Paper has been the center of everything we do since a very long time. On an average, a person in the United States uses more than 700 pounds of paper every year. That is an enormous amount of paper! It is surprising that even in this age of digital transformation, organizations rely heavily on paper to run their business. And moreover, scary to know 70% of these businesses would shut down within three weeks if they suffered a catastrophic loss of paper-based records due to fire or flood.
But you know beyond doubt that it is not the cost of paper or its toll on the environment that will break your business. Let’s see the numerous ways the usage of paper records in the form of invoices, work orders, inspection forms or checklist is stopping your business from being efficient, profitable and maintaining satisfied customers.
“The way we spend our time define who we are!”
The studies show that an employee who has access to retrieve the documents is spending almost 20-30% of their working hours to find his/her misplaced files. That is, you are bleeding twelve hours of your administrative staff every week – “just to find the document”. If you have multiple field staff waiting on critical information whilst on the field, the total hours wasted on “finding documents” is nothing short of criminal wastage of time that could be better spent on doing things that are more critical to your business.
If you spend $20K on one employ annually, you are bleeding $100k on a year to “FIND DOCUMENTS”. Don’t be alarmed yet, it is just a start.
Sure, printing some inspection checklists or printing that work order template isn’t expensive. The buying cost for paper aren’t expensive but the hidden charges are 25-30 times larger than the buying cost. Some of the hidden charges include storage, audit and compliance costs, time lost in retrieval, mailing, damage due to external factors, loss due to illegibility and more.
Have you ever had to apologize to a frustrated customer because one of your employees missed an important job detail, or lost important customer data due to illegible handwriting? You probably should have been through this, multiple times, if your organization is completely dependent on the paper.
Customer experience is a leading factor in the modern competitive market. Highest first-time fix rates, frequent client communication, professional appearance and quick turnaround times are becoming the norm than a differentiator. It is not easy if you still rely on paper or even traditional spreadsheets to manage your business.
Imagine a phone call from your client, asking about the payment due on an earlier purchase. Unless you or your office staff have a photographic memory, you have to ask the customer to hold, rush to the storing facility, find that particular data, return to the phone and provide him the details. This should take you at least 10-20 minutes? Even if you are happy to spend 15 minutes of your time over an invoice, wouldn’t your customers rather be doing something else?
Follow up is a crucial step in growing your business. It helps you get back to your customers with the information they have requested or, to schedule a service. But as things get busy, things tend to fall through the cracks. The fact that your business is busy is probably a good problem, but if things start falling off track due to inefficiency, it needs immediate fixing. Is your 2100-year-old technology – the paper, a reason for this?
As your company grows, your markets may change, and so do the trends. Formulating a marketing strategy based on analysis of existing data is a must. The strategic analysis is a lengthy process and contains a lot of steps and planning. Moreover, modification of the strategic business plan is completely dependent on the strategic analysis. Defining the hazards and tackling them down is the key to surviving in the modern competitive world. To handle every SWOT issues, you have to depend on the highest processing power, not just pen and paper.
In our next article, we look at some of the ways in which a paperless system can help your service business manage work orders, inspections, forms and checklists on the web and mobile platforms.