The cost of paper-based business workflow is enormous. Business users may spend about 30 to 50 percent of their time looking for information, due to a lack of an integrated data source, which in turn leads to the inability to find the proper data to perform the task. That’s roughly $14,000 worth of productivity lost per employee annually.

At Ropaar, we’ve come up with a list of five paper-based logistics processes that are significantly contributing to process inefficiency and productivity loss. This list includes user onboarding, safety and QA, compliance and audit, data entry, and the ordering process.

User Onboarding. From filling out health insurance and emergency contact information forms to bank information and deposit slips, a new user’s onboarding process is paper-intensive or manual, or both. This process is tedious, and it takes a lot of time. Not only does it affect your new user’s productivity, it also has a great impact on your HR department’s productivity. They end up spending a lot of time on paperwork, instead of focusing on other and possibly more important tasks.

In this digital age, new user data can be collected using electronic means. The resulting information can be used for new user onboarding — across all documents — while automating delivery to all necessary departments. This is beneficial for both the new user and HR for them to avoid tiresome paperwork.

Safety and quality standards. There are several procedures and features integrated into safety and quality management systems. One of these is document control. Companies must create detailed documentation of their procedures, which must be strictly followed, as well as constantly updated and maintained for documentation purposes, including making some information obsolete to certain users.

Having paper-based documentation materials puts your company at the risk of confusing your employees about which document versions are the latest. Needless to say, searching through drawers, folders, and files is a cumbersome task; using the wrong documentation can greatly impact quality and safety. A secured central document repository ensures that your users access only the latest documentation in place.

Compliance and audit. A relevant process to safety and quality standards is compliance and audit. As your company aims to comply with standards, such as ISO International Standards and other certifications, be it optional or mandatory, the auditor will look into your documentation processes. Any sign of non-conformance will put your compliance certification on hold. This not only impacts productivity but also your company’s stability and overall image. Your departments and their staff must then redo the audit process, going through the hassle all over again. This kills productivity and increases costs.

Moreover, auditing alone is time-consuming. Auditors know what they want to see — and how. A paper-based process may require you to travel to an off-site facility for the customer- or process-related records. Electronic document management eliminates this need as files can be stored electronically.

Data entry. Paper-based data entry poses many risks, including the risk of data discrepancies and inconsistencies. In a research study published by BMC — paper-based data collection can lead to a great number of data discrepancies, 64 percent of which were due to data omissions and 77 percent of which were among categorical data. These discrepancies can happen twice as often in paper-based processes than in electronic form.

The same can be applied to enterprises and organizations that collect data through paper-based means. While companies have certainly started collecting data since time immemorial through paper-based means, has long since believed that data collected in paper form will need to be digitized to help eliminate data errors and inaccuracy — all of which eat up employee productivity. Digital data collection enables multiple people to do the same thing and consolidate the information into a single electronic form and a more seamless workflow.

Ordering. For large enterprises, the process of ordering supplies and other goods is certainly laborious. Policies mandate that only authorized personnel are allowed to create purchase orders to buy a certain good or supply for a specific purpose. And these purchases also require approval. If a process like this is more paper-based in nature paper, chances are there can be last-minute purchase order searches while a frustrated vendor waits. Additionally, there are chances for occasional calls discussing a missing purchase order approval, and delayed or even failed deliveries.

Digitizing the ordering process can bring plenty of benefits to your company. It simplifies the process through, for example, a procurement system, which automatically generates and sends purchase orders — and all records are securely saved in electronic form. There’s no need to search for missing purchase orders. Plus, going paperless reduces the risks of discrepancies between purchase orders and invoices as they can be detected automatically in most cases.

Digitize Paper-based Processes with SAP and Ropaar

To avoid unnecessary costs and productivity loss due to paper-based processes, companies should look to industry experts who can help them implement new-age solutions. Solutions like SAP help companies go paperless by providing:

While implementing SAP solutions might sound like a lot of work, companies like Ropaar can assist you and guide you through your journey of going paperless. At Ropaar, we have helped various companies from across different industries to digitize their paper-based processes. We have helped them assess their unique landscape and implement cutting-edge SAP global trade solutions to help them execute in the digital age.

By leveraging Ropaar’s years of experience in foreign trade, you can be confident that your organization can overcome current and future global trade challenges. Contact us to learn more about our solutions and services.