It's no secret that businesses waste a lot of paper. No matter how effective one's content and knowledge management is -- the need to print files and documents is still inevitable. Out of necessity, storage costs and time spent searching and organizing has increased. As the world makes a more concerted effort to go "green," the push for e-document management has been gaining momentum. Not only is digital storage cheaper than paper, ink, physical space and the manpower required to assist in taking care of piles of paper, implementing an automated electronic document management system can make business operations run more efficiently.Many companies who have gone paperless have found that such processes have eliminated the need for paper notes and have made the entire customer file electronic and easily accessible to anyone involved in the sales process. In addition, by implementing an all-electronic customer file, accounts payable have instant access and rapid resolution to any payment issues, from collection or short payment queries to purchase orders.

A Question of Security

As more companies adapt more proactive and productive e-solutions, the question of security usually remains at the top of their list. Guaranteeing that the data integrity of important documents as well as their retention for regulatory and disaster recovery purposes is easier when files and folders are put into one organized and easy-to-use central information repository. With an electronic document management system in place, staff all over, whether at headquarters or in sales offices, have the same instant and secure access to client files, as well as the ability to control access, audit user activities and enforce rights management set at the cabinet, folder or file level. Collectively, these capabilities make digital documents far more secure than paper-based systems. As documents become electronic, so do signatures. As electronic signatures become increasingly accepted, automated technology that allows electronic workflow approvals for internal quality control, avoid written signatures entirely, resulting in a streamlined quality control process that eliminates the need for paper documents to be routed to different offices.

Go Green: Save Money and the Planet

E-document solutions are best when they provide an out-of-the-box functionality with user-friendliness. Being able to integrate document management systems within a company's current infrastructure is often a key factor in their decision. Not only can going paperless help reduce costs, it can help evolve the needs and services that both companies and systems provide. The benefits to companies, customers and the planet can be monumental.