The cost of real estate and paper document storage vs digital document solutions
Companies of all sizes, across the UK are overpaying for workspace because of the hidden costs of occupancy. These costs push up business overheads and push down profit margin.
One of the easiest things your business can do to save on the spiralling cost of real estate is to make the most of your existing office space. Do you really want to be wasting space on paper documentation hidden away in filing cabinets? Or losing money on offsite facilities such as Iron Mountain to store documents externally? Of course not! However, implementing new technologies and processes can seem like a daunting prospect. It does not have to be. With simple solutions that integrate with your existing systems and operations, you can take steps to digital transformation at a pace that suits your business.
How can secure document management help make space and save valuable time?
Companies spend as much as £20,500 per year on document processes in order to support an average of 5,000 printed pages per month. Just cutting this volume by 25% can save your company thousands. Equally sorting and storing these documents into filing cabinets takes up unproductive time and space.
Offsite document storage may seem like a solution but can be extremely costly and make important documents inaccessible.
Secure digital document management can help you streamline your document processes and get rid of paper waste. Here are just some of the benefits of implementing a digital document strategy:
- Cutting down on physical storage space saves tangible costs. According to a report by Instant Office, the space required to put down your laptop in London costs as much as £207 per year alone. With London office space more expensive than ever before the cost of paper filing and storage cannot be underestimated.
- Digital archiving means documents are easy to search and find.
- Ease of use cuts down hours of staff time lost searching for hard-copy documentation. According to a survey by Ricoh
Additional value-add benefits of document digitisation include:
- Security – Secure digital filing makes it easier to control access to sensitive information and enables you to store data in a GDPR compliant manner.
- Efficiency - 7.5% of all documents get lost and 3.0% of the remainder get misfiled, digital document processing cuts down on the risk of manual error.
- Agility and flexibility – allow users to work remotely and access documents securely using their mobile devices.
- Ease of use - Faster processing and handling time means faster approvals and a more efficient business.
- Accountability - hold users accountable by understanding what has happened to your documents at each touch point. Audit trails and version control give you complete visibility over entire document processes.
- Green initiatives – Cut down on paper consumption and reduce your environmental footprint.
The two most expensive costs for organisations are people and space. By not having a digital document management system you risk wasting space on storage and wasting precious employee time on inefficient manual processes.
We do not anticipate businesses will go paper-free anytime soon. There are of course benefits to having some paper documentation; contracts are universally accepted as valid and lengthy documents are easier to read in paper form. However, companies adopting a hybrid approach to managing digital and paper documents are finding it leads to a more efficient and productive workplace. It’s less about going paperless and more about going paperlite according to Global Print 2025.
Reclaim your office space with digital document solutions
The Internet, cloud tools, mobile devices and other technologies are transforming traditional forms of communication into digital form. Embracing this technology now can help your business today and in the future. With so much of the world adopting digital processes, it is now not a case of if your business needs to have an electronic document management system; but when!
So how can you adopt a more digitally enriched, paperlite document process?
Scanning: Using Multi-Functional Devices (MFDs) to scan documents into electronic format.
Converting: Using Document Automation to convert paper documents into a searchable digital format.
Combining: Bringing together your digitally delivered and scanned documents into one cohesive platform.
Creating workflows: Tagging and routing documents into specific workflows for action to be taken by the right department or individual.
Securely storing: Once actioned, storing documents electronically. If a document needs to be found later it is searchable and can be found in seconds.
Creating a paperlite workplace – reducing and keeping down unnecessary print costs
Once your paper documents have been successfully captured in an electronic document management system, policies should be put in place to help staff to reduce the number of wasted prints so that you continue to reap rewards. Here’s some suggestions on how you can maximise the efficiency of your digital document strategy by reducing the amount you print:
- Enforce policies – simple print policies and printer configurations such as default to double-sided, can make a big impact.
- Implement Secure Print Solutions – A Secure Print solution is a piece of software that queues print jobs and only releases them when the user has authenticated themselves at the device (using a pin code or swipe card). This makes printing more secure and economical.
- Make staff accountable - By producing monthly usage reports and making staff accountable they are less likely to print unnecessary documents and generally be more mindful of their use of consumables.
- Incentivise staff – for example by offering a reward for the person who is the most efficient with their printing.
SPOTLIGHT ON: The Legal Sector
The legal sector is particularly susceptible to paper waste. Only 26% of legal firms use only electronic copies of documents. Conversely 20% of legal firms use paper only.
It goes without question that legal firms will have the need for vast amounts of documentation, however, by creating good habits and taking a hybrid approach to digital and hard copy document processes, this sector in particular can benefit from a good document digitisation strategy.
Did you know? In 2013, the world’s first ‘paperless trial’ between Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich saved approximately five million sheets of paper through use of digital technology (Telegraph)
How Digicorp can help you streamline your business and free up valuable office space
Digicorp provides a variety of document solutions and managed services that deliver Digital Transformation to businesses like yours. We work in partnership with our customers, giving a bespoke, service-driven approach to creating solutions for your company. Call us on 020 3929 3003 or request a call back.