Get rid of paper and go green
Sustainability is not a buzzword! It has become increasingly important for modern and competitive companies. Being green and caring for the environment and our natural resources is a key aspect of any longterm strategy. One main objective on the general agenda is to go paperless, as not only does it begin the journey to digital transformation, but it also helps protect nature.
In a world where nearly 80% of transactions are still carried out on paper and manually entered into an ERP or other existing system and 50% of companies still print their documents for archiving purposes, automation is a game changer.
How much paper do we usually consume?
It is estimated that a standard pine tree produces around 10,000 sheets of paper. Looking at it in another way, one ream of paper (which is 500 sheets) will use 5% of a tree. Using only 5% of a tree for a ream of paper may seem like a small amount, but when you consider the number of boxes of paper that offices use on a regular basis, it quickly adds up.
How can we make a difference?
The first step to becoming paperless is through dematerialization (also known as digitization). It means that all the information available on paper will be transposed into a digital format, so that it can be stored, processed, and transmitted on a computer. When you start digitizing, you’re implementing an EDI system.
EDI, which stands for electronic data interchange, is the intercompany communication of business documents in a standard format. This standard electronic format replaces paper-based documents such as purchase orders or invoices. EDI allows trading partners to communicate with each other fast and easily.
We talked about the importance of EDI for businesses in a previous article.
How does that help?
- One tree = 10,000 A4 pieces of paper and a lot of wasted water.
- EDI saves water: One tonne of paper = 200,000 sheets of A4 paper = 24,400 litres of water to be produced.
- EDI reduces paper trails.
Let’s face it: paper is a liability, both in the physical sense, but also in the legal one. And since we’re talking about legal documents, invoices have to be printed, transported, and stored according to legal standards.
Storing paper invoices and associated documents in the best possible conditions means your storage space will be significantly diminished over time. This can become a burden, especially in countries where storage is mandatory.
For example, in Romania, the storage of such legal documents has to be maintained for no less than… 10 years! In France too, documents relating to the annual accounts must be kept for 10 years, including client and supplier invoices and order forms. Customs declarations, meanwhile, must be kept for three years. What a nightmare!
Producing, handling, printing, or sending documents generates significant document management costs and interferes with the integrity of your documents. Compliance issues are as present as the risks of losing documents because of human error, natural disasters or malicious attacks. Why go through all the nightmare when you can easily tackle these challenges with electronic document archival?
A sustainable choice
There is always the story of manual processing as being a time and money eater. Truth is, all the manual work is expensive, especially if you have a high volume of documents flowing in and out of your business daily. In that case, it requires a large workforce to manually hand-key data from paper, or a PDF, for example, into your existing ERP or other back-office system. And if your business is growing, manual processing isn’t a scalable solution—unless it’s part of your company’s strategy to recruit more employees for this task.
For over 16 years, DocProcess has helped companies streamline and automate their business processes and take control of these processes through their whole partner ecosystem, by connecting them digitally with their clients, suppliers or financial and logistics partners. One of our services is managed dematerialization. Our teams will help you go paperless in a blink of an eye. Much like BPOs, our operators can tackle every step of paper dematerialization, end-to-end. We receive, sort, and index the documents, then we capture their data, validate it, and store the resulting e-document safely.
Aside from all the business benefits of dematerialization, each electronic document that passes through our network—over 1M each year—directly contributes to a more sustainable environment for a long-term, positive impact. By making the switch, you immediately reduce your paper consumption, eliminate emissions produced from physical (postal) delivery services, and have the benefit of running your business from any location, office or home.
We are proud to say that over the past 8 years, we helped client companies save no less than 8.300 trees, i.e. 415 tons of paper.
Implementing an EDI will grow your business’ efficiency and will help you deliver on the sustainability commitments you took. And besides, going paperless will make your business greener and the world a healthier place to live in.