Should You Try to Go Paperless?

Is your factory making an effort to go paperless? There was a time when it was thought that computers would lead to fully paperless workplaces, but that obviously hasn’t happened.

Why might you want to go paperless?

Environmental factors are one reason that companies try to reduce paper use at work. Some 40% of the waste stream in America is comprised of paper. Paper is made of renewable resources, but the energy required to make paper is still significant.

Safety is another reason to use less paper. Paper storage and paper waste both provide excellent fuel for fires. The triangle leading to fire — oxygen, fuel, and heat — can be hard to break. In a factory, reducing oxygen is rarely an option. Reducing heat is often a goal but it’s a goal that can be very hard to reach, especially in the summer. Reducing fuel is usually the best choice. If stacks of paper can be eliminated, you’re on the way.

Agility might not be the first thing you think of when paper comes to mind, but switching from paper communications to electronic ones can keep your plant more responsive. Everyone has access to the current data if all the information is kept in the cloud. Digital displays work better to communicate on the floor, too.

Security increases when there’s less of a paper trail. Some people are surprised by this thought, feeling that keeping data in a computer or in the cloud will be less secure. However, information on paper is accessible to anyone who can get into your office or onto your floor. Common sense security measures can keep your digitally stored information much more secure than paper.