Did you know that in Spain alone more than 7 million tons of paper are consumed every year? If you want to know how you can actively contribute to reduce the use of natural resources and the use of paper in your business, we tell you what the paperless philosophy is and how digitization is your ally to implement it.
What is paperless?
The word comes from the terms paper and less and consists of reducing or eliminating the use of paper in the daily operations of your business.
In other words, it means moving all the information you hold in physical documents to digital files or tools to reduce the use of paper in your day-to-day business.
This practice has several benefits for your SME, such as, for example:
- Conserving natural resources by promoting sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of paper. Adopting the paperless philosophy also reduces the amount of waste generated by businesses.
- Manage and organize your business quickly and efficiently thanks to the ease of use of digital documents compared to physical ones.
- Reduce costs and time when printing documents and storing them.
- Facilitate access to documents for anyone, anytime, anywhere.
- Promote greater protection of your documents thanks to the possibility of establishing security measures such as passwords or file encryption.
- Add value to your brand by linking your activity with practices that are beneficial to society as a whole and to all environments.
What tools do you need?
By implementing a paperless philosophy, in parallel, you improve your business processes. But to do so, you need to use digital tools that allow you to replace the use of paper.
Here are a few to get you started:
- Document scanner software: it is used to identify a paper document and digitize it so that you can transfer it to your electronic storage system. Many printers already have this system and even some smartphones offer this possibility thanks to their cameras, but you can also use programs such as NAPS2 or Office Lens.
- Cloud storage systems: also known as cloud storage, these are platforms that allow you to store your documents on the Internet through a protected account. For example, Dropbox, Google Drive or Amazon Web Services. There are many free options with limited storage and paid versions with more features and capacity.
- Document creation tools: these are tools that allow you to create a file in different formats for texts, presentations or databases. With the complete package of Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, among many other options, you will be able to use Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
- Communication programs: they are used to establish a real-time dialogue at a distance with other people using an online system that allows you to share your digital documents in conversations. You can use email systems or instant messaging platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Slack.
Keep in mind that, in addition to these basic tools, you can use other tools for any area of your business. For example, for the management of your employees and human resources, you can use online training programs or online document signing. Also, for the logistics of your business, you can use a warehouse management system. Both ideas can be implemented to reduce the use of paper in your day-to-day business and according to the specific needs of your business.
How to implement the paperless philosophy in your SME?
Reducing the use of paper is a growing practice that is undoubtedly necessary to reduce our impact and to promote more efficient processes. But if you need guidance on where to start, don't miss the guide we have prepared:
- Analyze your business to find out in which areas it is most urgent and easy to eliminate the use of paper. This will allow you to identify the first changes you need to implement.
- Establish objectives to detect what you want to achieve by reducing the use of paper in your SME. You can combine several, such as, among others, your commitment to sustainability, the reduction of economic costs for your business or improving the administration of your documents.
- Choose the tools you need to make the change. This step depends on the needs of your business and the objectives you have set. You can use programs or devices like the ones we have shown you above to help you save and organize valuable data about customers, employees or suppliers; use a new way to securely store your documents and allow access to them, through the Internet, to the people you want.
- Train your employees to learn how to use these digital tools and how they will replace the previous work system. In this step, it is important to make them aware of the positive impact of the paperless philosophy not only at an operational level, but also as a commitment to the environment.
- Digitize your documents and start the new process in your business. This step can take a long time and needs to be done in a progressive and organized manner. Do not be in a hurry and keep in mind that you must also establish cybersecurity systems to protect your documents.
- Regularly monitor how the process is developing to detect how this new strategy has helped you and what aspects need to be improved.
Paperless is already a reality. In addition to significantly improving the day-to-day processes in your business with all the facilities offered by digital tools, it is a key element to promote sustainability and share a better world with future generations.
Remember that with initiatives such as the Kit Digital you can implement digital transformation in your SME.