How Much Does Paper Cost a Company on Average?
Let’s look at some numbers and stats:
- An average office employee uses ten thousand sheets of paper a year. Translated into money, that’s extra 80 dollars a year or, for a company with a hundred employees, a total of 80.000 dollars a year!
- Every year, 7 billion documents and 15 trillion copies are created, the majority of which is never accessed again.
- Filling an average drawer cabinet in the office costs around 25.000 dollars, plus additional 2.000 dollars a year for maintenance.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The expenses related to the use of paper extend beyond the cost of paper. These related expenses include the prices of printers and their maintenance, ink, storage and filing, copying, mailing, shredding, security for sensitive and confidential documentation, etc.
But no matter how staggering these numbers might look, there is another, even more important setback caused by the excessive use of paper – inefficiency. Handling all this paper requires extra effort and time. Just think about how long it takes employees to track down the necessary documents on a daily basis. Or what it would mean for your company to miss a vital document when there’s inspection.
Finally, there’s the issue with space. The storage of documents takes up between 50% and 70% of all office space!
Can Ditching Paper Save Money?
Having in mind that the cost of around 80 dollars a year per worker covers just the cost of paper, the financial benefits of going paperless are substantial.
Save on printing and multiplying
Imagine not having to invest in expensive equipment like fax machines, copiers, and printers along with accessory equipment (ink, cartridges). Or not being obliged to set aside special budgets for their upgrades, replacement, and repairs.
Save on distribution
Statistics say that for every dollar spent on printing, the company spends an additional $6 on paper distribution.
Documents need to be filed manually, which takes quite a lot of time, thus reducing the efficiency in the workplace. In addition, paper documents need to be moved around the through the inter-office mail or regular mail. This involves extra expenses for postage, stamps, and envelopes.
By going digital, all these paper-associated costs will no longer be an issue.
Save on space
The company’s physical space is one of the largest expenses. These expenses include paying the lease, plus overheads including heating, cooling, electricity… The space occupied by paper is dead space and, as we already mentioned, it takes up to 70% of your working premises.
By reducing the use of paper, you can significantly reduce the amount of space your business needs. This way, you’ll be able to move to a smaller, cheaper space or use that extra space for new employees.
Are There Any Other Benefits of Reducing Paper Usage?
Besides the financial benefit, going paperless offers a number of other advantages, among which the most important are increased efficiency and environmental friendliness.
Organization of documents
Eliminating paper means decreasing the time needed to find the necessary documents. Having scanned copies enables you to sort, organize, and store all your documents neatly and efficiently. This way, you’ll be able to access and retrieve the documents with just a few clicks wherever you are!
Having an email list of all your customers makes communication a lot faster and easier. You no longer need to print countless copies or use regular mail in order to let clients know about special offers or sales.
Safety and security
Imagine accidentally throwing away a very important document. You’ll never find it again. Having electronic copies of such documents guarantees extra safety. You can save them on a cloud (which usually provides automatic back-ups), hard drive, or flash drive and sleep peacefully at night.
When it comes to security, you no longer have to invest in paper shredders or worry about locking filing cabinets that contain sensitive documents. Most cloud-based systems have data security that efficiently protects all personal, confidential, and sensitive information.
Reducing the usage of paper contributes to decreasing the destruction of thousands of life-saving trees. And considering that the production of one ton of paper emits 5.690 lb. of greenhouse gases, using less paper will help to reduce the pollution of the atmosphere. Finally, going paperless means reduced energy consumption because copiers, faxes, and printers are no longer active.