Contributed by Brian Manning, Co-Founder, President and Chief Digital Officer at Centric Digital

In 2009 when my business partner and I set out to build Centric Digital, many businesses were dealing with the hangover of the global financial crisis. They were searching for ways to be more efficient and grow in a struggling economy. Despite this, many of these businesses were still stuck in an “analog” mind-set, and their offices were still crowded with desk phones, copiers, printers, fax machines, filing cabinets and oceans of paper.

We knew if we wanted start and grow a business in that environment, we’d need to do it very differently and very efficiently. Herein lay the catch-22. As we grew, the growth led to exponentially more contracts with new clients, partners, vendors, contractors and employees that would naturally require paperwork.

When you’re building a business with a name like Centric Digital, you need to exemplify what running a business digitally really means. We chose to make our office paperless from the beginning and being 100% cloud for document solutions. Keeping our business purely paperless appealed on many levels. Not only were we crossing off administrative and maintenance costs, we avoided the following hidden by common issues in business:

Filing Cabinet “Loss Ratio” – You may be familiar with the commercial real estate term “loss ratio” which means the percentage of your office space you pay the landlord for but can’t use as office space such as hallways, stairwells, etc. Well, you can add your Filing Cabinet Loss Ratio to that number as well. The sheer real estate and related costs necessary to house paper files. Just imagine what it would take to accommodate filing cabinets when your business earns global success.

“Administrivia” Time Drain – Everyone should measure the minutes or hours they spend signing and reviewing and tracking physical documents. Afterwards, they can imagine what they could have achieved in that amount of time.

“We’re Only Human” Error Rates – No one should be forced to search for files, volley between people correcting data, or uncover what is holding up the completion of a contract.

Today, our team is nearing 200 globally and no paper in sight. We only have two executive assistants who are more focused on supporting our executives with complex coordination vs. filing paper. We don’t even have desk phones or fax machines and definitely no filing cabinets. When you implement cloud-based document solutions, you enhance efficiencies, cost-effectiveness and eliminate incidence of human error.

Think about it: you can make video calls through Google Hangouts and track documents in Digital Transaction Management (DTM) platforms. No paper chase necessary. After all, you’re investing in your company’s growth, and paper just holds you back. In fact, managing contracts and documents requiring signatures via paper would have cost us around $200,000 just last year.

Now that we’ve eliminated paper, let’s move into other benefits gained from operating in the Cloud. With your recouped costs, you’re now free to invest in your products and services, not to mention more engaging marketing activities, enhanced customer experience and acquire top talent. Why not impress your client by flying out to meet them instead of sending them packets of paper-based materials?

However, chief among the benefits is dynamic collaboration.

Here is a scenario you’ll probably recognize where having cloud storage for documents, notes or anything else once kept in the old, paper medium becomes essential to success:

  • Owning Your Workflow – Before and After Cloud Storage
  • Before: Business today moves at an incredibly fast pace. You can write down your thoughts on a notepad as soon as they come to you, but what if you left that notepad behind at the office when you could have used it in a meeting with a major prospect?
  • After: Keep every thought, idea, strategy in a Cloud-based notebook and it travels with you everywhere and on any device so you can wow that major prospect. Get your company equipped to store all notes and key resources in a Cloud application so you’re just a few clicks away from finding out exactly what you need to know, no matter where you are.

In conclusion, when you run your business paperless and your document management in the cloud, you gain the freedom from having to chase and pay for paper (in the form of labor, time and potentially lost opportunities). Why not start now?

To learn more about Centric Digital’s digital business success, click here.

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