It’s official: going paperless is no longer a trend.
And it’s no surprise. The time, money and resource savings are monumental. A recent YouGov survey showed small to medium-sized businesses waste $70 million worth of documents daily. In the U.S., companies shell out over $120 billion a year on paper forms, most of which outdate themselves within three months. Those are some big numbers.
Why Go Paperless?
Convinced you need to be a paperless insurance agency yet? Consider these stats:
- Paperless saves time: Paperless insurance agencies can serve customers up to 50% faster than those relying on paper documents.
- Paperless keeps your data safe: upwards of 70% of U.S. businesses would fail within three weeks if they lost their paper files in a fire, flood, or other disaster.
- Paperless protects the planet: The U.S. population is about 5% of the world’s, yet we consume 30% of the world’s paper.
How to go Paperless
As often happens, the biggest barrier to activating the benefits of ditching paper is not knowing where to start. We won’t sugar coat it: going paperless is not an easy process, but it is a necessary one. Get your agency on the road to paperless with the following steps:
- Identify your top paper-heavy processes
- Target one or two of the highest offenders to tackle
- Deal with existing paper for this process; make a plan for scanning or storing in another way
- Establish a new policy and/or workflow
- Train employees on the new workflow
- Start again with another paper-heavy process
Check out the Top 5 Agency Processes that Need to Be Paperless
Stumped on Where to Start? Try These First Actions
- Put internal documents on a shared drive rather than printing and handing out
- Use eSignatures to securely sign documents via email
- Transition to digital, fillable forms
- Establish scanning in paper documents using smartphones and your agency management system
- Create policies to utilize document storage in your agency management system
When going through these steps, there are two things to keep in mind. First, it takes time for people to learn something new. Leave some space between each new workflow you establish to avoid overwhelming employees with too much newness.
Get more tips on how to make changes in your agency with our Change Management eGuide
Secondly, make sure you’re storing paperless documents somewhere secure. For many agencies, the most secure space is their agency management system. Whatever you choose, ensure it has a redundant backup and complex, encrypted password access to keep your essential data safe.
Leveraging Your Agency Management System
You already possess one of the best tools to create a paperless agency: your management system. This centralized system is ideal for storing documents and creating easier, more efficient workflows – if your system and provider have what it takes.
Just as paperless has become the new norm, there are other current trends that will one day become expectations. You need a provider and system that stays on the cutting edge to keep you one step ahead of the rest.
At SIS, we’re always looking to the horizon to ensure our partner agencies are getting the most from our Partner XE system. We recently added our client portal and proposal creator to eliminate paper processes and bring greater efficiency to our partner agency’s daily work. Find out what we’re working on next: contact us at [email protected] or 800.747.7005, Option 6.