Even in our digital age, paper remains a vital commodity for doing business. As an International Data Corporation study reported, “U.S.-based companies spend $25 billion to $35 billion processing (filing, storing and retrieving) paper.” Management of these documents pushes that figure up to $100 billion annually. As utilization of business data expands, companies are experimenting with alternate solutions to managing paper files.
What executives are noticing is the significant savings resulting from reducing their reliance on paper. A Cisco study estimated that a company of 370 employees could save about $1 million by switching to an electronic document management system (DMS), eliminating nearly 80 percent of its paper-based records. Companies tapping DMS technology are seeing a huge return on investment.
Just how much are you spending managing your HR documents each year? Find out with Paycom’s Document Management Calculator.
While paper can be a large expense for many small to medium-sized businesses, the proper DMS can eliminate the need and improve the bottom line. However, going paperless provides additional benefits beyond merely reducing cost.
Save Time with Same-Day Retrieval
Are filing cabinets a furniture staple in your office? When a filing cabinet is your sole system of record, sifting through thousands of records to find a single document can take hours or even days. According to a Wedbush Securities survey, 74 percent of organizations experience data loss; even worse, 32 percent of these organizations spend take several days to recover a document, while 16 percent search to no avail. In addition to frustration and chaos, these overgrown filing systems cause stress, which hinders productivity. That burden can be alleviated with a flexible DMS; it makes retrieval quick and easy, allowing more time to be spent on strategic initiatives.
Recover Faster after a Disaster
Mother Nature is clearly unpredictable; in fact, USA Today reported that in 2013, insurance firms paid $45 billion in disaster claims. The amount represents one-third of the $140 billion in overall economic loss from a total of 308 catastrophic events. Every business will face minor downtimes and major unknowns, making it imperative to have plans for disaster recovery in place. A DMS – more specifically, a cloud-based system – stores documents “off-site,” keeping them safe from disaster. Not all systems have the ability to store documents “off-site,” so for absolute protection, look to the cloud.
With more extensive regulations, compliance is a huge preoccupation for companies. The right DMS can provide a secure audit trail of all documentation, so that companies can meet retention requirements and authenticate the validity of information stored. An electronic DMS has the added ability to capture electronic signatures, allowing employers to ensure important documents have been read and reviewed by employees within a certain timeline. Top DMSs allow for the ability to report on what has not been signed, ensuring the company is fully compliant.
Improve Security Standards
With a paper-based method, concern of a security breach always exists. Companies can reduce exposure by using a DMS that keeps tight supervision over business critical records. Most DMS solutions allow you to arrange access by status so that confidential information is kept private. With a DMS, it is important to see who viewed and/or modified a file and when – something that is impossible to do with a physical system.
Improve Document Distribution
Traditionally, paper documents must be photocopied, which according to authors Robert Orfali, Dan Harkey and Jeri Edwards, “Paper copies cost between six and 12 cents per page,” and if the recipient is located outside your office, you have to factor in packaging and shipping fees. These costs are preventable with a DMS that allows you to share documents via email or online. Consider, too, how this speeds up new employee onboarding and benefits enrollment. With the right DMS, documents easily can be filtered, tasked and submitted by an employee without having to keep track of loose paper files.
Everything Is Centralized
Having inconsistencies, specifically with duplicate systems – be they paper or electronic – leaves you vulnerable to compliance risk, reporting errors and payroll mistakes. It is important to have on clear system of record to ensure that business information is kept cohesive, and documents are accessible easily and not distributed across multiple channels.
With challenges greater than before – including redundancies, misplaced documents and inaccurate information – DMSs deliver huge benefits. Advance your data management today and get back to what matters most.