Document Management Software Saves the Environment

Steve Breault

Information in any form is the lifeline of any organization, be it in the form of a database or detailed reports. No organization, whether private or government, can run successfully without a robust document management system. Electronic document management generally involves adding and maintaining electronic records in the form of database, reports, scanned documents, and so on. Document management software helps integrate all type of data on one platform and ensures that it is accessible at every level of an organization.

If you have been thinking of establishing a paperless office, then installing document management software is one of the best ways to start. Apart from automatic data capture and easy retrieval of documents, a document managements system also helps save the environment by reducing the consumption of paper. It is pertinent to note that the amount of paper consumed all over the world has increased by nearly 400 percent in the past 40 years. More than 35 percent of total trees cut every year are used for making paper for different purposes.

The statistics for United States alone are quite alarming. For instance, an average American employee is estimated to use about one sheet of paper every minute. Also, United States is the world’s largest producer as well as consumer of paper, with Japan running close behind. Paper has historically been the ideal medium to store all types of data including reports, memos, to-do lists, bills, policies, and so on. Though introduction of computerized systems was expected to see a fall in use of paper, the results were exactly opposite. This was because, with electronic data storage, came the ‘necessity’ of printing the data for distribution purposes or for backup.

Document management system is not merely saving information on a computerized system, but integrating it in a way that reduces requirement of printing information on paper. For instance, you may have to disseminate information such as new rules or company policies on regular basis. This would require you to take several prints for each employee or department of your organization. However, by simple use of document management software the same can easily be done electronically, saving millions of sheets of paper every year.

Similarly, routine tasks such as handing out memos and to-do lists can be easily done electronically instead of using paper. Also, you need not take a print every time you need to show a rough copy of a report for approval. Same can be sent electronically and final print taken when it has been accepted by your superior.

There are many such ways in which document management software can be used to reduce consumption of paper in your office. For instance, using automatic data capture, documents such as bills, invoices, brochures, and so on, can be simply scanned and stored in a digital format. These can now be accessed by anyone who needs them, thus saving loads of paper otherwise required to make copies of these documents. Since now the documents have been saved on a computerized system, you need not ask for a copy in case the original is lost.

Going paperless for your office may be just a good business decision for you; however, it is also the best way in which you can reduce use of paper documents in the office. Studies have shown that a cut of just about 10% of paper by businesses around the world can prevent emission of 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gases, which is equal to taking off more than 250,000 vehicles off the road. Imagine, a simple activity of reducing paper consumption in your office can really have a huge impact on saving the environment.

Steve Breault “DocMeister”

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