The big debate about whether or not electronic document management (EDM) is the forerunner of a complete paperless office is an argument that has overstayed its welcome. For nearly a decade, paperless technologies—primitive or advanced—have quietly delivered efficiency and productivity benefits to small, medium and large businesses. For example, a small accounting firm outside Boise, Idaho that scans every invoice on a flatbed scanner in order to maintain an electronic backup of physical paper invoices shares a common technology with a trillion-dollar Swiss bank that uses workflow-based EDM to keep multi-million dollar trades flowing smoothly through their systems. Aside from their scale of operations, both enterprises are saving significant percentages of their profits because they use a paperless office.
Paperless EDM can create quick-wins on your balance sheet
As entrepreneurs, we’re conditioned to look at balance sheets and cost reports with a critical eye, because we don’t want to settle for a promise of efficiency by burning a hole in our pocket. An EDM system allows you the benefit of seeing improved productivity within days after implementation. While making allowances for training and acclimatization, it is important to understand that EDM can free up administrative and productive time spent locating, retrieving documents—short-term benefits of the system that show up in a quarterly balance sheet. For example, a cloud based EDM can reduces reliance not only on physical hardware and expensive server licensing fees, saving an organization’s office space and IT spending, but it also provides anytime/anywhere access to critical files and documents.
Paperless document management can lower key overheads
As an entrepreneur, it is easy to appreciate that transitioning to a new system challenges the status quo at a behavioral level. A well-designed paperless system not only frees up person-hours, it can lower several costs including stationery expenses, document storage space and even positively influence carbon credit. Efficiency measures that impact profitability so profoundly need to be at the forefront of a business’ tactical and strategic decisions.
Driving profitability and growth
The inherent efficiency of a paperless office can be maximized when combined with other productivity tools such as workflow management. Imagine an enterprise where work instructions for every step of a process automatically open when an employee performs the specific step. Secure paperless offices see significant reductions in cost, turnaround time, risk profile, training period and better performance on key growth indicators. These growth indicators enable a business to do more with less time and money.
Cloud-based electronic document management software taps into a vast need of most industries today. While practiced to varying degrees, a structured EDM system can effect true strategic and tactical transformation while saving 30% to 40% of your overhead costs—and that’s just to start with.
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