Paperless Business Software: A Step Towards the Future of Field Service Management

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As the business world evolves and innovative technology grows more accessible for enterprises of every size, running a field service company becomes easier. With the advent of digital tools and cutting-edge technology like mobile applications, cloud storage, GPS tracking and geofencing, electronic payments, and accounting services, you can now run your business with just a few clicks on the computer screen.

Going forward, most field service management software solutions now offer integrated mobile applications that enable you to manage your daily operations via your smartphone. You don’t even need to sit in front of a computer or stay stuck within the four walls of your office anymore. Imagine the mobility it could give you and your technicians!

Considering the rapid transformation in the digital space and the changing trends in the domain of field service management, it can be safely said that going paperless is inevitable for field service-based businesses. Most industries are leaning towards automation, and field service is certainly not behind. Not just large enterprises, but even small and medium field service management businesses are leveraging the advantages of digital tools to their fullest potential. All in all, the future of field service management is heading towards complete automation. And it is only a matter of time before paperless business software solutions become the norm in this industry.

This article will further elaborate on the myriad advantages paperless business software systems offer to small, medium, and large service businesses. The aim is to explain, in simple terms, why this cutting-edge technology has become indispensable for businesses and how, going forward, it is going to be the most significant trend in the industry.

But before we go there, let’s have a quick look at the background. First, take a moment to understand what paperless business software is. Then, we’ll go ahead and explain the shortcomings of the traditional business model and how these innovative software solutions can help enterprises. From there, you can easily guess why this is going to be the defining innovation that transforms the field service industry completely.

What It Means to Go Paperless in Your Business

In the simplest terms, going paperless in your business means not using paper-based documents in your daily operations. Instead, paperless organizations use digitized documents. However, with the introduction of modern technology, these digital documents are not limited to Excel spreadsheets and emails. Now, businesses can take advantage of a plethora of digital tools and technologies. This includes software systems and mobile applications, among other things.

As a company shifts to a paperless environment, it replaces traditional documents with PDFs, electronic forms, online databases, emails, instant messaging, and software applications to carry out day-to-day operations. To sum up, paperless business software systems enable you to do all your administrative tasks using a computer or smartphone.

How Paper-based Methods are Slowing Down Your Operations

While paperless business software solutions come with their own set of advantages, they also rescue a business from the fatal downsides of using paper-based methods. That’s right! You may not realize it, but using pen and paper for your daily operations is harming your business in more ways than you can imagine. Did you know:

  • In the US alone, $25-$35 billion is spent each year for filing, storing, and retrieving paper-based documents
  • Each year, the use of paper increases by 22% on average. This will double the amount of paper you need to manage in your office in just 3-4 years
  • An average of 30 business days are lost in a medium-sized company waiting for mislabeled, misplaced, misfiled, untracked, and lost documents
  • An average employee spends approximately $725 on printing, incurring the cost of ink and paper about $84,000 in a year
  • The IT department of your organization (if any) has to spend 15% of its time fixing printing-related issues
  • In a typical business day, an employee makes approximately 61 trips a week to use the printer, copier, and fax machine, and also spends a substantial amount of time

This is how paper-based methods slacken your resources and efficiency. It also incurs a huge operational cost that could be easily avoided. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Using a voluminous amount of paper is also debilitating our environment, which is not just scary for humankind but also a threat to business sustainability. As research indicates:

  • Paper and paper pulp are the third largest industrial pollutant in the world.
  • In order to make papers, the number of trees being felled will soon cause massive deforestation. At its current rate, it will just take a hundred years to destroy all the rainforest around the globe.
  • The amount of paper and paper-based items thrown away in a typical business each year is enough to make a 12’ wall from California to New York. And all of this trash goes mostly into landfills, fueling pollution even further.

Why Paper-Based Solutions are Beneficial

As it is clear as daylight, using paper in your day-to-day operations can be fatal for both your business and the earth. Switching to paperless methods, evidently, saves you from these hassles while contributing to sustainable business practices. But beyond the obvious, these cutting-edge digital tools can do even more wonders for your business. Here are the most significant advantages of paperless business software:

  • Reduces Overhead Costs

Businesses are spending less on printed documents each year, which is not surprising given that printer ink, for example, is one of the most expensive chemicals known to humankind. Beyond that, paper alone costs $80 per employee a year, not including ink, printers, or maintenance costs. Therefore, when your organization embraces paperless solutions, it saves a large chunk of money on various accounts, including office supplies, printing costs, filing and storage, data recovery, as well as operational costs.

