With the growing efforts to approve the reform in health care, there's a also a growing emphasis on the budget potential savings in some of the experimental programs that the bill includes like electronic medical records, which for us of course means not only savings, but also less paper and less waste.
If there's anyone who is still questioning the fact that paperless office equals huge savings, they should take a look in the report released by JP Morgan, which suggests that a paperless office is entirely viable. It's even easier than you think they add, and last but not least, it will save you money. In other words: a green offer you can't refuse.
Now, this is not a theoretic report. J.P. Morgan launched in 2007 a Go Green Campaign and reached out to more than 25,000 clients, offering support and services to help them transition to a paperless environment. This effort, as the report explains, has has reduced more than 101 million documents since the campaign began, which is the equivalent of reducing three million pounds of paper usage, 50 million pounds of greenhouse gasses and preserving 33,000 trees!
The report gives some pretty good reasons that are pushing companies to embrace a paperless environment - economic pressures that get them to look for new ways to cut operational costs, growing transaction volume, risk of payments frauds and pressure from stakeholders to go green. As you can see these trends are quite relevant for almost every industry and every company that is using paper for its operational needs, and not just for treasury operations which the report is focusing on.
In the process of getting paperless companies will enjoy according to the report significant benefits, such as reduced transaction costs, lowered indirect business costs, increased efficiency and saved time, improved transparency and increased document security. And what about the savings in terms of $$? well, the report explains that on average filing and maintaining 500,000 pieces of paper costs firms an estimated $250,000 in workflow management, another $115,000 to research lost files, and about $150,000 in storage and disposal costs. Quick calculation shows you that cutting paper use by 500,000 sheets of paper can save a company $515,000 a year.
The alternative is electronic of course. Here's just one example of the many suggestions JP Morgan present:
Take paper out of the invoice delivery and receipt process by using an online bill presentment and payment solution like J.P. Morgan’s Pay ConnexionSM. Customers can phone in payments or use a convenient, customized Web portal to pay invoices and manage payment and account information online.
The report augers that a "zero-waste" environment, where treasury departments send and receive information electronically with no paper returned is feasible. I believe that it's feasible also in other departments that use paper and it's just a matter of identifying the right opportunities, just like in the case of the electronic medical records.
The incentives are already there, both economic and environmental - In 2007, U.S. companies spent about $8 billion on paper alone, not including costs for ink toner, or for running copiers, printers or fax machines. Xerox also estimates for every dollar spent on printing documents, companies incur another six dollars in handling and distribution. So you got here a total of potential savings of $56 billion. And the environmental impact? Well, on the same year (2007), U.S. companies printed 1.5 trillion pages, according to research firm IDC. That’s a 95,000-mile-high stack of paper, or the equivalent of 15 million to 20 million trees.
JP Morgan included in the report some interesting Eco Analysis Worksheets they developed that are aimed to help firms determine how much money they can save by moving to paper-free operations. We definitely recommend to take a look in them and see if you can figure out how much money you can save by getting your office or company paperless free. And don't forget of course the trees that you'll save (if you want to know how many, get in touch with us and we'll be happy to calculate it for you).
Raz @ Eco-Libris
Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!