Earlier this week we described 3 popular ways businesses are going paperless to go green and this article explores additional ways consumers and companies alike can get started on their paperless plan.
Large businesses, small companies and home offices have all taken part in the going paperless initiative. Document management solutions have become increasingly popular, tablets and smartphones have facilitated the switch to an electronic office and paperless receipts have been growing rapidly in recent years.
Mother Nature Network said while businesses have been making strong moves toward a paperless existence, some continue to have areas in their operations where paper is unnecessarily used, and can be quickly converted to being paper-free.
“And so, in 2012, 37 years after the paperless office first entered the lexicon (it was coined in a 1975 BusinessWeek article), we are still printing and filing, storing and shredding paper – way more than we need to,” the website said. “And the reason isn’t technology or stubbornness, it’s that age-old human stumbling block: habit.”
So for anyone looking at a more paper-free existence, the website offered up some useful tips:
Paperless billing; featuring benefits you can give and receive. From receiving the invoice to paying it, when you break the habit of mailing checks, it is actually a much more convenient way to handle payments. Incentivizing paperless billing to your own customers is beneficial as well, improving customer satisfaction and streamlining the entire accounts receivable process for your business.
Have an eSigning solution
No matter what your business, there are signatures that are going to be required. Whether they are legal contracts or simple purchase requests, paper is constantly shuffled from desk to desk in order to get that necessary John Hancock.
The right solution can effectively manage e-signatures for a legal and much more efficient process.
Scanning older documents
Keeping, storing and archiving documents is not only a common business practice, it is typically a requirement due to compliance issues. Retention policies set strict guidelines on the length of time particular documents must be kept. Without an electronic solution, this paper can quickly claim a lot of storage space and when certain records are required, good luck actually locating it.
Mother Nature Network said getting a scanner to put documents in an electronic system may be time consuming initially, but once everything is organized in the central repository, it becomes easier to go back and reference information. With retention periods automatically set to the electronic content, properly managing archived documents becomes much easier.
Reduce outgoing paper
MacWorld said to help break the habit of paper, companies should try saving and sending documents in an electronic format instead. After scanning documents into a system, this should come easily. Reducing the amount of physical paper leaving the office eliminates printing and shipping costs, and enables information to be accessed from the electronic system from anywhere.