Two months ago – like many of you – we made the decision to close down the 7T office and transition to remote work. Personally, that meant placing my Macbook Pro and iPad in my backpack and walking out the door. Being a tech company, it was a smooth transition for our employees as well.
People around our office are used to hearing me swear off paper. Whenever physical contracts and documents come across my very clear and paper-free desk, I can’t help but cringe. To me, physical documents exemplify archaic business processes. Not to mention how completely insecure and risky paper documents are!
How many times have you been asked to write your social security number down on paper? Hundreds, probably. Nearly every new doctor’s appointment and every major transaction requires mounds of paperwork disclosing your most sensitive personal information (PI). Where does that paper go and who has access to it? Who knows… but they could certainly open a credit card in your name if they were so inclined.
On top of that, despite making up only 5% of the world population, America uses 30% of the global paper supply. The average American uses more than 700 pounds of paper each year!
For business operations that require lengthy paper trails, copious amounts of storage space (and/or disposal services) are also required. In terms of profitability, these issues create a massive burden for companies of all sizes – from small businesses to Fortune 500s.
The environmental impact is an entirely different story…
But another thing my team knows about me is that I can’t harp on the negatives for very long! We’re all transitioning through this strange moment in time thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there will certainly be silver linings on the other side.
I think this unique situation presents the perfect opportunity for businesses to innovate. If you’re a business owner, executive, or leader in any capacity, now is the time to step back. Think long and hard about why your business operates the way it does.
Do we really need to submit paper expense reports or keep filing cabinets full of HR documents? Do we really need to cling to anything that creates inefficiencies within our business?
The answer is almost certainly “no.”
At 7T, we’ve had the great honor of working with some of the most innovative companies in the world.
As a government contractor, Bell Helicopter couldn’t risk having sensitive helicopter sales documents drifting around the globe. With one sales enablement application, we solved that problem. Now, Bell’s executives and sales teams can remote-wipe an iPad full of data instantly.
Pepsi hoped to abandon paper and clipboards in their distribution centers. We solved that problem, too. Now, warehouse employees can simply scan pallets and move on, increasing efficiency and inventory accuracy.
Changing business processes doesn’t have to be painful either. As more and more healthcare facilities turn to telemedicine, cities change their municipal operations, and people shift to a more distanced way of life, countless businesses have the opportunity to reinvent themselves. Luckily, employees and customers are ready and willing to embrace change.
Our personal lives are already powered by digital technology. Maybe it’s time we put an end to paper in our professional lives too.
If you are ready to leave paper behind, 7T offers consulting and development services to guide businesses through digital transformation. Whether you are interested in data governance and data lake creation, cloud integrations, or custom CRM or ERP software, our team will help you find a solution with a powerful ROI to scale your business.