Juggling Your Maintenance with Spreadsheets? Join the Paperless Movement

Recently, Los Angeles-based commercial real estate brokerage firm, CBRE Group Inc. revealed plans for its newest office in Phoenix. At 75,000 square feet, the office was said to house 470 employees and be the largest of the firm’s Workplace 360 global offices.

The “Workplace360” Initiative was CBRE’s big initiative designed to promote flexibility, mobility and productivity through technology-enabled systems. And one of the most important parts of that initiative, of that office, and of all the firm’s Workplace360 offices, are that they are 100% paperless.

When the firm applied that strategy to its headquarter office in September of 2013, the national director at the time had said that going paperless was an uncomfortable topic for people who are addicted to paper, particularly the classic “paper hoarders.” He also said it was an anxiety-inducing concept for people who aren’t “good with technology.”

But paper hoarder or not, the total number of file drawers at the firm’s L.A. office was reduced by 1,169, a 78% decrease. The company purged, digitized or recycled approximately 6.06 million pieces of paper—many of which hadn’t been touched in a decade. CBRE also recycled approximately 924,800 pounds of paper, sparing the lives of about 413 trees, only in that L.A. office.

While those numbers might seem like they are just statistics to some, by digitizing its files, CBRE saw its rentable square footage that was dedicated to paper storage reduce by 4,430 square feet. And that square footage translated to dollars—it equates to a total cost savings of more than $2 million over a 10-year lease term.

And it isn’t only CBRE. Any company looking at going paperless will quickly learn that it isn’t just about the cost savings, which is reason enough. It is also about creating a “greener” workplace, and about being more productive.

For CBRE, the productivity meant that once files were digitized, the information became more searchable and accessible with a click of button, saving its employees time. Those employees could then also access files on-the-go, and could also share documents over email or the cloud.

Property Managers and their maintenance teams have relied on paper work orders for as long as I can remember, but times change, and the benefits of going paperless far outweigh the negatives. And thanks to collaborative operations software, like Common Areas which can help keep track of all the things that used to be stored in those dusty filing cabinet, it is more convenient.

To join the paperless movement, a cloud-based maintenance and repair management solution is critical to have in place for enhanced mobile document access. And with the right system in place, which can be tailored to meet your specific needs, a company can stay competitive and continue to challenge the status quo.