This is a memo for office managers, procurement teams, and indeed all office workers in the year 2022. We are the next generation of information workers, messaging you from the year 2050 about an urgent problem with your document processes.
In 2050, our forests are starting to recover – and thankfully we are making good progress on environmental issues and biodiversity loss. This is, in no small part, thanks to our document process investments; we’ve now fully digitized document processes and have eliminated paper entirely from the world economy.
We got there in the end, but we just wish we’d started earlier. If you can cut your addiction to paper forms and the strange obsession with inked signatures, contracts, and business agreements sooner – it’ll make things a whole lot easier in the future.
If you had just changed your document processes earlier, getting rid of paper and using convenient, efficient, and productive methods for managing documents through digitization, things could have been better for everyone. Let us just remind you why your obsession with paper forms was so damaging – and why it seems so strange to us today.
That strange obsession with paper document processes
Even in the 2020s, everyone knew how inefficient, unproductive and wasteful the obsession with paper-based document processes was. You all knew the issues… but carried on printing and filing the stuff anyway.
Looking back, there’s no doubt that the biggest problem with paper-based forms was their incredibly destructive impact on the environment:
- To produce just one box of typical office printing paper required wood pulp equating to 5% of the average tree – and many offices would get through tens or even hundreds of boxes of paper every year. As a consequence, millions of trees (a natural carbon store that tackled climate change) were cut down unnecessarily every year to make printing paper.
- Transporting huge amounts of (heavy) paper around the world was also associated with the production of large amounts of carbon dioxide emissions via transport.
- The production of paper required the use of huge quantities of bleach and other harmful chemicals – this often resulted in damage to soils, waterways and animal habitats.
Paper doesn’t make financial sense
In 2050, now that we’ve got rid of paper-based document processes, the environment is gradually recovering from these unnecessary strains that earlier generations put it through. But, even if the environment wasn’t an issue, we always look back at your paper obsession with consternation (and some amusement). What were they thinking?
- Every year, companies in the United States spent $120 billion on paper forms, most of which became obsolete in just three months!
- Paper forms were always getting lost and stolen, and this was associated with identity theft and other kinds of fraud.
- Most paper forms hardly ever got read, then needed to be stored for months or even years in filing cabinets and archives. Companies spent tens of thousands of dollars every year storing bits of dead tree pulp, paying rent on storage space, and using energy to keep these spaces at a constant temperature.
Why not make the digital process investment sooner?
In the end, the argument for eliminating paper document processes became completely overwhelming. Eventually, everyone realized how incredibly inefficient, costly, and environmentally damaging paper-based document processes really were.
And that’s why we’ve now got rid of paper entirely – and literally no one misses filling in paper forms, storing them in filing cabinets, or shredding them once they’re out of date.
Since everything has gone digital, our contracts, business agreements, customer forms and other document processes are now:
- Incredibly cheap to produce, update, send, and store.
- Vastly more efficient – most forms get sent, signed and processed within just a couple of hours – where it used to take days or weeks for paper forms to get sent, filled in, and filed.
- More accessible – we can send and complete forms from anywhere in the world, using any device.
- More secure – our contracts and forms are processed and stored with encryption – meaning it is impossible for criminals and fraudsters to get their hands on them.
- Fool-proof – Losing documents is a thing of the past – all key information and contracts are stored securely in the cloud in perpetuity.
- Today, we’re using advanced artificial intelligence technology to learn more about our customers by analyzing forms and adding value.
Webinar: End the paper chase with eSignatures
Make smarter process investment decisions for the future
In 2050, the thing we find hardest to comprehend about your addiction to paper-based document processes is that you already have the tools available. With products like Nintex Sign, offices can drastically reduce their carbon footprints, eliminate the need to cut down forests, while also saving huge sums of money on storage space, wasted time, and lost information.
So, why not begin using digital document processes, signing and storage tools today?