Judging the actual cost of printing is nearly impossible. So much goes into producing a single printed page – the printer’s purchase (or lease) price, the cost of paper, ink cartridges, energy use, and the burden on your IT department. Then there are the environmental costs. The average office worker generates roughly 10,000 sheets of paper each year, yet 45% of printed documents end up in the trash the very same day (and 80% of the remaining sheets are never viewed again after being filed away).
Going paperless can save a company big bucks. Just think about how much paperwork goes on in the front office of an organization alone. Visitors may sign in, fill out forms, or ask for printed maps. Likewise, employees in reception may still photocopy identification documents, print out legal disclosures, and provide take-home documentation. Very little of this is truly necessary, especially in an era where visitor management systems digitize so much of this.
Below, we’ll look at the main ways companies can save on unnecessary expenditures by using digital tools like a VMS to go paperless.
Productivity in the paperless office
A 2012 IDC white paper found that employees spent an average of 4.5 hours a week looking for misplaced printed documents. That’s how much time can be saved by digitizing documents that only require a keyword search to be located.
Printers are also a time suck from your IT department. In fact, print-related help desk tickets account for roughly 23% of all requests at the average company.Eliminating the constant need to print frees up your tech experts to do work that really matters, like beefing up cybersecurity.
The digital office can boost productivity for just about everyone. Team members can collaborate in the cloud without having to print and exchange documents, work becomes more mobile without the need for paper files. Tools like Sine’s Visitor Management Software can reduce the busywork in reception areas by eliminating forms and the need to copy and file them.
Improve security and regulatory compliance
Print costs involve more than supplies and labor. Companies can also lose money to date breaches due to printers that haven’t been adequately secured. In fact, printers are usually the weak link in company security.
In 2021, 68% of organizations experienced data losses due to insecure printing practices, and the average cost per data breach was over $850,000.Forty-five percent of IT managers have said they’ve seen “evidence of compromised printers being used as an attack point” by cybercriminals.
By eliminating the need for printed documents, companies can take a significant step toward tighter cybersecurity. They can also improve on-site privacy and ensure they are complying with laws that protect personal information. That’s just one of the reasons Sine’s VMS has been so crucial to healthcare providers in their quest to go paperless.
Eliminate extra expenses
Companies spend between 1 – 3% of their annual revenue on printing. And there are some surprising costs we rarely consider, such as the amount of space it takes to maintain paper files. Consider this: roughly 50% of commercial real estate is inhabited by filing cabinets and other paper storage. Our paperwork sits in temperature-controlled and lit rooms as well, adding to the extra costs.
While digital upgrades will undoubtedly create new costs, they pay themselves off quickly. In fact, 28% of organizations that invested in paperless document management realized a complete return on their investment in less than six months, while 59% reported achieving total ROI in less than a year.
Paperless visitor management with Sine
Tools like visitor management systems can be a straightforward place to start with digital upgrades. Eliminating paper in the front office has been at the forefront of our minds over the last two years as we sought ways of reducing contact spaces.
It’s natural for business leaders to have concerns about making a major pivot in the way they do business, but going paperless holds far more benefits than risks, and Sine’s VMS allows for a secure and gradual transition to a more sustainable future.