Death of a Paper Salesman? An Analysis of Going Paperless

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With the "going green" movement and the rising costs of operating a business, many companies are opting – or at least attempting – to go "paperless." There are various challenges and triumphs on the road to paperlessness, but is it worth it? Can a true paperless office be achieved? And, is it finally time to ditch the Rolodex?

There are numerous advantages to going paperless. Electronic records allow for better organization and accessibility; documents can be retrieved instantly and multiple people can view a given document at the same time. Digital storage can also reduce the need for physical storage space and may result in cost savings due to the reduced manpower necessary to locate, update, and review records and documents. Electronic records provide a better way to search for and track information, as well as promote day-to-day efficiency by making it easy to update information and generate reports. This is especially true if the documents are put through the optical character recognition ("OCR") process, which makes them fully searchable by a simple Boolean query. Electronic retention protects against loss of documents since a company is not limited to the original paper document. And, of course, going paperless saves trees, giving a company instant environmental "street credibility."

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