Going Green: The Advantages of Paperless Work Orders and a Digital Work Order System

January 4, 2023
3 min

Green means ‘go,’ and it’s a color often associated with positive action — especially in business. When you’re ‘in the green,’ you are profitable. New projects and decisions require a ‘green light’ from management to move forward. Green is often thought of as a sign of growth and health.

 In the same vein, the term ‘going green; means implementing behavior that positively affects the environment and reduces one’s carbon footprint. More businesses are shifting toward more sustainable practices, especially considering that green initiatives grow businesses 28 times faster, according to a 2022 report from Xerox

One small but impactful way to lead to growth and health in your facilities and maintenance department is to integrate paperless systems where you previously used reams and reams of paper. This means digitizing important paper documents like work orders, invoices, reports, notes, equipment manuals and more. 

 Learn how a digital work order system can work for you. Book a demo to see Maintenance Care’s simply powerful maintenance software in action.

Green Means Eco-friendly Digital Work Orders

 An average employee or worker prints 10,000 pages in a year, which is the equivalent of a standard-sized pine tree. This means 27 papers are printed each day. However…

  • 17 percent of printed pages are not used

  • 65 percent of pages are thrown away or recycled the same day they are printed

By using a paperless system in your facility, you are cutting down not only on the use of physical paper, but also on the pollution and water consumption that come from paper manufacturing, as well as carbon emissions created via transporting paper.

work order management systems give your maintenance teams complete control over essential device repairs like food storage equipment

Green Means Profitability

 What does using paper rather than a CMMS (computerized maintenance management software) with a digital work order component actually cost your maintenance department?

Cost #1: Employee time

Employees can spend an average of 20 minutes searching for specific pieces of paper. At the current national minimum wage in the U.S. of $7.25 per hour, if an employee searches for just one piece of paper per day, that is a time loss equal to $377 per employee per year. Continue accounting for the time it takes to file, organize and maintain paper records, and the cost grows even higher.

work order management software or even field service management software can help even a global industrial motor supplier with their asset management

Think of the actual maintenance work you can accomplish in a faster, more streamlined manner when you add up the minutes you currently are wasting in managing your physical paper systems and operational processes.

Cost #2: Supplies and storage

The cost of relying on paper for your files and documentation also includes the supplies you need to generate the documents and the physical space needed to store and organize them. It’s not uncommon for offices to devote half or more of their physical space to file storage alone. 

If you were to optimize space by storing your files offsite, you then need to include the cost of rent or mortgage, as well as any temperature and other systems in place to regulate the space and protect your files.

healthcare regulatory environment can use a CMMS to streamline their maintenance service

Supply costs continue to rise post-pandemic as supply chain management issues lead to shortages and delays. By switching to maintenance software with digital work order features, you can save on the cost of printers, ink, paper, postage and other elements of using paper forms.

Bottom line: Using a digital work order system saves you money in time and decreased expenses. 

Green Means Team Growth and Health

 Beyond wasting precious time tracking down a particular paper form, think about how frustrating it is to try to decipher someone’s handwriting and later find out you made a mistake in transcription. 

 When everything is electronic, information and input styles remain consistent – no longer do you run the risk of accidentally using an outdated form, or running out of space when trying to thoroughly and accurately describe an issue on a work order.

maintenance tasks job management over multiple buildings can benefit from preventative maintenance using a CMMS

No longer needing to fill in one form after another also decreases the physical strain on your team. Digital work order systems allow for more flexibility, so your team can access the software and the information each member needs from anywhere, rather than being stuck at a desk. 

 What’s more, the information is automatically updated in real-time, unlike paper forms that require a new form every time there is new data. This convenience leads to efficiency and effectiveness throughout your facility. 

Green Means a CMMS for Your Digital Work Order System

 Quocirca’s Global Print 2025 Report predicts more “less-paper” offices rather than full “paperless” offices. While 64 percent of survey respondents expect printing still to be important to their business in 2025, what we are printing compared to what we are hosting in the cloud is set to change. 

 By 2025, only 36 percent of organizations expect to be printing invoices, compared to 61 percent in 2017. Marketing collateral is another item that is expected to grow digitally and decline in print.

 In the meantime, digitization initiatives are on track to accelerate regarding document capture and workflow, collaboration tools and mobile work. Overall, 52 percent of respondents say paper digitization will be critical to their business by 2025, compared to 15 percent in 2017.

 While efficiencies tend to come with a cost, you can find computerized maintenance management software that offers free digital work order systems so you can start the process of transforming into a “less-paper” organization. 

 Plus, think of what you are saving on — not only the physical cost of the paper, but the time cost of pulling reports, correcting recording mistakes, searching for missing pages, meeting with teammates to clarify illegible handwriting and so on.

Take the opportunity to explore Maintenance Care’s digital features designed to streamline your maintenance tracking, files and productivity tools, and give yourself the green light toward a less-paper maintenance team. 


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