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Thinking inside the box

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Paperless Office

Recent research carried out by Brother UK and YouGov found 60% of senior decision makers* believe their staff are wasting a full working day every month due to not being able to find paper documents.

Combine this with the fact that there are set to be 28 million mobile workers in the UK by the end of next year**, it’s little surprise that a growing number of SMEs are looking to reduce their reliance on paper.

Reducing paper usage will not only bring environmental, space and cost benefits to small businesses, but it could also help them to remain agile and boost productivity – both important when it comes to keeping competitive.

The problem for many businesses isn’t so much the lack of understanding of the benefits of digitisation, but knowing how to do it and where to start. And this is where resellers can help.

Undertaking a print audit is likely to be a good start. It will help to get a handle on the paper usage in an organisation and help businesses to understand where they’re being inefficient or spending more than they need to.

Channel partners can encourage SMEs to invest in scanners to digitise paper documents coming into their business. Some may worry about loss of data and security, but understanding their concerns and explaining options of shared drives or secure cloud storage spaces will help to reassure them of the safety of digitisation.

Some SMEs will find using less paper easier than others, but even tightly regulated sectors like financial services that often require hefty paper trails and physical archives can employ some level of digitisation. Industry bodies like HM Revenue & Customs and the Financial Conduct Authority occasionally issue guidance which could mean less reliance on the use of paper. Keeping up to date with these changes gives resellers the opportunity to show real insight when providing recommendations to customers.

Products that allow the user to scan, store, view, edit and share documents on the go will be key to SMEs in the coming years as more workers go mobile. Mobile scanners and tablets are just two products channel partners are likely to see a boost in thanks to this trend.

While a complete shift to paperless offices may still be quite a way off, SMEs are starting to make steps in that direction. As focus increases on environmental impact and workplace efficiency, it’s down to vendors and resellers to support SMEs as they make these changes, every step of the way.

Source: IDC

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