How to Go Paperless
as a Retail Business
As a retail business in 2019, wondering how to go paperless is the next step on the agenda.
There are a number of benefits of going paperless. Are you wondering how to go paperless? It isn’t as time-consuming as it might seem. An impressive 50% of business waste is paper, so even reducing paper in small steps will make a great difference.
Saving the environment and the business account
Converting to a paperless system will help support the environment and factors such as water conservation. Did you know that each sheet of paper takes an average of five litres of water to make? (*)
As well as improving your standpoint in the environment, you can save a pretty penny too. Going paperless will reduce the usual cost you pay for printing ink, the cost of pens, the energy to print documents (such as staff rotas and floor plans) and the obvious, paper. The financial impact of a paperless retail business is certainly persuasive.
How to go paperless – slow and steady wins the race
Before taking the leap to go paperless, know that you don’t need to get rid all at once, but you will need a strategy in place. Start with focusing on one or two areas where you can change your process and put them into practice to start with. Here at Bray, we have some top tips to get you started on how to go paperless.
Up in the clouds
Paperless document storage is the way forward in technology. Known as the cloud, paperless document storage is an ideal way to store and keep backups of important documents securely. As well as reducing paper use, the cloud has the ability to let you share documents with not only employees but also customers.
Avoid printing out documents such as handouts and training booklets for and instead take advantage of technology such as iPads, laptops and portable devices that are now often used in retail.
Sending letters to staff is not needed when email, a quicker and easier way to communicate, is available. Not only will you receive a quick response, but a copy of important documents are automatically stored in the cloud. Using electronic calendars/rotas give retail businesses the opportunity to schedule conference calls, shifts and staff holidays without wasting paper.
Offering digital receipts is something a lot of retail businesses have introduced. There are many advantages for both shops and their consumers. You can keep digital receipts forever without the annoyance of keeping paper and cost reductions.
Not all is lost…
We know what you are wondering – what happens to the paper you already hold? Scanning them as a PDF, storing them in the cloud and then shredding the paper version is the best process but still keeping your physical documents in digital form. If you need the physical copies for some reason, storing them safely in an organised manner is key to prevent anything from getting lost if you were to need it later on.
The benefits of going paperless
Increased accessibility – Keeping track of digital documents and sharing them with employees is simple. Searching for files electronically is much quicker than locating missing paper!
Keeping documents safe – Store digital documents securely – only authorised users can access them.
Customer service – Keeping customer data stored digitally (In line with GDPR) is much quicker when searching for information such as customer orders. Providing a straightforward service means greater customer satisfaction.
Increased productivity – Retail businesses will spend less time handling and printing documents, which allows them to focus on tasks in store.
Paper protection – In the risk of a fire, going paperless is a great prevention process in your business disaster plan. Digital documents are stored in the cloud and can be accessed in any location, regardless of fire or damage.
Reducing your carbon footprint – The use of paper worldwide has risen by 400% in the last 40 years, which is taking its toll on our trees. Rapid deforestation – much of it to produce paper products – is a huge concern for the environment. Reducing paper usage will reduce your carbon footprint. (*)
Reducing long term costs – 84% of businesses that do implement a paperless system see a return on investment in less than 18 months. (*) Saving money on printing and paper will make an increase on saving in the long run.
Paperless processes are the way forward, not only because of increased security but also financial savings. The liability of paper can slow down everyday tasks, leaving you with the risk of providing an unreliable service and losing time/money. There are so many affordable cloud systems that will do the job. Not only will you save yourself time and money, but you will also save the environment and reduce your carbon footprint.
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