With today's focus on environmental responsibility, conserving energy, and reducing a company's carbon footprint, the paperless office has truly come of age. A document management system that includes document scanning and storage of the digital images and electronic files not only saves paper, and therefore trees, but also all the significant costs associated with paper-intensive processes.

With a paperless system, all business-related files are securely stored, easily organized, and can be immediately accessed and distributed from any computer at any time. This streamlines business operations, allowing a company to run more efficiently and profitably.

Studies show that a one-page business document will be copied an average of 19 times. Considering that a typical 4-drawer filing cabinet holds approximately 20,000 sheets of paper, implementing a digital imaging system saves one 70 foot tree for each of those filing cabinets! In fact, more than 8 million tons of paper are used by businesses annually – a figure that is growing at the rate of 22% per year. In 2008, that was the equivalent of 178 million trees, .according to the Association of Information and Image Management (AIIM).

While saving trees and reducing deforestation helps preserve the environment, it is just the beginning of the benefits of a paperless office. Implementing a document scanning system has a positive effect on air and water quality too as it allows businesses to:

Save the energy consumed and emissions produced by transporting trees to manufacturing facilities.

Save the energy used and factory emissions related to paper processing, and transporting and distributing the finished product.

Reduce the need for printing and copying documents, and the use of ink and toner that is not biodegradable.

Eliminate the need for warehousing paper files, and the cost of lighting, heating, and cooling those facilities.

Companies of all sizes are discovering that the advantages of using document imaging to "go green" are economical as well as environmental. There are significant cost-savings to be made by automating manual processes:

Personnel can be reallocated from time-consuming procedures to revenue-producing business tasks.
– With all key business documents accessible in seconds from any computer, employees can complete their work faster.

– Research shows that professionals spend 5 to 15 per cent of their time reading information, but up to 50 per cent looking for it. By implementing a digital imaging and workflow automation system, personnel can find what they need in seconds, and stay focused on their core business tasks.

– Eliminating paper from key business processes such as accounting speeds up revenue flow processes: invoices can be paid quickly to take advantage of early payment discounts, accounts receivables billed promptly, and cash flow improves.

A document management system can be implemented quickly and easily with no capital outlay and delivers a disproportionate value in a short period of time. Return on investment is usually realized in three to six months. In fact, investing in this type of technology not only protects the environment and improves efficiency and but it also generates more money through revenue growth than straight cost reductions. Simply put, being environmentally friendly is a smart strategic decision. Your green business will operate more competitively and serve its customers better – key factors in running a profitable business.

Source by Mitch Taube