You may have heard the term before, “Paperless Office”, a work environment in which the use of paper is eliminated or greatly reduced. This is simply achieved by converting paper documents into a digital format.
A good example of this would be a doctor’s office or law firm. Some of these business owners may have realized the benefits of making a transition to a paperless office. In this series of blog posts I will be examining the benefits of a paperless office and inform you of money saving and money making secrets that these offices have discovered.
In this blog post, I will discuss the higher cost of running a paper office and how they can be avoided in a paperless environment.
Materials and Footprint
We have all been to a doctor’s office where there are rows of filing cabinets behind the receptionist containing patient files for the clinic. Some offices even have a room dedicated for this purpose. The cost of a stack of papers and a few folders is minimal, but when you multiply that by a few thousand, the cost adds up.
Then there is the cost of printing and photocopying, if you have ever bought toner for your printers, you know it can get expensive. I manage a clinic, which has gone paperless, but the need for printing hasn’t disappeared including printing for RX sheets and referral sheets and so on and so forth. The office still spends a few hundred dollars on toner every few months. The cost for offices that are fully paper-based is 3 to 4 times more in toner alone. It is a cost business owners would prefer lower or eliminate.
The physical footprint is a cost that many forget. Can you imagine reducing the cost of your lease or repurposing all the space taken up by the rows of filing cabinets into an area that could make you money? Examples include adding an exam room, a bigger dispensary, a larger waiting room and storage. This square footage would then generate revenue and no longer be an overhead cost.
While these factors may be more obvious, what are the intangibles associated with the paperless office? Those minutes that your receptionist staff take to tell a customer to wait while they go back to locate their file adds up to many hours over a year. Your time is money and this isn’t efficient. Some offices have even been able to reduce the number of their staff because this reduced time management is eliminated and they have saved 30k to 40k in salary.
By storing all your patient files and documents on a server, you are reducing overhead costs. You no longer have to print out sheets reducing the amount of materials like files, folders and toner. Maintenance cost is reduced while your square footage is repurposed and revenue generating. Time is no longer being used inefficiently. Paperless offices today have shed the weight of all these costs and have become a lean, mean, moneymaking machine.
In my next blog post I will be discussing how paperless offices are efficiently making more money. Please check back soon.
Images here and here