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Tips For Taking Your ERP Paperless

So you've implemented an ERP solution to help streamline your financial processes. But maybe you want to take your ERP solution one step further and help your office go completely paperless.

So you’ve implemented an ERP solution, like Microsoft Dynamics or NetSuite, to help streamline your financial processes. Great! But maybe you want to take your ERP solution one step further and help your office go completely paperless.

Also See: Is Your ERP Enough Today? Six Questions You Need to Ask First

Our tip: Integrate a document management add-on solution. A Paperless ERP system does exactly what the name suggests — takes your ERP paperless. Here’s why you should consider it:

  • Reduced costs: Paper is pricey, but a document management solution paired with your current ERP can help eliminate the costs of delivering, storing, printing, routing and managing paper documents. According to a study from Prism International, an average of 2–7 percent of documents are misfiled, resulting in handling costs of $120 per document. Additionally, filing cabinets tack on another invisible cost. On average, it costs a company $25,000 to fill a filing cabinet, and about $2,100 per year to maintain it. You also have to factor in the extra cost of printer ink, postage stamps and the time employees waste trying to find missing documents. But what if all of your documents were stored electronically, routed through a workflow process automatically and sent to the appropriate people without the need to mail or hand-deliver them? That’s a lot of savings!
  • Increased visibility: Your new ERP solution has helped make your processes more efficient and reliable, but integrating a document management solution can improve it even more. When your paper processes are completely automated with Paperless ERP, you get full visibility of documents and where they are in the workflow process. Improved visibility creates faster cycle times and provides your staff with greater control over documents and document processes. With managerial- and executive-level, real-time visibility, businesses often cite better management of records as they see them go through the workflow process. Is there a kink in the process of a certain document? You’ll know it because you can see your entire financial process and can adjust it to fit your company’s specific needs.
  • Improved analytics: Being able to analyze and run reports and queries is vital to your company, especially as Big Data continues to accumulate. A document management solution allows you to take action on documents that you may not normally see. With everything stored in one centralized system, it makes it easy to analyze data, and to do it in a timely manner. Many document management solutions offer charts directly on your dashboard so that you can see where certain documents are in the workflow process, allowing you to better prioritize and evaluate data.
  • Decreased errors: With an automated accounts payable ERP solution, records are managed on a secure network, meticulously organized and are stored in plain text so you don’t have to read somebody’s chicken scratch. This helps eliminate errors caused by misreading poor handwriting. An automated workflow collects and stores invoices electronically, meaning no more data entry; and with less manual data entry comes fewer mistakes. You can rid your office of manila folders, staplers and paper clips and let your document management solution do all the work. Whether your invoices are coming through your email, scanner, printer or snail mail, document management solutions will standardize the documents and recognize key information so that your information is accurate.
  • Go Green: According to iD2 Communications, 95 percent of business information is still stored on paper. In addition, the average American uses 700 pounds of paper each year, and Americans throw out around four million tons of office paper annually. In an era where many people are trying to be more environmentally-friendly, a document management solution can help alleviate some of the excess paper that is wasted every year. A document management system helps eliminate loose papers from your office and storage facilities and helps reduce the number of trees needed for office paper each year. Going green and a using a document management system go hand-in-hand. By storing files automatically, your time and money will be saved-- and so will some trees. 

It’s likely that you’ve experienced some cost savings and increased efficiency since you’ve implemented your new ERP system, but there are ways to make it go even further. As industry experts, our tip to you is to take advantage of document management add-on solutions to amplify the benefits that your ERP solution has already provided you. According to the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), more than 60 percent of businesses surveyed met or exceeded their ROI on their document management solution investment. In addition, 39 percent of businesses reported payback on their investment in one year or less.

It’s important that you get the most out of your new ERP solution and that your financial processes are as streamlined as possible in order to increase efficiency, save money and reduce your company’s environmental footprint. Your ERP system got the process going, now it’s time to implement document management to take your processes paperless.

Alyssa Kadansky is Marketing Communications Specialist at Metafile Information Systems, Inc.