The hidden costs of paper-based board communication

By Tony Schönwetter on 02. August 2018

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There are still a few companies whose board members – whether it’s the executive, supervisory, administration or advisory board – still receive thick stacks of paper before each of their meetings. Brainloop has set about revealing the hidden costs that this kind of paper-based communication generates. 

The result

Companies moving over to a digital solution save an average of €56,630 per year. That’s enough to buy 56 brand new MacBook Air laptops. Or even to put some horsepower on the road with a Porsche Macan.
So how do meeting document printouts generate these hidden costs?
A lot of them are caused by the printing itself and the process of sending them out by post or courier – sometimes several times over, if documents are changed. And especially by the lost working time.

High paper consumption

Meeting documents can be very voluminous. Studies have shown that the average board pack has 219 pages. And that tallies with what our customers have told us: a bank said they had saved about 1 million pages of paper by moving to digital board communication. That saves a lot of money and helps the company take a big step towards meeting its sustainability goals.

Lost working time

From the financial perspective, the biggest potential savings can be made by working more efficiently – in other words, taking less time to prepare a board meeting. This applies to the company secretary’s or board office staff as well as to the board members themselves.
So you can see that it’s high time to adopt a professional solution.
Companies that move to a secure boardroom solution see a return on investment within just three months – plus three key benefits on top of the cost savings:

  • Efficiency: access your meeting documents any time at the click of a mouse. Comments and annotations can easily be added, via mobile apps as well as offline, and they stay in place even when the board pack is updated. That provides you with the best conditions for keeping an eye on your company in an efficient way. 
  • Compliance: There’s a tamper-proof audit trail that lets you see who has made which changes to a document and when. In the event of a dispute, that traceability provides proof that decisions were taken based on the appropriate information. 
  • Security: unlike printed paper that can be lost, stolen and copied, the data in your digital boardroom is protected against misuse and manipulation. Also, communications between your executive and supervisory board members are encrypted – and therefore secure. 

Another point to remember: as a great side effect, you’ll increase the job satisfaction of valuable staff in the company secretary’s office. That’s because they’ll be able to focus on higher-value tasks rather than doing masses of stupid photocopying.
Brainloop has produced a descriptive infographic that illustrates all the hidden costs of printing meeting documents and shows the benefits of digital board communication. Ideal for forwarding to any fans of hardcopy printouts you might know!

Board, Brainloop, Corporate Governance

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