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5 Compelling Reasons to Ditch Paper Workflows

November 28, 2018
Min Read

The past two decades have been marked by the evolution of technology and digitization of our everyday lives. Yet somehow, we as a society now use paper more than ever before. In fact, the usage of paper products has increased by 126% in the last 20 years alone. While paper may seem convenient, it is especially cumbersome in office environments where consumption is greater and workflows operate on a larger scale.

Workflow automation not only brings your organization into the digital age, but it also increases productivity and efficiency, producing positive outcomes for your employees, customers, and bottom line. If you haven’t yet ditched paper workflows, here are five compelling reasons that may change your mind.

1. Increased Productivity

Automation may seem like a scary and complex overhaul for your business, but consider this: with paper workflows, you’re paying your skilled workers to perform menial data entry tasks (that a computer could do) instead of innovating for the company. The act of switching back and forth between manual tasks has even been proven to cost employees a whopping 40% of their productivity. Managing information on paper (or worse, across multiple email inboxes) bogs down the individuals who must gather and sort through the information, creating a bottleneck that halts productivity and forfeits organization and accuracy.

Workflow automation frees up resources by letting digital processes do the work for you, while ensuring that information is gathered and stored in a single place for easy access and follow-up action.

2. Greater Employee Satisfaction

The average worker spends about 13 hours per week managing emails alone, which means 28% of the work week is taken up by email. On the other hand, 92% of employees say that having the technology to do their job efficiently affects their work satisfaction. Meaningful work is the single largest contributor to a positive employee experience—but if your employees are stuck pushing paper all day long instead of strategizing for the company, it’s doubtful they feel completely satisfied.  

When repetitive tasks are automated, to-dos are completed much faster, stress levels are lowered, and employees can finally focus on what they were brought in to do. Automation can help your sales team build new customer agreements so they can get back to selling. Or it can generate a customized invoice so customer service can get back to supporting. Either way, automation lets the computers do the juggling so the humans can get back to thinking.

3. Digital Transformation

The emergence and popularity of cloud-based companies like Uber, Airbnb, or Ally Bank prove that consumers prefer quicker, more streamlined services instead of those that require extra runaround, paperwork, and headache. The sad reality is that for every company that’s resistant to change, there’s always a more agile, tech-forward competitor willing to take its place.

Aside from transforming your company to keep up with our tech-savvy culture, digital transformation also means better protecting your data—and your reputation. Humans are prone to error. So when the majority of internal processes are manual, accuracy automatically takes a hit because of the increased probability of error due to human nature and general burnout. With digital workflow automation, data is stored in one secure place and can be routed to multiple documents or systems for easy and more accurate personalization.

4. Higher ROI

Efficiency breeds ROI. When information is gathered or managed through manual input and paper processes, it is more likely to be both inaccurate and unutilized. But when employees use their time effectively and data is actually put to good use, the investments you’ve made (both time and money) in gathering these resources comes back to you in the form of business prosperity.  

With automated workflows, employees are able to focus on higher priorities, which are usually more revenue-focused. And with data and powerful integrations, customers receive more personalized communications and support, which keeps them loyal longer. In fact, highly automated companies are six times more likely to experience revenue growth above 15% than companies with low automation.

5. A Better Planet!

There’s no doubt we’ve become a more wasteful planet. In the office alone, workers go through a staggering 10,000 sheets of paper every year! And when you consider how simple it is to automate document workflows, justifying paper processes becomes even harder.

By implementing digital processes (like using online forms to collect data, sending digital invoices, and requesting digital signatures through DocuSign), the need for paper—and the fuel to transport it between parties—is eliminated. In this way, offices can not only save money by purchasing less paper, but they can also help counteract some of the energy usage and negative effects that buildings and offices already have on the environment.

Formstack Documents Saves Time, Money, and Paper

Formstack Documents allows you to ditch paper workflows for more efficient, automated processes. Whether you’re transferring data from Dropbox to PDF, requesting a digital signature, or conducting countless other automated workflow examples, Formstack Documents makes it easy to win back employee time and company money by eliminating manual processes.

Ready to ditch your cumbersome paper workflows?  Check out the video below to learn more about leveling up your document generation process with Formstack Documents.


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Formstack is a SaaS company with a mission to help organizations digitize what matters, automate workflows, and fix processes—all without code. A variety of team members come together to compile posts under Formstack's authorship.
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