If there was an ideal office of the future we would expect it to be a paperless office. The entire focus is aimed at harnessing the advancement of technology for the purpose of cost reduction as well as avoiding the use of paper by switching over to the use of electronic documents. Since many SMEs are hesitant to use newer technologies basically due to unfamiliarity and their own ignorance, such eco friendly initiatives are never implemented even though the benefits of such technological innovations are abundantly obvious.
While much larger institutions like banks and major corporations have understood the advantages of document management systems and have started implementing them already in their businesses, although even those have still a long way to go, SMEs are still a little hesitant to go ahead with the changes feeling that their own volume of document output is quite low and does not warrant a drastic change in systems.
Many employees in SMEs never think twice before document print control. They are not aware of the cost that the company incurs every single year from the amount of documents printed within the company. Every single print counts and does add up to the total cost that the business incurs on an annual basis.
The wastage of paper as well as printing ink should be discouraged as much as possible and employees need to be informed that the company takes the issue of wastage very seriously. Even though the consumption of paper by small companies in Spain is normally low, this in no way warrants indiscriminate wastage of precious resources. Companies can inform their employees that a print control system would be in place to monitor their printing usage in an effort to discipline their printing habits.
Cost savings for SMEs
While employee awareness can bring down costs to a certain extent, the effective use of modern technology plays a vital role in cost-cutting by as much as 30%. Multi-functional office automation systems that allow staff to copy, scan, print, and fax documents are integral to saving costs. The entire workflow can also be monitored using special document print control software that keeps track of who is doing what and assigning each employee with certain privileges and limitations. Another alternative is to outsource the entire process to a service provider who can take care of the process as well as the associated stationery supplies in order to reduce costs even further.
Despite the obvious advantages of such document output control technologies and the benefits derived from them, why do small businesses fail to take advantage of them? There can be several reasons for it. First of all, the small size of the SMEs can be a factor that inhibits the implementation of newer technologies which they assume are appropriate only for bigger businesses. Most small businesses are also very conservative in their approach and would not want to experiment with new systems. Smaller businesses are also run in a more informal atmosphere with no clear business systems in place. The owner of the business most of the time wants to be in the picture and bringing in a new technology that they are not very familiar with brings with it a fear that they might lose control over their business. Their lack of knowledge in the latest technological trends many times proves a hindrance to the adopting of newer technologies by the business. Proprietors of the business try to postpone any kind of change till a point of time beyond which it is impossible to continue with the same systems in place.
What most business owners fail to understand is that these document print control systems are very simple to implement and it is nothing but their own ignorance that is costing their businesses dearly for not implementing those systems. They are also ignorant of the fact that the investment required for these systems is low and the systems start returning on their investment almost immediately.
Despite the fact that the technology necessary for implementing a paperless office is already available today, it would be quite some time before we see many SMEs actively adopting these systems in their businesses. Since many businesses are run by people who are in their 50s or later, they naturally have a resistance to technologies that they are not very familiar or comfortable with. While businessmen from the older generation would not think twice before printing an email to read it from paper, the younger generation of businessmen would be acutely aware of their responsibility to judiciously use the precious resources they have at their disposal.
Consumers everywhere are becoming more aware of eco friendly practices and are expecting businesses everywhere to become more responsible in the way they use resources and also in the way they manufacture products and run their businesses. Green IT and other ecologically aware movements are gaining moment and clout with the passage of time. The government has also imposed several strict measures as well as taxes on businesses that now make it mandatory for businesses comply. Although change is difficult at first, it needs to be welcomed cheerfully since it is for the greater benefit of mankind.
by: Andre Klein
About the Author:
DocPath is an international software company specialized in Document Output Management and Control software that enables users to design and distribute documents through multiple channels simultaneously and seamlessly.
Web: Document Output Management Control Software
Co-Author: Andre Klein
Product Reviews Group - Independent Product Reviews