest) ways to do it. Eliminating paper from even just one area of your business can drastically reduce your carbon footprint, while transitioning to digital can help improve efficiency and productivity across your organization.
Start with Your Data Collection Process
Going paperless can be achieved one small step at a time. One area to start with is your organization’s data collection process. Data collection is often the largest ‘paper consumption’ culprit if you are using paper forms to gather data from your teams.
Go Paperless with a Mobile Forms App
Chances are, your company uses a variety of forms, checklists, and reports to function effectively. For example, construction companies require workers to submit regular work orders and job reports. Retail managers need proper documentation for pricing data and merchandising information, and fleet management companies need timely and accurate documentation to track shipments and perform commercial vehicle maintenance checklists.
Every industry requires significant internal documentation, and a substantial percentage of this internal documentation can be done electronically. A mobile forms app will allow you to create custom forms tailored to your business and make them accessible to employees on their mobile devices to be completed and submitted with ease, even offline. This can drastically improve the way you communicate with your team on the field while eliminating (or significantly reducing) the need for paper.
Top Benefits of Switching to a Mobile Forms App
Here are some of the top benefits of eliminating paper and switching to mobile forms for your data collection process:
- Save money. The cost of paper is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a manual or paper-based data collection process. There are so many other factors to consider, such as the amount of time your field employees spend delivering paper forms back to the office each day. Or the amount of time your administrative team spends processing the data collected via paperwork. There is significant return-on-investment potential by switching to a mobile forms app.
- Increase Efficiency. Think about the time it takes your field team members to deliver paper forms back to the office. Even then, the forms may need to be transferred or sent to different places before it can be processed. All this unnecessary time can impact your bottom line. With mobile forms, data can be submitted and distributed exactly where it needs to go instantly.
- Eliminate Duplicated Efforts. Now let’s switch over to the administrative side of things. The information provided on paper forms needs to be entered into your internal systems. Essentially, the data is being entered twice. This wastes valuable time and resources. Your business could save an average of 10 administrative hours each week by eliminating the need for duplicate data entry.
- Reduce Data Entry Errors. Paper forms are 50% more likely to contain errors than mobile forms. If there is an error on your paper form, then time must be spent tracking down the right answer and correcting it. These mistakes can have a major impact on your bottom line.
- Access Data in Real-Time. Faster data capture leads to faster action. This is valuable in countless scenarios. Consider daily safety or equipment inspections. If an issue is detected, you can be notified in real-time and take immediate steps for corrective action. Or consider the business growth benefits of real-time data. Being able to provide your clients with faster reports is always going to have a positive impact on customer satisfaction and retention.
- Speed Up Your Billing Cycle. Let’s face it, paper invoices bog down the billing process. They can cause long lead times between issuance and the receipt of remittance. There’s also the possibility of getting mailed to the wrong address. These issues are avoidable with a digital process. Device Magic customer, Chemtek, was able to bill twice as fast by switching to mobile forms.
Additional Ways to Eliminate Paper at Work
Digitizing your data collection process is an easy, yet highly impactful way to reduce paper and increase efficiency across your business. Pair that with some of the additional methods below, and you’re on your way to a completely paperless organization.
The first step toward a more sustainable workplace is a careful, honest, and intentional company analysis regarding company-wide paper use. How much paper does your company use for marketing, internal reports, printing, mailing, etc.? Ask each department to give you an estimate for how much paper they use in a month. With this information, you can set realistic goals for how to move forward with less paper consumption.
Find Alternatives to Printing
Depending on your industry, it may be possible to find ways to distribute and share information other than by printing and making copies. Encourage employees to create and share documents as a custom PDF, so those receiving the information can easily access it on their mobile devices, work computers, and home laptops.
If it is not necessary for a document to be on paper and physically in the hands of those who need it, having electronic access to it can reduce paper use. Digital access can also reduce the chances of losing or damaging a physical piece of paper.
Be Intentional About Recycling
There may be aspects of your business that require forms to be printed out on paper. If this is the case, be intentional about the type of paper you use and how you use it. Instead of throwing away meeting notes, for instance, start a scrap paper pile and encourage employees to use the blank side for writing notes or sketches. And when you do buy paper for the office, go the eco-friendly route and purchase recycled paper.
Implement Electronic Signature Software
Sometimes, the only reason a document needs to be printed is that it requires a signature. To avoid this, invest in electronic signature software, like eversign, that allows you to sign a document without printing it. This is a much faster way to do business and it can also drastically reduce your paper use.
Modify Your Marketing
How much paper does your company use in marketing and advertising? Are there mailers, flyers, or posters, that could be replaced with digital marketing strategies? What would your company paper consumption look like if you utilize email, social media, and mobile advertising instead? In addition to reducing paper use and contributing to a more sustainable office, digital marketing could also help reach a broader audience.
Go Paperless, Increase Efficiency & Save Money with Device Magic
This is the decade of sustainability and eco-friendly practices in the workplace. Now, more than ever, businesses should focus efforts on finding simple yet effective ways to increase profitability and productivity, while decreasing waste.
Device Magic makes eliminating paper from your business easy and affordable. Many of our customers, like Farmers National Company and Channel Jets, have experienced almost immediate ROI by digitizing their data collection process. You can see if Device Magic is the right solution to help you eliminate paper from your business by estimating how much you can save using our ROI calculator – see below! Then sign up for our free trial to test out all of our platform features.