OK, it's clear we love pandas and the environment as a whole, so we'd love you to go paperless. But honestly? Yeah, we do love pandas and the environment, but we're really all about streamlining processes and saving time and money. That's why our offices are paperless and printer-free, and we think yours should be too. Thus, today, we break down for you the reasons why you should go paperless and tricks and ways to implement it across your office.
Six reasons paper-free is the way to be
Employees waste an average of six weeks per year searching for documents. It opens the ability to work from anywhere, anytime. Instead of having to attach and share folders back and forth wasting an average of ten minutes, searching for the right version of a Word doc, you can assign your team different parts to be working on at the same time, within the same place.
Reduces Costs: The average worker uses about 10,000 pages of paper a year, which is about $80. No matter what the size of your company, this is significant. No more paper, ink, overworked printers and copiers that always need to maintainance (and take up the space where you could fit a desk.) And why print those employee handbooks that folks don’t want to lug around? Instead, you can make it accessible for them to read it anywhere, anytime on their smartphones or tablets, while being able to track and see if they actually read it.
Record-keeping: How many offices are lined with dusty, obtrusive file cabinets? One DVD can capture the contents of 28 filing cabinets. Besides yearly tax forms, little else needs to be stored in paper form anymore. Believe us, you’ll welcome that space. Check with your suppliers to see if they have a paperless option -- if they do, they’ll appreciate the little cost they’ll be cutting and the quicker they'll get paid.
More secure: We cannot state this fact enough -- 85 percent of identity theft cases occur with offline, printed documents. And if you aren't printing, your competitive info is also more secure on your clients computer than lying around their office.
Flexibility: Are you like us, with offices around the world in different timezones? Or just offices scattered throughout a building? Being cloud-based puts you all on the same page, no matter when or where. GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com says that telecommuting could raise productivity anywhere between 15 and 55 percent. Seventy-nine percent of people wish they could work from home, with 37 percent of tech professionals saying they’d trade a 10-percent pay cut to work at home. Flexible work time is motivational and drives loyalty, as well as it saves you administrative and utility costs, being able to rent a smaller office space. Plus, it avoids unscheduled absences that cost employers $1,800 per employee per year.
Collaborative: Ever have to pass docs back and forth on a shared folder or, worse still, have to download and reupload different versions, not always knowing which version’s right? Now you can use PandaDoc to store everything in the cloud, tracking version, so you never waste your time looking for which-doc-is-which again.
Go paperless, department by department
Everyone in your company can benefit from the time, money and frustration saved by going paperless. Some departments, like I.T. will probably have naturally moved to this point and they love it. Now we give you tricks of how the rest of you can jump on-board.
Sales: Your sales team is less effective behind a desk. Like the Great British Parliament, equipping your sales team with iPads or tablets not only saves you money in the long-run, it keeps your team out in the field talking to clients where they belong. When they are mobilized, sales is able to:
- update client info in an integrated Client Relationship Manager,
- draw up contracts
- get them signed
- to invoice
- provide instant receipts
- get instant notification when your client's opened
- know what they are looking at
- for how long
- and so much more!
Plus, if you get your clients to sign then and there, you don't have to worry about them over-thinking and changing their minds, while wasting time, downloading, printing, signing, scanning and re-uploading.
Accounting: All invoicing, payroll, reimbursements and paychecks can be done without a single sheet of paper. Trust me, everyone loves getting an email at midnight saying their paycheck has cleared, instead of having to make it to the bank before it closes on Friday to cash their check. Plus, when your salesforce is mobile, their expense reports arrive organized and verifiable, enabling you to know immediately just what they're using that company credit card for.
Legal: Your life is contracts. Use the cloud and awesome templates to make creating them easy. Then, save them in a drag-n-drop content library, where you can re-use and adapt already written content. For that matter, drag-n-drop signature boxes effortlessly, and then email those documents around to signees, witnesses and notaries in a flash. No more printing, express shipping to multiple places, and waiting, waiting, waiting. Plus, think of all that room you can free up if you convert your office's mini law library to online? And the time your lawyers will save searching for info?
Customer Service: If you can see everything that has happened with a customer, you can respond more quickly to their complaints, questions, needs and concerns. And if you have a detailed overview of all the conversations had across your company with this client -- instead of notes on a scratch paper or in a Word doc on your employee's desktop -- you can always know what's going on. Plus, going paperless for customer service enables you to schedule and prioritize followup.
Then, streamline it all into one well-oiled machine
There's no doubt that we love CRM (client relationship managers,) task managers, Evernote and other paperless dreams. PandaDoc and our sister company Quote Roller were inspired by our coding bosses wanting to automate their lives. Automation works -- it saves money, space and time. If you're a new company, you don't have the room or money to furnish your office with storage, printers, copiers and fax machines. And no matter what your company, you can stand to cut costs by increasing efficiency.
All of this cloud-based software allows you to organize, streamline and customize communication across your office. Plus, in the increasingly saturated SaaS marketplace, prices continue to go down so you can organize your home and office life on the cheap.
Just make sure to train!
As human beings, like pandas, we are averse to change, and implementing new technologies with software without training is usually worse that using old procedures. Create a clear game plan about how the changes will affect each department, making sure each area receives the due notice and training it needs.
Has your office gone paperless? What tricks or tools did you use to make it happen?
Infographic by the amazing Max Blumen