Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Going Paperless at Work. - 3. Eliminate Hard Copy Files

Eliminate Hard Copies

(#3 of a series.)


In the last blog in this series we discussed capturing documents at their point of origin.  Today we'll discuss  the economics of eliminating as much paper as possible in business.  

If you haven't checked out the AIIM (Association of Information and Image Management) site, you'll find it to be a rich source of information about costs of paper-driven business processes in business. 

Here are a few alarming statistics regarding paper consumption in business:

  • The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year.  (Xerox).
  • 45% of documents are thrown out within 24 hours of creation.  (Xerox).
  • The cost to fill a 4-drawer filing cabinet is $25,000 and it costs $2,000 per year to maintain.  (
  • Companies typically misfile up to 20% of their records.  (ARMA International).
  • The average document is photocopied nine times.  (Gartner).
  • The cost to manually file a document is $20, while the cost to search for a misfiled document is $120.  The cost to recreate a lost document is $250.  (Inc. Magazine).

You probably don't realize how much paper documents are actually costing you and your organization in time, money, floor space and lost productivity.  So, why do we need to eliminate hard-copy files?  Storing and handling paper documents is expensive!   It also adversely affects productivity and inhibits responsive customer service.

So follow the principles of eliminating unnecessary document printing and copying (see blog 1), capturing documents digitally at their point of inception (blog 2) and convert existing archives to digital by scanning paper documents you currently have stored in file cabinets, and you'll notice a breakthrough in cost savings and performance.

Next time we'll discuss how to automate paper-intensive business process workflows.

Until then,

John Queen