How Automation Of Processes Is Slowly Eradicating The Use Of Paper


In today’s world, the incorporation of innovation and technology in diverse industries for faster and secure execution of operations is trending. Companies that require a lot of paperwork such as financial institutions and accounting departments are shifting towards the use of technology rather than the traditional use of paper resulting in less waste production and cutting down of trees. Along with the fast pace of technological advancement, self-employed individuals are looking forward to the automation of processes such as form-filling by 3rd party companies. Resorting to paperless processes have resulted in the reduction of substantial cost overheads that were due to the use of large amounts of paper.

Use of paper for a trucking authority that a trucking company needs are susceptible to human error which can be the root cause of major setbacks. Terabytes of data on paper make it a cumbersome process for the employees to handle, edit and segregate according to the company guidelines. Studies show that going completely paperless increases productivity and efficiency of the processes involved in the industry.

Industries have come up with innovative ideas like auto-fill options for the clients, thus saving time and minimizing errors to nil. It is a win-win scenario for both the parties and also an attractive feature for expanding the customer base considering the convenience involved. For the feature of auto-filling to work, companies access information of the clients which is a transparent process.

Research shows that the cost of generating an invoice has come down to a mere 40 cent which is way lower when compared to the traditional practice of using paper which cost $14. Currently, it takes just 4 days for payment to be processed using an electronic invoice compared to the paper invoice which takes almost two weeks. The time saved has a considerable impact on the revenue of the company.

Companies that use paper invoices have trouble keeping up with the cash flow and the competition with their rivals. The implementation of automated invoices in companies across the globe will take some time as it requires restructuring of the complete system which interrupts the functioning of the company for a short duration, a risk worth taking, however.

Every document received by the accounting and financial departments goes through a rigorous check before approval and transfer to the concerned client which is then stored in a database for future use and auditing purposes. This requirement leads to the idea of creating a robust document management structure.

Advanced features that are surfacing in the market include automatic digital signatures and secure encryption that guarantee complete confidentiality of sensitive data against unethical intrusion attempts using viruses and bots throughout the globe. Such features acquire the information with the consent of the client for automating processes such as dynamic signatures and form filling that require minimal or no input from the client thus facilitating a smooth and very fast completion of processes. The processes include payroll, invoice generation, asset, and inventory transfers, etc. The features are a combination of complex algorithms developed by the brightest minds in the industry.

Any firm with a desire to automate, processes and minimize the use of paper should use analytics to concentrate on departments with maximum usage of paper. The reports from the analysis should be reviewed and questioned by the senior management which eventually brews up the solution of cutting down usage of paper in particular processes for maximum cost cutting without hindering the process itself. Now comes the next step of identifying and acquiring the software that would replace the targeted processes. There are innumerable benefits that come along with it, the major one being a reduction in cost overheads.

As mentioned earlier, there is an initial investment and a minor disruption in the processes to be digitized, which in a matter of a few weeks starts showing positive results and provides a boost in productivity thus ensuring an economical and smooth flow of processes.

Digitization is a major shift for any company and should be done after consultation with experts for obtaining maximum benefits out of the restructuring. Currently, 80% of the industries use paper for carrying out its operation but it is projected that in the near future, digitization is the only way for companies to grow at a faster rate without major setbacks due to human error.

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