Paper has become something every business relies on to some extent. It’s nearly impossible to get through a single workday without using paper for something, whether it’s writing notes on a sticky note, printing a receipt, or handing out a business card. All of this paper use is normal, but it’s not good for the environment.
Our paper habits cause the destruction of forests at a rapid pace that makes it difficult to regenerate the trees at the same pace of consumption. This has a devastating effect on both animals and plant life, not to mention mankind as well.
The good news is that while there will always be a need for paper, there are many ways businesses can cut down on paper consumption. One of the easiest ways is by using software.
Software can take the place of physical paper
Today, it’s impossible to function in the marketplace without using software. What was once tracked using paper is now replaceable by software. If your business isn’t using some core software applications, you’re not reaching your potential.
For example,fleet maintenance software helps companies achieve benefits related to productivity, warranty reimbursement, and inventory management. Project management software keeps teams connected and organized no matter how far apart they are. And social media keeps businesses connected and interacting with their customers.
While it was once possible to keep track of business operations on paper and rely on in-person interactions, business operations have become so complex that it’s just not possible any longer. To keep operations manageable, software has become a mandatory aspect of business processes.
The environmental impact of using paper is severe
It’s hard to picture the impact of our paper addiction in this world, but the impact on the planet is massive. It takes one 100-year-old tree to produce 17 reams of paper, which releases 110 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during processing. When that same size tree is left standing,it would absorb about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide over the course of its life.Synthetic trees are still in the experimental phase, so there’s currently no replacement for a live tree.
Can your business go paperless?
You’ve probably received enough bills in the mail to know that you can go paperless with most companies. At one point, all the major car insurance companies, phone carriers, and banks were asking people if they’d like to go paperless.
Can your business do the same for your customers? Do you send out paper bills or statements that you can convert to an online form that is accessible to customers through a customer portal? It’s worth making the switch because if every business did the same, the impact would be enormous.
There are other ways your business can go paperless. For instance, you can try paperless faxing, which is basically just a digital transfer of pages. Fax machines are notoriously bad anyway, so it makes sense to save your time and paper and switch to something more reliable. You’ll have to check your email for incoming faxes, but it’s no different than checking your business email.
If you’re a retail business, you can offer electronic receipts to customers. Digital receipts at physical stores have had a slow adoption rate, but there are people who are used to opting for digital receipts and many people choose not to take a receipt at all.
According to data sourced by Forbes, U.S. businesses waste $8 billion managing paper documents each year, and a company’s paper usage doubles every four years. The more businesses go paperless, the better it is for the environment.
Software is more efficient than paper
Still need more motivation to go paperless? In addition to saving trees and the planet’s ecosystem, software is more efficient than paper when it comes to managing business processes. When you rely on manual methods for things like tracking purchases, cataloging receipts, and managing inventory, you’re going to make mistakes and there will be errors.
Basic business processes were once simpler, when businesses had only a small amount of inventory to track and control. Today, many businesses have warehouses full of inventory and multiple locations spread out across the world.
It’s just not enough to use manual methods anymore. Software is not only more efficient, but it’s also faster and can calculate complexities that can’t be done manually.
A paperless world is the future
Paper is costly, not just in dollars, but the planet pays a continuous price for mankind’s paper consumption. As more people become aware of the importance of preserving the environment, the future will inevitably become paperless.
Article Submitted By Community Writer