Walk into any office and you will see remnants of paper use, whether it’s paper receipts, file cabinets full of contracts, printers, courier services, or even medical records. Paper has long been the standard in most businesses, but this is changing. With the recent ‘go digital’ movement, more and more companies are choosing to replace their paper processes with digital workflows. The companies who have already made the switch to digital are realizing many benefits, both for their employees and the company. There are cost savings, environmental benefits, and even increases in employee satisfaction. Paper processes are costly, in this article you will learn about 11 immediate cost savings your company can benefit from by adopting an eSignature and Digital Transaction Management (DTM) solution.
In order to fully understand potential cost savings of going digital, let’s first briefly explore the dollar costs associated with paper based processes, specifically, Print-Sign-Scan-Email or Courier processes. Businesses large and small generally have different processes, and this results in slightly different cost estimates for paper based processes. As a result it is better to provide a framework for cost calculation.
Cost Analysis Framework (USA estimates)
$5 / pack of 500 sheets
|Printer Ink (per printer)
B/W: $250 50k pages
Color: $360 20k pages
|Steel file cabinets
$600 average / Cabinet
|Folders & stationery
$300 / Year/Employee
$1000/Year/Employee (Law Firm)
$33,000 to $65,000/Year
|Man hours, Time
260 hours/ Employee/Year
|Off-site paper storage
|Office space (file cabinets)
15 Sq.Ft (standard 4-drawer file cabinet)
Avg. $50 /Sq.Ft = $9000/Year
|Insurance (Data Breach Policy)
$12k to $120k /Year
size of company, includes cyber attack coverage.
As you can see from the above cost analysis framework, paper processes are expensive and a major cost for businesses. Going digital and having your company adopt a paperless lifestyle can drastically impact company profits, increase employee satisfaction, while also positively impacting the environment. The cost savings of going digital are immediate, below is a list and additional details of just eleven of these savings:
- Copy Paper – Copy paper is costly, and printed documents are vulnerable to copying, theft or damaged, whereas digitally signed documents are encrypted and safely stored inside password protected accounts that are always accessible.
- Printer Ink – Paper processes require documents to be printed using printer ink or toner in order to wet sign a document. When going digital, the need for printer ink can be eliminated altogether or drastically reduced.
- Printer/WorkCenter – Printed documents require companies to invest in expensive printers or WorkCenters that are capable of handling extensive printing needs. Assuming the company is not printing and distributing printed marketing collateral, this expense can be reduced or eliminated by adopting a digital process.
- Folders & Stationery – When using paper processes, companies must organize printed materials that are then stored. The use of file folders and stationery are often the answer to methodically storing paper based documents. Transitioning to a digital process can eliminate or reduce the need for file folders and stationary.
- Filing Cabinets – Physically signed documents are often stored as an archive copy in storage cabinets. These filing cabinets cost money. Transitioning to electronic signatures will reduce or eliminate the need for filing cabinets.
- Office Space (for file cabinets) – Physically signed documents that are stored in filing cabinets use valuable office space. Adopting an eSignature and DTM solution reduces or eliminates the cost associated with extra office space to house these filing cabinets.
- Off-site paper storage – Often companies are forced to use off-site storage facilities for archived documents in order to make room for current and new documents in their daily office space. This opens the door for damage, theft or loss of these valuable documents when being transferred in between locations, not to mention the expense incurred to store these documents off-site. Prevent risk of loss or damage with eSignatures as physical filing of documents becomes unnecessary.
- Courier Services – Shipping and handling of paper documents for signature is avoided all together.
- Legal Fees – Using ZorroSign’s patent pending 4n6 (Forensics) Token Reader, ZorroSign offers non-repudiated audit trails and chain of custody. ZorroSign users can be confident their documents have been executed with tamper-proof security and enforceability. This audit trail and chain of custody can drastically reduce legal fees if a contract is disputed in a court of law.
- Insurance – Decrease of insurance premiums from lowering fire and theft risk by eliminating paper file storage.
- Personnel Resources:
a. Save time retrieving documents.
b. Save time managing signature process like tracking and follow-up, etc.
c. Save time with the ability to manage multiple versions of documents and templates.
d. Save time by identifying bottlenecks and make appropriate adjustments to the process in order to increase efficiency.
Along with immediate and long term cost savings achieved by using an eSignature and DTM solution, there are substantial environmental impacts, these include: conservation of water, energy, and trees as well as reduction of carbon footprint. Check out ZorroSign’s Environmental Savings Calculator to see your company’s potential environmental impact. For organizations adopting a ‘go digital’ mindset, there are tangible benefits like cost savings and intangible benefits like doing your part to save the environment, these benefits not only help the company, but its employees as well. Studies show that 3 in every 4 companies who adopt paperless processes experience a tangible payback within 12-18 months.
To learn more about ZorroSign’s green initiative, please visit Paperless Life and find out just how large of an environmental impact your company could have by going paperless. Click here to check out ZorroSign Plans & Pricing, enabling your company to do an accurate analysis on their total current cost of using paper and compare that cost to purchasing and using an eSignature and Digital Transaction Management system like ZorroSign.