It’s not just good for the Earth. It’s good for the bottom line.
Many of the ways that businesses help the environment are conveniently also ways for businesses to boost efficiency and save money.
For Earth Day, here are technology tips to save time, money and the planet.
Paper documents can’t be automated, integrated, or accessed remotely. They inherently force you into inefficient manual processes.
It’s so much more than deciding not to print out that email.
Faxes, order forms, contracts, reports, business manuals, archives – none of that needs to be on paper. In fact, it's a challenge to name a business document that does need to be on paper (unless required by law).
Besides saving trees, going paperless saves money. First you save the cost of paper and ink, which is significant. The Paperless Project estimates that U.S. businesses spend $120 billion per year on printed forms.
But paper has an even greater business cost: its inefficiency. Paper documents can’t be automated, integrated, or accessed remotely. So they inherently force you into manual processes that slow down your business, rack up man-hours, and invite human error.
Every time you hold a paper document, ask yourself whether it needs to be on paper. The answer is almost always no.
When your documents are physical, your document storage is physical. It's like you’re renting an apartment for your documents.
When your documents are physical, your document storage is physical.
And when your document storage is physical, you need physical space, heating, air conditioning, lighting, etc. It's like you’re renting an apartment for your documents.
Not only is providing climate control for paper an environmental burden, but there are business costs in addition to the rent. The Paperless Project estimates that the annual cost of maintaining one file cabinet is $1,500 and one employee.
Making physical storage worse is the inefficiency of rooting through file cabinets for information, and also the chance that documents just get misplaced or lost. There’s also the risk of fire or flood wiping out vital documents, a catastrophe that can doom a business.
Every time you open a file cabinet, ask yourself why you're not looking in your electronic business management system and/or cloud storage.
Technology that enables people to work remotely leads to more productivity, lower costs, and happier workers.
Leveraging technology to let people work from anywhere is a win-win-win for the environment, workers, and business.
People working remotely instead of commuting to the office results in fewer cars on the road and less air pollution. Most employees will also consider it a perk to work from anywhere, resulting in a happier workforce.
Businesses can continue to run during weather emergencies. Workers on business trips can stay tied into the main office. Motivated workers can work even when they’re off the clock. And more people working elsewhere means less need for office space and less overhead.
Hardly any business can have everyone work remotely all of the time. But technology that enables people to work remotely leads to more productivity, lower costs, and happier workers.
And, of course, it’s good for the environment.
Find news, webinars, technology, trends, and more in the Essent Connect email newsletter.
Essent is the leading provider of fully-integrated business management software solutions and services for process-intensive industries and the largest trading network for the promotional products industry. The Essent family of fully-integrated products and services combines best practices, business processes, software automation, and network communications to deliver unparalleled, unified business management solutions. Since 1980, Essent has offered the systems, service, software, and support critical to success in today's highly-competitive marketplace.