Paper forms have consistently been the most common method of data capture within the construction industry for decades. However, as technology plays a bigger and bigger role within companies, and business processes become more complex, paper forms are a growing threat to efficiency and profitability. Most companies cannot rely on these slow and inefficient data processes. The following facts will outline just how costly using paper can be.

 

  1. Biggest issues caused by paper-based processes
    • Time spent re-keying data, searching for paper copies and filing
    • Storage volume and outsource paper store costs
    • Inability to monitor workflow progress
    • “Lost” paperwork
    • Compliance and audit issues
    • Poor access to case or process documents

 

  1. Average cost per paper form
    • The average worker burns through around 10,000 sheets of paper on a yearly basis, which on average costs $0.03 a sheet in materials and equipment.
    • AIIM, The Global Community of Information Professionals, claims the average cost per paper form is $4.56, but for 20% of respondents for this study, it was $10.00 or more. This is just the physical cost alone.
    • Paper forms can cost a company $5-10,000 annually on storage, printing, and ordering.

 

  1. Average cost of capture per form.
    • AIIM, claims the average cost of capture per form is $2.84 with 25% reporting more than $5.00 per form.

 

  1. Lost forms.
    • Gartner’s studies have shown that 1% of all forms are lost, and the time to recreate a lost form averages 60 minutes.
    • Estimated costs for replacing a lost form is about $250 in time and labor.

 

  1. Misplaced forms.
    • Gartner’s studies have shown that 3% of all forms are misplaced and finding a misplaced form takes an average of 15 minutes.

 

  1. Keying captured data from paper into an electronic system.
    • On average, companies can save $1.88 per page of a form or more by not having to re-enter form data in to a digital system.

 
Some Benefits of Going Mobile and Paperless

  1. Total average savings in your first year.
    • A company can save an average of $40,000 in the first year of switching to electronic form filling.

 

  1. Increase productivity.
    • Mobile forms can improve annual productivity by 28% and show an ROI within 6 months.

 

  1. Top benefits of using an electronic forms tool
    • Speed of data availability
    • Keeping paper out of the process
    • Better data accuracy
    • Few lost/incomplete forms
    • Reduced logistics of forms and paper handling
    • Improved back-office efficiency
    • Reduction in form-filling time
    • Freeing up process flows/approval cycles

 

  1. Immediate savings.
    • Cutting the cost of paper
    • Eliminate the need to re-key collected data from paper forms into electronic systems
    • Increase workers’ productivity by allowing them to focus on their job responsibilities and not paper forms

 

  1. Long-term savings.
    • These types of savings are harder to quantify compared to immediate savings, but are important and can be the ultimate driver for companies to switch from paper based processes to electronic.
      • Collect more data, faster
      • Increase data integrity and reduce or eliminating errors with handwritten forms
      • Eliminate the data lag that can occur between the office and the field
      • Analyze the data from electronic forms to make better-informed business decisions

 

Sources:
AIIM Whitepaper, 2012: Process-Critical Forms and the Mobile Workforce – Making the Digital Savings
http://absolutelypaperless.com/going-paperless-the-ultimate-return-on-investment/
http://www.dbtech.com/the-roi-of-electronic-forms-eforms/
https://blog.formotus.com/enterprise-mobility/figuring-the-costs-of-using-paper-forms

Elizah Hulseman