7 Limitations of Paper Documents

Posted by Kevin D'Arcy on Oct 21, 2015 9:35:00 AM

7 Limitations of Paper Documents

For centuries, paper has been the dominant means of record keeping and communication. This has always been despite the fact that paper has a significant number of limitations that interfere with your ability to manage your documents. In recent years, however, the limitations of paper as a document management resource have become more glaring as newer technologies are developed to overtake paper as the primary document management resource. Here are seven of the biggest limitations of paper document use that can be easily overcome with a document management system upgrade:

1. Sharing a paper document can take days

When you have a paper document, it can only be shared as fast as the transportation that you use based on the distance between you and the recipient. If you are in the same office as the recipient for example, sharing a paper document will take minutes. If your recipient is on the other side of town, they may not receive the document until the next day. If your recipient is in another part of the country, it can take days to share a paper document – it can even be lost while in transit.

2. Paper documents take up a great deal of space

When you create or receive a paper document, you have to store it somewhere. The average office worker uses 10,000 pieces of paper per year. This means that each of your workers generates 1,600 pounds of paper in only 12 months. This paper use can quickly evolve into a storage catastrophe.

3. Paper documents are expensive

Companies are saving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year right now. They aren't doing this by closing offices or laying off employees, but rather by simply using less paper. This exemplifies the cost of paper for every business. Using too much paper is one of the biggest drawbacks of using paper, since it directly affects your bottom line, and your bottom line is what determines how well your business will do.

4. Using paper documents increases the risk of document errors

People make 8 errors for every hundred words typed. Paper documents rely solely on human eyes – the same types of human eyes that made the mistakes in the first place – for review and editing, so cleaning up these errors is not easy with paper.

5. A paper document can be easily destroyed

A paper document can be destroyed by a number of factors, ranging from fire to too much light exposure. This means that even careful handling of a paper document can result in its destruction.

6. It is difficult to fully secure a paper document

Leaving your paper documents unsecured in your office or off-site storage space does not offer enough security. Plus, it is very cost-prohibitive to hire security personnel to guard each stack of paper that takes up space in your facility. Even then, human error can lead to serious security breaches that put your confidential information at risk.

Paper documents are not environmentally friendly

Going green is a major objective for many companies. It can save your business money and it makes you more appealing to a wide range of consumers, many of whom will only work with companies that they perceive as green. Because the creation of paper is widely perceived as environmentally destructive, using too much hurts your green image.

Your company doesn't have to be constrained by the limitations of paper

You can start breaking away from the limitations of paper documents right now by investing in the modern technology solutions that you need.


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