The ROI of a Document Management Solution

10 Ways It Will Save You Money

Smart businesses (like yours) always seek to justify expenditures by looking at the return on investment (ROI). If you’ve been considering a document management solution like DocLink, part of that consideration will obviously be the cost and the measurable benefits you expect from it. To help you make your decision, we’ve pulled together ten ways document management solutions deliver a strong ROI.

Here we’ve divided them into five direct benefits and five more subtle (yet every bit as compelling) benefits.

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The Obvious Benefits: Time and Cost Savings

  1. Reduce Storage Costs
    The average filing cabinet occupies about 15 square feet of office space. In 2022, the average price-per-foot rent for commercial office space in Dallas was $29.08, meaning each filing cabinet costs you $436 in rent each month — over $5,000 annually. (New York City-based businesses pay nearly $900 monthly each for their filing cabinets.) With numbers like these, there’s little debate that transitioning from physical to digital can result in substantial savings.
  2. Improve Employee Productivity
    You may have heard the estimate that employees spend 20% of their time looking for information. Turns out that the data is from 2001, and the report methodology has since been questioned. Metrics or not, we’ve all seen how digital document management, with its powerful search capabilities, can reduce search times from minutes to seconds.
  3. Reduce Paper Costs
    You may also have heard that the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper annually. That statistic (from the EPA) is outdated too — by a decade. What is troubling, though, is that despite our digital revolution, paper usage has been on the rise for decades and is expected to rise further in the coming decade. By transitioning to digital, companies can minimize the cost of not only of paper, but ink and related supplies as well.
  4. Disaster Recovery
    Natural disasters, fires, floods, or other unforeseen events can destroy physical documents. Digital document management systems, especially those backed up in the cloud, can be restored, helping ensure your business continuity.
  5. Enhanced Security and Compliance
    Digital document management systems come with user permissions, audit trails, and encryption, ensuring that only authorized personnel can access sensitive information. With regulatory fines and the potential cost of breaches, this is an essential ROI factor.

“With DocLink document management, we’re saving dozens of hours across multiple employees every month. Plus, we have quick visibility into those invoices and have eliminated the potential for data entry errors.” –Anita Whalen, SWEPCO

The Less Obvious ROI of Document Management

  1. Environmentally Friendly
    A green business is good for the environment and appealing to customers. Reducing paper usage decreases your company’s carbon footprint, which can be a selling point for eco-conscious clients.
  2. Improved Customer Service
    Faster document retrieval means quicker response times to customer inquiries or complaints. The speed can lead to improved customer satisfaction and potentially increased customer retention.
  3. Lower IT Costs
    A Gartner study found that up to 50% of help desk calls are related to printing. Take printing to paper out of the picture, and you could save on IT or managed services costs. 
  4. Data Analytics
    With digital storage, it becomes easier to analyze business processes. Information like the most accessed documents or how long specific procedures take can provide insights to streamline operations further. If your organization uses a business intelligence tool, the documents you feed into your digital vault can become part of your data lake and available for analysis.
  5. Scalability
    As your business grows, so too do your documentation needs. Digital systems can easily scale, unlike physical storage, which requires more of that expensive office space or off-site facilities.

The Bottom Line

The truth is that the ROI for most business initiatives is difficult to measure. For a document management software initiative, for example, you’d need to add up things like how many times a person retrieves a paper document each day and how much time that takes. Then you’d do that again for how many copies a person makes, how many times they hit the filing cabinet, and so on. Most of us are too busy running our businesses to bother with this exercise. Plus, a payback calculation based on those direct costs doesn’t factor in the savings associated with not having to deal with breaches, non-compliance fines, or customer loss due to slow response times.

The ROI of document management goes beyond the simple cost savings from reduced paper and storage needs. It touches every aspect of a business, from operations to customer service, security, and growth potential. For small and mid-sized businesses looking to stay competitive and efficient, investing in a robust document management system is not just a good idea – it’s a smart financial decision. Our clients who have implemented document management solutions overwhelmingly tell us that the direct and indirect benefits are immediate, substantial, and far-reaching. Contact us to learn more about the DocLink document management solution or visit our DocLink solutions page.