Grace Information Management Blog

Paperless offices have been hailed as the future of business but according to recent research many companies have been slow to incorporate paper-free projects into their business improvement initiatives.

AIIM, the peak organisation for information professionals, recently surveyed 562 of their members to examine the benefits of pursuing a paper-free work environment, reasons why adoption has been slow, and which processes are the most effective for digitisation.

The resulting report, “Winning the Paper Wars”, found just 47 per cent of organisations have made progress towards updating processes that could be paper-free and alarmingly, 19 per cent have actually increased the use of paper in their office.

“Our research confirms that companies that adopt paper-free business processes benefit by reducing costs, improving customer service, and raising worker productivity,” said AIIM President John Mancini.

“But we’ve also learned that executives are still not comfortable using electronic signatures and electronic documents, even though they are 100 per cent admissible in a court of law, when it comes to legal issues and audit trails.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • 74 per cent of survey respondents have business improvement campaigns underway that would benefit from paper-free processes.
  • Only 24 per cent have a specific policy designed to eliminate paper from their business.
  • On average respondents felt that driving paper out of business processes would improve the productivity of process staff by over 29 per cent.
  • 18 per cent of organisations haven’t even started making progress towards paper free processes
  • Two-thirds of those adopting paper-free processes report a payback within 18 months and 50 per cent see payback in a 12-month period.
  • 20 per cent of respondents print out electronic documents, forms and PDFs, including 13 per cent who print them and then scan them back into their records capture system.
  • Only 10 per cent of organisations have adopted digital mail rooms.

Authors of the report believe the benefits of going paperless include better records for audits and compliance as well as better monitoring of workflows.

If you’re organisation is slow to move to paperless process, Grace Information Management can assist. As well as scanning and digital mailroom services, we consult on the best ways to move your office into the realm of paperless.

To view the full AIIM report, go to http://www.aiim.org/research