In a separate survey by Xerox, more than 80% of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, US, France and Germany said that within the next 12 months they wanted to eliminate paper from time consuming processes, including invoicing, HR and financial reporting.
Currently, only 28% say that they are well advanced in the implementation of their plans to digitise paper processes. One in ten SMBs is one to three years away from implementation.
The main reasons to go paper-free are to increase productivity, grow the business and reduce print costs. Almost half (43%) of UK SMBs say they waste a significant amount of time on paper-intensive processes and 60% say this has a major impact on their bottom line.
Other ways in which businesses aim to reduce paper use include introducing Managed Print Services (MPS) – 42% already have an MPS contract and 40% plan to put one in place in 2017 – and integrating mobile devices with workflow processes to increase the productivity of mobile workers, meet customer demand for remote information and improve customer service.
Like AIIM’s report, the 2017 Office Productivity Trends to Improve the Bottom Line survey highlights a lack of awareness amongst businesses about their options. Only 20% of SMBs are aware of existing paper-free solutions in the market.
When it comes to seeking advice, 50% of SMBs turn to an office equipment dealer, one in four looks to their IT reseller and 37% approach a product manufacturer.