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Uncovering the Hidden Costs of Paper

Uncovering the Hidden costs of paper

Most organizations know the cost of printing and photocopying to the sheet. But the cost of paper storage is a far more expensive habit — a cost that can be invisible if you don’t know where to look.

Here are four immense costs your business pays every day if you rely on paper as your primary medium for storing information.

1. The price of trapped data

Information on paper is useless until it is converted into digital information. You could pay someone to rekey the information or invest in a document management solution. With today's advanced character recognition and data extraction software, the data locked on invoices, expense reports and paper records of all types can go straight from the scan into your business’ workflow. Even small companies that rely solely on software like Quicken® or Microsoft Excel can transform paper into an automated digital workflow.

2. Searching isn't free

Retrieving documents from on-premise paper archives can add hours to a document request. For larger firms that store archives off-site, the process can take days. When you shift from paper to digital archives, you can search and retrieve documents in seconds, no matter where or how old they are.

* According to original source Inc. 

7.5% of documents get lost, finding them costs $120

3. How much do you pay for office space?

A single, letter-sized filing cabinet takes up about three square feet. Multiply that by seven years of paper archives and you'll find that going digital will give you enough room to house several employees. If you pay for monthly off-site storage — just to house file boxes — you can eliminate a monthly fixed cost from your overhead.

4. What would it cost to replace it all?

In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, some of the often-overlooked casualties were the public records of governments, churches and businesses. In numerous documents — birth and marriage certificates, title deeds and binding contracts — were lost forever. Even if your organization plans to keep your paper archives, scanning and digitizing them so they can be stored in multiple, redundant locations, provides you with the ultimate disaster recovery.

** Source Coopers & Lybrand study

It costs $120 in labour to recreate a lost document (If it can be recreated)