Originally appeared on Xerox Small Business Solutions.
By Rieva Lesonsky
How does your business compare to the competition? Whether you’re confidently riding high as the leader of the pack, or nervously eyeing a contender who is gaining on you, staying ahead of the competition is every entrepreneur’s obsession.
Did you ever stop to think about how digitizing documents could give your business a competitive edge? Overall, some 65% of businesses have begun digitizing paper processes, while an additional 12% plan to start digitizing paper processes in one to three years.
Almost half (46%) of small and midsized businesses say they waste a significant amount of time on paper-intensive processes every day. Simply eliminating those time-consuming process is one obvious benefit of going digital.
But there are certain industries where going digital can really benefit your business. Here’s a closer look at what those industries are and why digitizing documents can have such a positive impact.
Get the Digital Advantage
Healthcare organizations have to deal with strict HIPAA regulations regarding patients’ personal data. Filing, discarding or printing paper documents can put this information at risk. Almost 70% of healthcare organizations are already digitizing paper processes.
Retailers, especially those that engage in e-commerce and collect customers’ payment card data are frequent targets of identity theft. Inventory management, shipping, and accepting payments can all generate huge amounts of paper, too. More than 70% of retail companies are either well advanced in digitizing paper processes or have begun doing so.
Companies in the financial services industry are heavily impacted by paper — and not in a good way. More than three-fourths say they spend $1,000 to $5,000 per month on paper processes. No wonder 84% believe digitization of documents will improve the bottom line.
Professional services firms
Professional services is a fast-paced world — but this is one of the top two industries that wastes a significant amount of time daily on inefficient paper processes. (The other is law firms.) In addition to the time savings from digitizing documents, professional services firms can protect clients’ personal data, such as names, Social Security numbers, insurance numbers and more, by going digital.
Law firms must follow strict security guidelines to protect their clients’ privacy, making them ideal candidates for document digitization. However, they lag behind many other industries in the digitization of documents: Just 56% have begun going digital.
Digitizing your business’s documents can seem like a massive undertaking. Scanning, organizing and storing digital documents; reconciling them against paper documents to make sure everything is scanned; and securely disposing of the paper records has the potential to take as much time as it promises to save.
Fortunately, Xerox has plenty of tools that can make the process quicker and easier.
Use the Xerox® Mobile Link mobile app to connect your smartphone or tablet to a Xerox® printer or multifunction printer (MFP). A Xerox® ConnectKey-enabled printer lets you set up customized One-Touch Workflows to automatically scan documents and send them to mobile devices, email, and the cloud all at once.
No matter what kind of scanner you have, Xerox® Web Capture Service can turn it into a scanning speed machine. Use Xerox® Web Capture with your scanner to automate and scan documents directly into popular business apps. QuickBooks, Freshbooks, Microsoft Office 365, you name it: Get the data into the app without the laborious steps of saving files, renaming them and importing them into your applications. Xerox® Web Capture does it all for you, so as soon you digitize the document, you can start using the data immediately.
Once your documents are digitized, don’t forget to keep them secure (after all, that’s part of the reason you digitized them). Xerox® can help with that, too.
Networked printers can be at risk for cyber attacks, but the Xerox® VersaLink® C405 Color Multifunction Printer keeps your network safe. Its built-in security features let you limit access so that only authorized users can print or scan certain documents. The VersaLink printer family’s ConnectKey-enabled printers protect your data from hackers with encrypted hard drives; you can even set them up to scrub the data from the hard drive after printing a sensitive document.
Do you need to share those digitized documents in a secure environment? Xerox® DocuShare Flex is cloud-based software for businesses with as few as five employees. It manages your data and documents so you can share and collaborate on them securely. DocuShare Flex protects your data by allowing you to control access to documents. You can add an extra layer of security with Content Encryption, an add-on feature that encrypts documents for protection.
The digital future is already here. By starting now to digitize your business documents, you’ll not only say goodbye to the paper chase but also put your business one step ahead of your competitors.