  • Increases Productivity

According to a study conducted by AIIM, going paperless in your business can improve employee productivity by 30%. Paperless offices may have improved productivity since their employees have digital access to files from their personal work devices, freeing their time for higher-priority duties like engaging with consumers. A search tool or a clear index that simplifies finding documents and files is widespread in digital databases. Saving time searching for files frees up time for employees to focus on high-priority projects.

  • Easy Access to Information

After you’ve digitized the paperwork, it’s much easier to communicate information with clients and coworkers. Exchanging digital material, whether it’s a digital contract to a client or an annotated PDF with a coworker, can be faster than exchanging traditional copies. Employers must provide training while transitioning to a paperless office to guarantee that the move improves both internal and external communication.

  • Saves Space

Businesses can save precious floor space in their offices by converting to a paperless office. Suppose the office has a separate room for file cabinets and a copy machine. Once the organization has gone paperless, they might remove the cabinets and copiers and use the area for something else. In fact, once you don’t have to make room for files and documents, you may completely turn your business into a virtual one, where your field technicians work on the job site and you work from home, or anywhere else you like.

  • Enhances Data Security

Contrary to general belief, going paperless improves the security of your business data, albeit this is heavily dependent on the methods you choose to store secret information. However, with the proper security mechanisms in place, you no longer have to rely entirely on physical security and its inherent constraints.

Paperless approaches are also preferable for disaster recovery because they enable you to simply store numerous digital copies of your data in separate physical places. In other words, if your office suffers a disaster, your company’s apps and data will be unperturbed, provided they are hosted in the cloud.

  • Reduces Error

Automation is an inevitable outcome of digital workflows. And, with machine learning advancing at such a rapid pace, repetitive manual operations are becoming obsolete. Going paperless makes it easy to automatically record data. For example, you can utilize web-based forms to collect and distribute information while enhancing data quality.

Digitally collected data is naturally more dependable and accurate than data entered solely through manual processes. Inbound data can also be connected with essential company operations such as customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning software.

  • Increases Efficiency

Imagine how time-consuming it was to find information before computers revolutionized business. To address a customer support request, for example, an employee would have to physically look through piles of printed paperwork in a filing cabinet, which would substantially lengthen support resolution times.

Going paperless entails storing your data in a consolidated database, which improves efficiency and performance. With everything digitized, you can search for certain papers and data in seconds and even have your software automatically compile documents from several sources.

Final Thoughts

Business, especially field service management, is typically a competitive space. With new market entrants emerging every day, you need to do whatever it takes if you want to survive the race. Since the world is moving forward by harnessing the power of digital technology, this is naturally going to be the strongest driving force for businesses as well. And given the plethora of advantages that paperless business software brings to the table, it has become the ultimate weapon to grow and sustain businesses. Although just 17% of current field service businesses have transitioned to paperless business solutions, it will eventually become standard practice in the industry.

The advantages, however, are not the only aspect that makes this software solution so popular among business owners. Sustainability has become one of the most pressing concerns of our time. With deforestation and global warming remaining major issues, the world is looking for alternatives that affect our green cover less and less. To this end, refraining from using paper seems like the wisest idea. This is why experts remark that this is going to be the future of business, in particular.

Nonetheless, for some people, old habits really die hard. Many business owners around the world are still reluctant to embrace automation and sign up for paperless business solutions. But this is the most fatal mistake you can commit for your business right now. If you are still not part of the changing landscape, you are certainly missing out on the biggest competitive advantage of our time.

Author Bio

Joy Gomez

My world is made up of codes. It is the central element that drives my universe. I am a self-taught, process-driven programmer with a creative bent of mind. Since I was an engineering student, I dreamt of creating something unique. To satiate my creative appetite, I took to coding. Blessed with abundant support and generous scholarships from my employers, I simultaneously worked full-time and pursued my dream. My passion and high productivity helped me in my journey as well. Finally, I created Field Promax to follow my drive of coding and streamlining processes; and do more of what I know best—coding.