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Remote work has become the new normal for many businesses, so employees have had to find novel ways to complete the tasks they used to do in the office or face to face. Some of them have had to get used to not having a scanner and copier nearby and no longer being able to walk into their boss’ office to get their signature on a sales contract. They’ve also had to find alternative ways to collaborate with their colleagues and engage with customers.
Fortunately, today’s powerful mobile technology and an abundant choice of business apps make going all digital — and 100 percent paperless — easy for businesses of any size. If you’ve thought about turning your business paper-free, here are 10 reasons to make the change as you calibrate to the COVID-19 era business environment.
1. Speed up business processes
Going paper-free allows your business to move faster — whether you’re working from home or not. Using digital forms and electronic signatures, you save time you would’ve spent printing documents, setting up in-person appointments and storing hard copies. With digital invoices, you don’t have to spend money on professionally printed forms or send paper documents by mail. By accepting electronic payments and sending out digital checks, you can tightly control cash flow without having to worry about running to the bank to make a deposit.
2. Meet customer demands for speed and service
Speeding up your business processes will benefit both your organization and your customers. Delivering documents to customers’ inboxes, allowing them to review them at their leisure and enabling electronic signatures shows them that you value their time. Customers prefer self-service for simple interactions, such as placing orders, finding company information and filling out online forms. They demand convenience and look for businesses that can provide it.
3. Create a smoother workflow for your staff
How much of your staff’s time in the office was spent chasing paper? Employees spend time printing documents, ensuring customers fill them out, scanning the completed forms, attaching those files to digital records and then filing those papers away. That busywork takes your employees away from higher-value interactions. By embracing a digital workplace transformation, your team will have more time to spend on customer service and satisfaction. Digital processes also allow you to automate routine tasks and collaborate with more team much more easily.
4. Save on supplies, storage and shredding
Add up what you spend each year on paper, ink, printer maintenance, file storage and shredding services. You might be surprised at the total. Embracing an all-digital, paperless workflow frees up that money so you can use it on more critical business needs.
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5. Be kinder to the environment
Roughly half of business waste is paper. American offices use 12.1 trillion sheets of paper annually, according to The World Counts, which tracks environmental statistics. By conserving paper, you’ll feel better about your carbon footprint, and it may even be a selling point for customers.
6. Ensure greater accuracy
This benefit is twofold. On the customer side, if they can fill out forms at their leisure, they’re more likely to enter their information carefully and accurately. On the staff side, using a digital workflow makes it less likely that information will be keyed in incorrectly or that documents will be misfiled.
7. Offer more security
A digital workflow allows you to store documents in the cloud, which is safer than keeping private and sensitive files in an office. Encryption and layers of mobile security protect digital documents, and access can be restricted to only authorized users. Unlike paper files, digital files stored and backed up to the cloud can’t be damaged by fire or a natural disaster.
8. Expand your ‘office’
Using mobile technology to go paperless helps empower employees who are on the go. If you have field-based team members visiting or making deliveries to customer locations, they can rely on rugged mobile devices, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro or Galaxy XCover Pro, to keep them connected with the office. Rugged devices are designed to work in harsh, wet or dusty conditions, indoors or out. Your “office” can be fully mobile, and you can execute contracts, complete purchases and email receipts from just one device.
9. Become nimbler
Digital forms also provide greater flexibility than printed ones. On mobile devices, digital forms can be instantly updated from a central portal, ensuring all team members are aligned on the updated requirements. And with automated workflows, work orders and reports can be easily routed to the right person for follow-up.
10. Allow easier information access and collaboration
With their paperwork entirely digital, team members can create, edit and update files more efficiently. And because data and reports can be accessed by all authorized personnel at any time — from anywhere — collaboration is easier than ever.
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