Every company works with paper every day; that’s the reality. The reality is whether your company is paperless or not, you receive, handle, and file paper daily. Have you considered the amount of money and time is spent annually on paper-based processes? Usually, you would think paper costs are easy to calculate, just go to your office manager and ask how many cases of paper have we ordered this year, right? Wrong!!! The cost of paper goes beyond the physical act of ordering paper from your supplier and receiving and distributing it. Paper is printed, scanned, filed, searched lost, and recreated daily. Costs can quickly add up when you factor in the hidden costs that paper creates, i.e., storage, labor, supplies, loss of data and the cost of recreating documents as well as the loss of customer confidence.
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According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the world produces 300 million tons of paper. Paper consumption in the United States has grown to 208 million tons and represents 16% of solid landfill waste as of 2009. The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year! Between print mistakes, handouts, billing, presentations, and packaging, the paper makes up an estimated 70% of the total waste in offices. This is surprising, considering most businesses are moving towards more digital platforms. Nonetheless, around 30% of all print jobs are never even picked up from the printer, and 45% end up in the trash by the end of the day!
A case of standard copy paper costs $40 in 2019, and this is an $80 annual cost per employee. A hidden cost that businesses incur is handling fees another $6 in handling and distribution of the paper. Let’s do the math for a 100-person company:
$80 spent on paper, per employee x $6 handling = $480 per employee
$480 x 100 employees = $48,000 a year!