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6 Reasons to Go Paperless (and 4 Tips for Doing it Right)

August 27, 2018

From conserving natural resources to reducing business costs, there are lots of reasons to go paperless — but many companies have yet to do it. Maybe it’s because they’re attached to their familiar paper processes, or perhaps they’re simply reluctant to enact change.

But it’s important to remember that even if you don’t change, the rest of the world does. And in today’s climate, converting to digital documentation is a transition worth making.

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Going paperless may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right mindset and procedures in place, your business can step out of its comfort zone and into the digital age!

The best reasons to leave paper behind

1. Save time

The number of efficiencies you’ll experience when you transition from paper to mobile forms with Fulcrum are countless. Here are just a few:

  • You won’t have to pay to have your forms printed.
  • You won’t have to worry about chasing down information from incomplete forms. (Because you can set fields to be required!)
  • You can completely eliminate the data-entry step at the office because the field workers will be submitting everything through their apps!

Your field teams will love it because they can collect data straight from their smartphones. No more carrying around bulky clipboards, worrying about lost or damage papers, or scrambling to find a pen.

2. Access your data in real time

With Fulcrum, you have access to your data immediately. This gives you the ability to make faster, better-informed decisions.

Plus: You have access to your data anytime, anywhere. Simply log into your Fulcrum dashboard from any device that has access to the internet, and voila! Data at your fingertips.

3. Save space

Paper accumulates into files, which accumulate in filing cabinets, which are heavy and bulky. And the more files you have, the more filing cabinets you need. That takes up a lot of space — sometimes even extra storage space outside your facility!

Imagine being able to eliminate the cost of that extra storage, or use the office space for an extra conference room or an espresso machine. Ahhh, you like that idea a “latte,” don’t you?

4. Keep your data secure

Your documents are stored safely and securely in the cloud, where you can control who has access to your data. You never have to worry about your documents being sabotaged by any sort of loss, such as a break-in or a natural disaster.

5. Be environmentally friendly

On average, Fulcrum customers collect 4.38 million records every month. That’s a lot of paper being eliminated! Plus, you look like a superstar when your customers see what you’re doing to save trees.

6. Save money

U.S. companies spend approximately $460 billion per year in salaries to manage paper-driven overload, and the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a paperless office saves roughly $80 per employee each year in paper, ink, and storage costs!

Tips for Going Paperless

Once you decide to switch to digital documentation, buy-in from your team is critical. Here’s how to make the transition from paper forms much quicker and easier:

1. Have a plan

  • Communicate your plan so everyone in your organization is on the same page. Develop a naming convention so everybody understands how to label documents so they can be easily retrieved.
  • Scan your paper documents and be sure to mark them so you can differentiate the scanned documents from the non-scanned documents.
  • It’s a good idea to move your paper files to an off-site storage space for a couple months. This will get you used to not having access to them, but you’ll still be able to go get something if you need it.
  • After your documents have been in storage for a couple months and you feel comfortable that you’re not going to need them, shred and dispose of them.
  • Be sure to recycle!

2. Get your employees involved

  • Sometimes change can be difficult. Explain the reason your company is going paperless and let your employees know how this benefits them. (You can use many of the points listed above.)
  • Your customers might also like to know that you’re going paperless. Tell them! It will likely make them feel good to do business with a company that cares about the environment.

3. Use technology

  • PDF, Google Docs, and Dropbox are easy ways to store data and give access to those who need it.
  • Move copy machines and fax machines out of the office to make them less convenient because people have to get up and walk somewhere to use them.
  • You can eventually transform all of your departments with accounting, HR, expense, payroll, and e-signature software.

4. Download Fulcrum

  • Your teams, whether in the office or in the field, can collect data anytime, anywhere, online or offline, using the Fulcrum app.
  • Real-time data delivery eliminates the need for paper forms and delayed data entry, and reduces mistakes and omissions.
  • Not only does Fulcrum help you with your goal of going paperless, it saves you and your employees a ton of time — and we all know time is money.

Take your time and don’t beat yourself up

This is a big project and it isn’t going to happen overnight. You don’t have to scan and shred 100% of your papers. Not every document is meant to be destroyed. Some customers may still want paper invoices.

We’re going to let you in on a little secret here now that you’ve made the commitment: Going paperless doesn’t really mean “zero paper.” It’s more like “significantly reducing your business’ carbon footprint” — but that isn’t as fun to say!

Are you ready to start your journey toward becoming a “paperless” office? Click the button below to request a demonstration of Fulcrum and start your free trial!