The True Costs of Paper-Based Business

13 January 2016 by RJ Jacques

The statistics behind data loss are alarming: 70% of today’s businesses would fail within 3 weeks if they suffered a catastrophic loss of paper-based records due to fire or flood.1 And with more than 4.6 million episodes of catastrophic business data loss happening each year2, could your business survive such an event? And what could you do to prevent the problems of catastrophic data loss from interrupting your business? Today I’ll discuss the true cost of a paper-based business workflow and what you can do to mitigate the risks that come from relying on physical forms and paper record keeping.

Reduce paperwork

Office paper, cheap and readily available, is certainly not without its risks and setbacks. Here are a few stats on business paper usage that put the true cost of paper-based workflow into perspective:

  • Businesses spend 5% of their budgets on filing, approximately $25,000 to fill a typical four-drawer file cabinet, and an additional $2,000 to maintain it every year.3
  • Professionals in a paper-based business workflow spends up to 35-50% of their time searching for information due to lack of a centralized repository or index.4
  • $14,000 worth of productivity is lost per worker per year due to their inability to find the proper data they require to do their job.5
  • The costs of using paper in the office can run 13 to 31 times the cost of purchasing the paper in the first place and the American office worker uses an average of 10,000 sheets of paper every year.6
  • A small misfiling rate can pose significant problems in filing installations. A misfiling rate of 0.5% in a 4 drawer cabinet can lead to 1000 misfiled documents - effectively losing them forever.7

With this in mind, what can a business do to protect themselves from a catastrophic loss of business information or the rising cost of paper storage?

The only way to survive a catastrophic loss of data is to maintain duplicates of mission-critical files in an offsite secure location. However, having offsite paper copies of every file is just not logistically or financially feasible for all businesses, and would only increase the costs of paper, not decrease them. So whats the best option for maintaining duplicates without resorting to even more paperwork and filing?

Digital forms gives you fast and easy access to all forms and files stored from the cloud, meaning your files and data are safe, regardless of what happens at your place of business. You can create the form once and have access to it in the field, at home, in the office, or while traveling. You can even grant access to other individuals and work collaboratively from anywhere. This way business can be done anywhere, anytime, and problems can be solved in minutes without the hassles of storing, searching, or losing critical paperwork.

Fulcrum was created to help businesses solve this problem when capturing information in the field by providing a cloud-based replacement for paper forms. Any paper form can be quickly converted into a digital “app” with our drag-and-drop interface, and completed records are stored safely and securely in the cloud for future retrieval and use. Fulcrum works on any Android or iOS device, allowing you to replace the clipboard with an option that works anywhere, anytime. A decrease in the costs and risks of paper storage is just one of many great reasons to digitize and automate your processes.

Imagine saving thousands of dollars a year, freeing up precious space in the office, and never having to look for that misplaced document ever again. We invite you to try Fulcrum risk-free for 30 days, and see how easy going paperless really is!

About the author

RJ is the Director of Marketing for Fulcrum. He oversees our advertising, outreach, and marketing operations and programs.

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