The benefits of going paperless every FM company needs to know about

Paper-based business processes are costing companies in more ways than one. The creation and delivery of physical documents creates huge financial expenses and negatively impacts the efficiency of a company in terms of staff productivity, system plasticity and unnecessary storage requirements1.

Across a variety of industries, many companies have already begun to make progressive steps towards a paperless transformation. Excessive and unnecessary expenditure combined with the pressing issue of environmental sustainability are forcing companies to look more closely at how they can improve their ROIs2.

Of course, undergoing any form of digital transformation should not be taken lightly, as modernizing old operation systems can become a complicated and expensive procedure2. Even today, there are very few companies who are totally paper free. A surprisingly large amount of companies are holding onto their deep-rooted paper-based systems, namely, due to a lack of financial insight, and an apprehension surrounding the possibility that installing new systems will have negative financial repercussions2.

However, the advantages of making a successful shift from the physical into the digital world have an endless array of benefits that go beyond simply reducing costs, including optimized efficiency and an integration of processes.

Eliminate Paper Through Digital Enhancement

The technology aficionados, the Gartner Group, have highlighted the need to transform the way companies are managing their paper documentation processes3. Essentially, existing processes need to undergo a digital transformation. Through the implementation of comprehensive and fully integrated technology suites, enhanced efficiency is made possible3.

Software systems such as the Urbanise Platform4 enable companies to achieve the reality of a fully functional, paperless operation system. Using cloud technology, the innovative and self-supporting online platform grants companies a newly defined digital process that allows companies to leave their sluggish, paper-based methods of business in the dustbin of history4.

Optimizing Efficiency

Time certainly is a precious commodity and too much of it is wasted on the manual input and retrieval of business documents. When information is stored electronically, files can be sent and retrieved in matter of seconds5.

Through advanced cloud technology systems, facility managers can digitally collect and track data in real time and automatically store it online6. This enables building managers to execute a comprehensive array of assignments, including the continual maintenance of facility preservation, job scheduling, work standards, as well as instantaneous client enquiry and feedback6. All of these processes are carried out under a single system.

Cost Reduction

As well as financial savings, removing paper from your business strategy will help your company reduce operational expenditures such as saving time, reducing reprints and hours spent locating lost files.

In 2014, MultiBriefs released an article stating that companies in the United States of America spent $80 worth of paper on each individual employee with the average office using an outstanding 60% of their space to house their documents7. The bank Citigroup also stated that they would save an enormous $700,000 if each employee saved one sheet of paper a week8. As they stand, the visible costs alone are a financial nightmare. These costs are, however, additionally aggravated by the hidden costs of paper, photocopier and printer machine management.

Another incentive to go paperless, has been proposed by the ILM corporation, who have estimated that the amount of time spent rifling through cabinets looking for the appropriate files can use up to 30% of an employee’s time9. Better time management frees up employees, which subsequently equates to a financial investment.


If the preceding motives were not enough to inspire a move towards a paperless system, then consider the environmental impact paper usage has on the planet. The production of 10 million pages consumes 2,500 trees, 56,000 gallons of oil, 450 cubic yards of landfill space and 595,000 kilowatts of energy7. A report conducted by the Worldwatch Institute states that 15 million sheets of office paper are produced every five minutes10. The excessive use of paper within the business industry clearly has a detrimental effect on the environment. A move towards a paperless office makes sense, both in business and ecological terms.