The True Cost of Paper: What 1 Utility Company Spends in a Year

The following information is a breakdown of actual costs by a water utility company. This company has been using paper files since their inception almost 100 years ago. One of the largest issues that this company faced was lost documents needed for regular business operations and the preservation of those documents.

Hard Supply Costs:

  1. Folders and labels—$500
  2. Paper—$983
  3. Ink—$6,113
  4. Maintenance costs:
    • For B&W printer/copier—$2,148
    • For color printer/copier—$1,880

TOTAL SUPPLY COSTS (not including maintenance)—$7,596.
Going paperless will eliminate approximately 85% of these costs, or $6,456.50. An additional $1,316 in color copies can be avoided (roughly 70% of current usage).
TOTAL SUPPLY SAVINGS—Approximately $7,772.50

Third-Party Advisors Costs:

  1. Attorney charges to find documents—$1,675
  2. Miles reimbursement to employees for trips to the courthouse—$1,276.50
    • Calculated based on 37 trips to the courthouse totaling 2,220 miles, reimbursed at $0.575 per mile.
  3. Employee wages during the retrieval of courthouse documents—$1,387.50
    • Calculated based on average of 1.5 hours for each trip, totaling 55.5 hours. Average salary is $52,000 or $25 per hour.
  4. Cost of time spent searching for files—13 employees spend time searching for files with an average salary of $52,000 per year or $25. Each employee spends an average of 2.5 hours per week on file searching. (This does not include time spent on searching for lost or misfiled documents. If this were included the time spent would be much higher.)
    • Cost per employee per week—$62.50
    • Cost for all employees per week—$812.50

TOTAL ANNUAL COST OF EMPLOYEE WAGES ON SEARCHING FOR FILES—$42,250

  • Opportunity Cost: The opportunity cost is usually difficult for businesses to asses, but easier for them to recognize once the transition has been made to paperless—more clients reached, more projects completed more quickly, better employee efficiencies, and the list goes on.
  • Cost of Damaged Documents from Fire, Flood, and Other Natural Disasters: The majority of businesses whose documents are destroyed are out of business in less than 2 years, with 25% never reopening after the catastrophic event.
  • Other Costs to Consider:
    1. The average filing cabinet costs $25,000 to fill and $2,000 a year to maintain.
    2. Did you know that 25% of lost paper documents are never found?
    3. Companies misfile an average of 20% of their files and lose 1 in 20 documents.
    4. The average office worker uses 10,000 pieces of paper per year.
    5. The average organization spends $20 per paper to file it, $120 searching for each lost document, and $220 in the recreation of the document.
    6. Additional costs include the storage space.

TOTAL HARD COST OF PAPER—$54,350

This cost does not include the cost of maintaining the filing cabinets, cost of replacing permanently lost documents, the costs of the space, or costs of opportunities lost.

eFileCabinet is able to save you tens of thousands of dollars each year. Further, documents can be retrieved in seconds instead of 15 or more minutes. Documents are no longer lost or misfiled, as they can be searched for and found through any of the many items of information on the document. Documents can be found by document type: Right of Way, Easement, Customer Service Agreement, and Maintenance Service documents. Documents can also be pulled by client name, property address, and date of agreement. This makes finding the applicable documents fast and easy. The instant previewer allows the user to preview the documents without opening it up, saving more valuable time.

Fill out the form on this page to see a 15-minute demo of eFileCabinet and to understand how eFileCabinet can save your organization time and money.

By | 2016-12-15T11:59:32+00:00 October 30th, 2015|
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