Autor*in: Mario Voge

Challenge of paper-based processes

Manual, mostly paper-based processes often require immense work and time and harbor many sources of error. This may mean losing competitiveness, especially for companies with competitors in the market. Many companies are, therefore, increasingly converting their workflows to digital processes.


Manual vs. automated processes


Traditional work processes in companies are primarily regulated and routine. And yet: they are prone to errors, are sometimes of poor quality due to frequent copying or faxing, and are also generally very time-consuming and labor-intensive. However, changing from manual, paper-based processes to automated workflows sometimes runs smoothly.

Given this, more and more companies are taking a step towards digitalization and even trying to do away with paper-based processes altogether. Why? The benefits of a paperless office include time savings, faster turnaround times, better customer experiences, and cost reductions. In addition, automated processes reduce error rates, labor, and time and create new resources for your staff. In this way, the overall performance of the company can be increased. In addition to time savings, automated processes also have economic benefits. Costs for printouts and postage, for example, are eliminated.

Problems of paper-based processes


Paper-based processes tie up enormous personnel capacities and pose archiving challenges. This costs companies time and money. In addition, many errors can creep in when transferring paper-based data into legacy systems, websites, or Excel files.

Furthermore, many decision-makers or companies with manual processes have experienced delayed decisions and contract conclusions, or project starts must be postponed.

Manual workflows tie up individual capacities and usually cost money, but they also impact a company's overall efficiency and output. This means that traditional businesses with many paper-based processes in an increasingly digitalized world can easily be left behind by the competition - simply because digital ways of working allow them to be faster and, presumably, cheaper.

Advantages of digital workflows



Studies have shown that many employees spend at least 4 percent of their working time on unproductive administrative tasks, such as entering expenses. A key benefit companies can gain from moving to a digital workflow is the time saved. Once processes are automated and digitized, they free up capacity among employees who previously spent much time on paper-based processes.

Cost reduction

Especially in the administrative area, paper-based processes lead to financial losses. When you switch to digital workflows, you can reduce costs dramatically. Paper-based processes require immense human and material resources. In addition, manual workflows slow down other critical value-added processes. Digitized workflows solve these problems by freeing essential staff from inefficient work processes, allowing new human resources to be available. Eliminating numerous print-outs and the postal dispatch of contracts further reduces costs.

Increasing efficiency

By digitizing work processes, you free up personnel capacities and reduce costs. This has an impact on the overall efficiency of your company.

Simple data exchange

The digitization of various workflows enables the storage and centralization of specific data. In this way, several people can access and use this data. For example, in the case of contract or data processing templates regularly used in organizations, data centralization can offer enormous advantages. Product information and customer data also often reside in individual departments and are difficult for others to access. A shared server and centrally stored data enable fast and efficient exchange and greatly simplify communication processes.

Improved employee performance

Digital processes not only create additional staff capacity but also increase employee satisfaction. They are relieved of additional tasks that are usually perceived as burdensome. This also affects motivation and the working atmosphere. In addition to the resulting free capacities of your employees, you also increase the efficiency of your company through improved employee satisfaction.

Increasing customer satisfaction

Your customers also benefit from digitalization. Offers go out faster, sales contracts can be processed more quickly, and your employees have more time to devote to customer concerns. This increases overall customer satisfaction.

Avoidance of human error

Even if paper-based processes are part of your employees' daily routine, mistakes still creep in occasionally. They can be costly, for example, when creating outgoing invoices manually. By digitizing such work processes, you can quickly eliminate the error rate in your company. Automated processes make human intervention superfluous and guarantee that the processes always run the same way.

Tools for process automation

The conversion from manual to digital processes can be technically supported in many ways. There are various software solutions for administrative or legal departments. These include HR, CLM, or even CRM programs. Software programs for accounting and the creation of electronic signatures are also widespread.

Data security in process automation

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The digitization of workflows usually includes automated data capture, approval workflow, and data archiving. Not only can errors creep in with manual processes, but documents can also be filed incorrectly under certain circumstances or sometimes unsaved. Process automation, therefore, also increases your company's data security.


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