The world produces 300 million tons of paper every year. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, printing and writing papers typically found in a school or office environment such as copier paper, computer printouts, and notepads comprise the largest category of paper product consumption and landfill waste.
This is an alarming figure considering the advanced technology of today’s world that is specifically designed to help offices go paperless.
Paper Consumption in the United States
- Paper consumption in the United States for the last 20 years has increased from 92 million tons to 208 million, a growth of 126%.
- The average person in the U.S. consumed as much paper as 6 people combined in Asia in the last decade.
- The U.S. has less than 5% of the world’s population, yet it consumes more than 30% of the world’s paper.
- The U.S. uses approximately 68 million trees each year to produce paper and paper products.
Paper Consumption in the Office
- The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year.
- 45% of paper printed in offices ends up trashed by the end of the day.
- S corporations spend more than $120 billion a year on printed forms, most of which outdate themselves within three months’ time.
- A typical employee spends 30-40% of their time looking for information kept in filing cabinets.
- Each four-drawer file cabinet holds an average of 10,000 to 12,000 documents, takes up to 9 sq. ft. of floor space and costs $1,500 per year.
- More than 70% of businesses would fail within 3 weeks if they suffered a catastrophic loss of paper-based records due to fire or flood.
- The average business’ paper consumption grows by 22% per year, meaning in 3.3 years your paper consumption will double.
Why Going Paperless Is Good
- When your office goes paperless you don’t have to worry about losing and finding a document again. All of your documents will be organized on your computer, stored and indexed in the exact way you specify to the contractor.
- You no longer have to mess with snail mail or fax machines. By having all of your documents as a digital file you can easily email and collaborate on the computer.
- It’s important to keep a record management plan from creation to destruction. Going paperless makes this a simple task by digitally managing every file and document.
- Having a digital office makes it easy to access your documents from anywhere with an internet connection. When you are traveling or out of the office a digital office makes it very simple to retrieve any necessary documents.
How Much Does Going Paperless Cost?
Like everything else you do with your business, you will want to know how much going paperless will cost. Typically, document scanning ranges from 7 to 12 cents per image. There are three main factors that will influence the price:
The Amount of Document Preparation Required
If your records have a lot of staples, clips, and fasteners, or if you need files to be sorted based on sections and sub-sections of the chart, the price will be toward the higher end of the pricing scale.
The Volume of Records Being Scanned
Document scanning services are one of those things where it definitely pays to buy in bulk. The price per page builds in all of the setup and administrative costs, and those are offset by having a higher number of pages to convert.
The Indexing Criteria Required
It’s pretty standard to be able to search for patient information based on first name, last name, and medical record ID number, in an electronic medical record system. However, if you want to add additional information to your images—phone number, addresses, etc.—it will require more time, and ultimately increase the price per image.
How Much Paper Is Used in One Day
How Much Paper Is Used in the U.S. in One Day [Infographic] from Esker, Inc.
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