June 22, 2012 by Tom Zeliff Categories: Document Management

Everyone is busier and stretched thinner than ever before so taking on a document management initiative can be daunting—too daunting to handle this year, right?

While business owners, CFOs and departmental managers may think they do not have the bandwidth to implement a document management system, it’s really the hidden costs of paper-based processes that are limiting growth, profitability and efficiency when you think about it.

When you look deeper at the actual costs of doing nothing, as reported by people much smarter than us, the data can be sobering:

  • True paper costs can be 31x the cost of paper purchased when considering storage, copying, printing, postage, disposal, and recycling (Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance)
  • Every 4-draw file cabinet in an office requires 17 square feet to allow staff to stand in front of open draws. That space can be better used for revenue-producing staff as opposed to housing paper files. In addition to this opportunity loss, every file cabinet is costing companies hundreds of dollars per year, based on the average cost of commercial real estate in major cities approximating $50.00 per square foot.
  • Approximately 8% of all paper documents are eventually lost, and the cost of replacing each document is estimated to be $250.00 (Gartner)
  • The costs associated with misfiled documents is about $120 per document (Myth of the Paperless Office)
  • U.S. companies spend $8 billion per year on paper alone (RISI-Resource Information Systems Inc.)

We realize that many of these costs may seem exaggerated or not applicable to your business. Even if the numbers are half correct, start multiplying that number against your total number of employees, file cabinets, cases of paper that you order annually and see if you’re comfortable with the hidden costs.

Countless studies have demonstrated and quantified how document management has generated tremendous tangible cost savings with a payback period of less than a year, usually in 6-9 months—for organizations just like yours. These enterprise content management (ECM) systems typically include some combination of document scanning services (capture), document management and workflow automation software.

We have run across many other industry reports and whitepapers that report further evidence on the value of document management, but we think you get the idea. If you’d like to see how all of this industry data applies to your organization and to determine your hidden costs, please contact us for a free consultation.