Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Paper-Based Filing's Hidden Costs

The cost of hard drive space nowadays is dropping rapidly and many businesses are taking advantage of this by implementing Electronic Document Management Systems. Searchable databases of scanned information are created by these digital systems which allows better business decisions and a much smoother customer service interaction.

On the other hand, many people tend to shy away from Electronic Document Management Systems due to the initial setup costs that arise. Most businesses see paper documents as free due to the fact that they aren't usually tracked as well as they should be and are generally overshadowed by extensive office supply budgets.

But everybody knows that nothing in this life is free, and that includes paper as well. In fact, paper solutions may actually be costing your company more money than the other digital options that are available today. These hidden costs could fly under your company's radar where they may never be brought to light.

Almost every business has filing cabinets and a simple three-drawer cabinet may seem like a relatively cost-efficient solution. What you may not realize is that this file cabinet may actually be consuming a lot of time and money from the bottom line of your company.

Lets say the average one-time cost of a file cabinet is $400, then you have to add the one-time cost of folders which could equal around $100. Then we can add the average one-time cost of paper prints and copies into the mix at $240. So for the one-time cost of a single file cabinet you are already up to $740.

But what if you compound that annually? Assume the average office holds 30 file cabinets with each one costing you around $2,000 every 5 years. That's $60,000 for a system that generally misfiles or loses documents and a replacement document could cost you an additional $200.

What about the physical labor of a file cabinet? Anybody who has ever had to sift through a cabinet full of files knows how tiring and dull it can be. This demotivation could cause an employee to have sub-par production for the rest of the day further costing you money.

Electronic Document Management Systems provide the tools that allow you to create a secure and searchable archive of all your company's most important documents. A single 100GB disk can store an astounding 2,000,000 pages of information which could easily take the place of hundreds of filing cabinets using a fraction of the space.

Source: Office Product News

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  4. Zack,

    Great post!

    In today's economic climate, businesses are looking for more and more ways to cut costs and save more on their bottom line. I cannot agree with you more that document output costs are an area in most businesses that are completely and utterly overlooked; rarely ever registering a blip on the radar as potential cost-savers. Managed Print Services seems to be the best mode of tackling such expenditures and increasing a company's overall awareness of their office’s total output. I could go on and on and spew a myriad of facts that point toward the necessity of implementing some form of Document Management service, but I think that my blog will do it far more justice!

    Thanks again for your insights into an area that needs to be focused on a great deal more by organizations!

    Ken Mears

  5. I thought this was a very good article, I have noticed companies cutting down the amount of paper used claiming they want to have a paperless office. But have seen in the past that this is never the case, especially when insurance and law firms have to by law keep all their records for at least 5 years. I would suggest using archive boxes and storing them using storage facilities that offer a proper archive facility that scans all documents and files them in order that is if requested they can send the correct file across without you having to go through hundreds of boxes.