Boo! Five frightening business considerations within your control

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As Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve, envelops  us, we don’t need a calendar to let us know this holiday is here. The smell of burning leaves when you step outside, the sweet smell of cinnamon that seems to be everywhere, the sight of sunlight leaving earlier and earlier each day…

But this year, for me, the foreshadowing to the holiday was far more jolting.

Driving to work—rounding the curve of a familiar country road—I was blindsided by a new, horrifying scene in the front yard of a small house I see every day: a mad-scientist operating room, complete with life-sized doctors, operating tables, “patient casualties” and a multitude of saws and instruments. I was so grateful for my seat belt after instinctively slamming on the brakes while my mind caught up to my line of sight.

Crisis averted, my adrenaline surge lasted the entire remaining 10-minute drive to the office.

A paper-free world

As I sat with my (unneeded) cup of coffee, I read my first emails of the day. The first, a news story of the estimated costs of flooding damage from Hurricane Matthew both in the U.S. and abroad; and the second, details of World Paper Free Day, an event we fully support here at Hyland.

All of this got me thinking about the connection between those two stories, and how reducing your dependence on paper has proven to protect organizations from catastrophes as soundly as a seat belt protects those caught off-guard while driving.

Though World Paper Free Day isn’t officially until Friday, until then, here are five compelling reasons why you should consider a paper-free business environment:

1. 70 percent of today’s businesses would fail within 3 weeks if they suffered a catastrophic loss of paper-based records due to fire or flood.

Disaster recovery and business continuity planning are mission-critical for any business. Utilizing electronic document management processes and records management practices considerably reduces the time to get your business back online after a catastrophe.

2. Slips, trip and fall injuries cost employers approximately $40,000 per incident.

Don’t let physical documents contribute to workplace hazards. If you have numerous file cabinets, boxes or stacks of paper present in your office space, keep in mind the safety and ergonomic impact they can have to your employees.

3. One of the reasons that fires spread so quickly in offices is due to the abundance of combustible materials.

Loose paper, stored paper, discarded packaging, waste bins and furnishings are an unnecessary risk in most business environments where there is no legal reason to keep paper documentation if an electronic copy is available. Electronic documents also promote expediency in the workplace, better customer service and enhanced compliance capabilities.

4. Businesses have paid more than $16 billion in litigation costs over a three-year period, and continue to see regulatory penalties become more stringent, with fines reaching as high as $2.75 million for non-compliance of document retention policies.

Every organization needs a records retention schedule with a written policy that determines which documents are created and retained, by whom and in what location. When employees do not adhere to these practices, an organization is immediately at risk, especially in times of audit or litigation. Not only are the above risks prevalent with physical paper files; but, the cost of these records can be crippling to an organization.

5. Searching for documents takes 20 percent of an employee’s time.

If you have 20 employees, this inefficiency equates to four full-time employees. Assuming $40,000 annual salary for each employee, that’s $160,000 every year in productivity lost. Furthermore, does your organization have more than twenty employees?

Shockingly, 65 percent of organizations are still buried in paper-based processes, according to AIIM’s 2016 Paper Free Progress Report. Think about the advantages the 35 percent have that are considerably paper-free, regardless of the challenges ahead of them just around the bend.

Though there are ghosts and goblins about, don’t be scared. Getting started is as easy as deciding on a business area, and reading about the options available to get your business on a paper-free platform.

Although World Paper Free Day isn’t technically until Friday, we’re not tricking you. Throughout the week, we’ll be treating you with stories about lightning the paper load, so keep tuning in.

Here’s to a delightfully scary Halloween!

Brittney Seitz

Brittney Seitz

Brittney Seitz joined Hyland, creator of OnBase, in June 2015. A Business Development Consultant for Imaging Services and a member of ARMA, she has a diverse background in marketing, market research, sales and operations, with nearly a decade’s experience working for a Fortune 500 company in the records management industry. This, paired with her passion for helping customers of all sizes in a variety of industries allows her to strategically optimize their business processes. When not working toward the “paperless office,” Brittney loves all things CLE, cooking and travel.

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