Even with the global push to “go paperless” within the last decade or so, the scary truth is, offices still waste a lot of paper - every day, every month, every year. It adds up! Paper waste shouldn’t just bother people who are environmentally conscious, but also businesses minding their bottom lines. Paper waste is expensive, and the truths that appear in your balance sheets might scare you enough to consider paperless document management options.
Here are a few numbers to consider the next time you’re evaluating the actual cost of paper waste in your office:
- The average American office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper every year. Consider the departments that rely on paper: Human Resources, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, etc. An electronic document management system would virtually eliminate the need for print-outs to be made, stored as files in physical filing systems, and not to mention, the number of times a record needs to be copied.
- The average office makes 19 copies of each paper document. If the documents were accessible electronically, everyone in the HR department (for example) wouldn't need to make a copy to keep on file. It’s filed away in the Cloud, available whenever required, and stored in a way that doesn’t amass paper waste.
- A typical office loses one out of 20 paper records. This sounds like a small percentage, but factor in that on average these offices then spend up to $120 searching for every misfiled or misplaced paper document. It’s resource time and paper you’re never getting back and will make an impact on your financial statements.
- 30% of documents used daily contain obsolete information. That means most offices are paying to have paper files stored, where a third are outdated anyways. That should be an eye-opening (scary) truth. Keeping records in the Cloud, or an electronic document management system will help you organize the information you have and archive documents that have become outdated or irrelevant to your business.
- The average labour cost to reproduce a lost document is $220. If you knew that every time someone in AR lost an invoice or a vendor file, it would cost you $220 for their time to reproduce it - would you be looking for a more cost-effective solution? Paper waste comes with a high price tag, particularly when you are paying resources to manage critical documents properly.
Many companies evaluate the cost of paper and paper waste as “how much paper do we need to buy” or “how much money does toner cost for the printer.” But to honestly see the total cost associated with printing, storing and recovering (managing) paper files, you need to include labour costs, storage costs, and efficiency. Do the math for your own company, and expose the scary truth about how much paper you waste, and pay a high cost for.