The Cost of Not Going Digital

The Greatest American Lawyer posted today on the Cost Savings in Going Digital. If you have not yet made the move to keeping all of your documents digitally, I recommend that you check out this post. The post explains:

I’m often asked how much money it will cost in staff and time to scan in all of the documents which are generated from outside our own office onto our file server.  Essentially, people want to know whether or not a paperless law office will save, or cost, them money.

There’s no doubt that it takes people and time to scan in documents.

He goes on to observe

Scanning documents is a multi-step project.  Obviously, someone has to stand at the scanner and scan them in.  That person then has to pull the document from a common scanning file and place it on the file server under the correct client/matter.  Quality control requires that the person confirm that all pages have in fact been scanned.  This does take time.

However, this time is more than made up on the back end. The post continues:

Once the documents are scanned, however, there is lots of time saved on the back-end.  I never have to ask my staff to find me a hard copy of any document, pull a file or engage in host of related administrative activities.  My overall sense is that the amount of time it takes to scan the documents is far less than the amount of time spent in a paper-based office retrieving and organizing physical files.

I cannot agree with these observations more. My ability to retrieve any document, from any case, at any time, is absolutely invaluable. I cannot calculate the amount of time that I save on a daily basis simply by being able to immediately retrieve any document that I need.

In my experience, the only way to make this transition is to start scanning everything today. Scan every document that comes in to your office. As you work, you will identify that prior documents that you should add to your digital collection as well.

I will not tell you that the transition to a digital world will be painless. However, I can assure that it will be worth every bit of pain that you may endure. In fact, the majority of the “pain” that I endured in the transition period was the fact that I got too used to having the digital documents and I became frustrated when I had to pull a physical file to retrieve an older document that had not yet been scanned.

I have yet to meet anyone who has transferred to a digital practice that regrets it at all.