SMBs wasting $608 million per year on paper

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By Guillermo Troncoso

A new survey has shown that despite the rise in the use of technology, with one out of three small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) using connected tablets and four out of five using smartphones for work purposes, Australian SMBs are collectively spending an estimated $608 million on paper a year.

The Australian Small Businesses attitude to the cloud survey, commissioned by Telstra Business in September and conducted by Smarter Business Ideas, polled a sample of 1000 small business owners across Australia. The survey revealed that 75 per cent of small businesses are spending up to $1,000 on paper each year.

“This research shows Australian businesses are not maximising their return on existing investments in their smartphone and tablets, and worse, in this digital era, still relying on paper based tools,” says Will Irving, Telstra Business Group Managing Director.

The survey also points out that while 92 per cent of business owners engage with apps for personal use, only 24 per cent use apps for business work.

The survey comes as Telstra unveils the Telstra Apps Marketplace, a central hub to browse, buy and manage apps from a catalogue that includes strategic apps, Box and DocuSign.

“As with our personal life, business apps take the hassle out of admin,” says Irving. “Just like your banking app means no more queuing at your local branch, or using your tablet in place of a newspaper; business apps can replace forms and gather information in the field, execute and sign contracts without printing and then scanning them, or rid you forever of the old carbon copy invoice book.”

Planet Ark Environmental Foundation, the Australian not-for-profit organisation, is urging Australian business to take a part in Friday File Fling for National Recycling Week, which takes place November 10th – 16th.

Friday File Fling, scheduled for Friday 14th November, has been created for SMBs to sort through files and find which documents can be recycled.

“Australian workplaces are good at recycling the paper they use everyday, but there are literally tonnes of high-quality office paper stored in files that will never be used again,” says Planet Ark’s Head of Campaigns, Brad Gray.

Gray says SMBs not buying recycled paper “are only doing half the job” and points out that while office paper currently has a recycling rate of 64 per cent, less than 18 per cent of new office paper actually includes recycled content.

“Some people still think recycled paper is of a lower quality to virgin paper,” says Gray. “However, the technology has moved on to the point that most paper users couldn’t tell the difference between new and recycled paper in either performance or appearance.”

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