In 2012, the average business will produce almost a pound of printed documents per employee, per day. You may be shocked to learn that more than 90% of that printed material ends up in the trash can within hours of being printed! The money and resources wasted daily by American business on printing unnecessarily is shameful.

Document management is a great way for businesses to start implementing green initiatives while improving efficiency and saving money. Document management software is a computer based storage and retrieval system that is used to index and store electronic documents and scanned paper documents. These systems can often be very convenient for file exchange among employees and reduce the weight paper puts on a business. Below are the 5 ways that a document management solution can help your business save time, money, and the environment:

1. Fax or Email invoices and Statements to customers

The cost of printing, folding, stuffing, and mailing an invoice or statement to a customer is over $2.50. If you add the cost of filing a copy of that document in the customer’s file, the cost goes up to over $5.00 per document. Most customers will accept (and many prefer) to receive invoices or statements via email or fax. Your business management system (ERP/Accounting Software) should, in conjunction with a document management solution should provide the ability to determine which customers will accept email or fax versions of your  invoices/statements and automatically distribute the documents in that manner.

2. Get rid of file cabinets

Document Management systems replace filing cabinets with electronic versions of all your documents. Rather than printing accounting journals, financial statements, copies of invoices, etc. to paper, you should be able to “print” those documents directly to the document management system. In addition, in-bound documents can be scanned and added to the database and the original document can be shredded.

3. Eliminate filing errors

As documents are added to the Document Management system, they are automatically indexed in multiple ways. For example, it is possible for you to find a customer invoice by the customer number, customer PO number, contract number, sales order number, or invoice number. This process effectively eliminates the possibility of filing a document in the wrong place.

4. Find documents faster

If you have spent time in a hot, dusty warehouse looking for a document, you understand how frustrating it can be access your paper document storage system. With a document management system those documents are accessible from your computer desktop.

5. Provide access to documents from anywhere

If your office is the front seat of your car and you have access to the internet from your “office,” (wi-fi or wireless) you can still access all of the documents stored in your document management system. Some document management systems are completely web based (ASG Cypress, for example), but even if your document management software requires a direct connection to the company’s network server, there are still tools that will allow you to access the documents remotely (Microsoft Terminal Services, etc.).


As business owners and managers, we have a responsibility to provide excellent customer service while maximizing profits for our companies. A computer based document management system can provide quick, efficient access to company documents and customer information, providing a higher level of service at a much lower cost – without having to cut down a forest. This added efficiency will also give you a competitive advantage in your market.