There are many reasons why businesses are making the switch to paperless. Whether it is for the sake of the environment, or to save precious pennies (studies suggest that companies spend roughly $8 billion annually on paper use), the switch is happening all around us. Luckily, the technological advancements that we have seen over recent years are allowing more and more businesses to make the change and say goodbye to paper forever.  From digital contracts, to electronic management systems, vital changes are taking shape in every business environment.

How widespread are paperless businesses?

It may seem like a big change, but many businesses have already made the leap towards being completely paperless. 3% of businesses have already eradicated its use in every process which has allowed them to witness incredible results across their organisation.

Many businesses may feel apprehensive about this radical change at first. However, 16% of businesses are actively looking at different methods that will help them remove paper from their procedures entirely.

Of course, many companies feel comfortable with their current, paper-heavy, way of doing things and are reluctant to switch. These businesses actually increased their paper consumption by around 20%. This is due to three key factors; a lack of confidence in digital solutions, the need for regulations and quite simply, humans being content with paper. However, studies have found that 33% of businesses are almost paperless.

According to research, paperless technology is already improving businesses. One study suggests that in the first six months of going paperless, 28% of businesses gained a full return on investment. A further 59% achieved a full ROI in less than 12 months and 84% within an 18-month period.

Considering how much money paperless technology could save you, you’d be a fool not to embrace it! Not only will this offer a return on investment, but it will also allow companies to focus on other areas of their business and not have to think about any administrative tasks that occur when handling paper. Your consumer acquisition costs can decrease dramatically, too.

How you can make your business paperless:

There are plenty of ways to make the switch to paperless seamless. Technology can be used for a range of requirements that include offering employees their payslips online or even allowing customers to sign for their products on a tablet which all help reduce the amount of paper present in an office.

Even by simply introducing technology that allows people to sign digital contracts, businesses can see reduced costs of 60-85%. This enables greater savings and reduced budgets on administration expenses.

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set in stone, going paperless actually allows you to have greater security requirements and allows you to remain compliant with the legislation. Although this is set to strengthen and unify consumer data in Europe, it will also apply to non-EU businesses that are trading with EU consumers.

This technology is also useful for identifying the authenticity of documents and making an accurate note of the time and date that they were signed. Businesses are able to complete viable audits to conduct regular contract searches, reducing the risk of fraudulent activities.

Going paperless does not only help your business financially but will also enhance the customer experience. The beauty of a paperless contract is that it ensures that all fields that are required are filled out by the consumer and can easily be sent to the customer through email. Should it be misplaced, it can easily be resent from an administrative interface. If any issues were to occur, contracts can simply be retrieved and shown as evidence.

Another issue of being reliant on paper is storage — a problem solved by paperless technology! If you’re looking to adopt more advanced features for your paperless installations, biometrics can be utilised to create an easier flow of signing, which can again enhance the customer experience and increase satisfaction.

Don’t be left behind as the world is turning away from paper! 87% of senior decision-makers are ensuring that digital transformation is at the top of their priorities this year — are you?