100% paperless supply chain

Rolf Bax

Rolf Bax

June 9, 2020 - 10:41

100% paperless supply chain - Utopia or reality?

Digital Audit

Digitalization can be defined as “innovation to connect technology, data science, devices, design and business strategy to change a business process or customer experience”. For centuries humankind have tried using different methods and tools to carry out the work, to make it efficient and fast, thus for more than four decades it was spoken of the concept of the paperless approach. It should be seen as an immediate project within organizations and constitutes an initiative of great interest for the application of new technologies in management, and good environmental practices can contribute to sustainable supply chain as a whole.

Worldwide consumption of paper has risen by 600% in the past 40 years, with 35% of harvested trees being used for paper manufacture. 45% of the paper printed in offices end up in the bin by the end of the day. One day Citigroup management came up with an idea to print the documents double-sided. Thanks to this idea, Citigroup’s savings were counted up to $700,000 each year from this change in policy. While Bank of America has implemented changes in inserting account forms and invoices digitally which has saved the company over $10 million, not including the savings in postage and storage

Total paper demand currently stands at about 350 million tons (TAPPI, 2014) 35% of all trees are used by the paper industry itself (Ecology, 2013). They have to destroy one tree to create 16.7 reams (equal to 8,333.3 sheets) or 22.6 reams (similar to 8,350 sheets) of paper (Greenpeace, 2012). Currently, more than 900 million trees were cut annually for paper manufacturing (Green America, 2010). On average, total paper use is actually about 4,873.1 sheets per student per year (or equivalent to 0.6 trees per student per year) (Forum, 2014). Every year, growing tree used to produce paper absorbs approximately one metric ton of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

Of the world's hundreds for thousands of fleet vehicles every day on the streets, paperless services control only a small percentage. The adductions made by Ken Wood journal that companies avoid the pull of going paperless are as variable as the transport environment itself. Management of transition, legal constraints, and the complexities of combining technologies, individuals, and processes are among them. Nonetheless, consumers want a great, more prompt distribution experience. At the same time, businesses want ways to efficiently and effectively execute logistics activity.

ControlPay can be a third party that can help with making Freight audit process efficient and environmentally friendly with paperless systems and cost effectiveness for the companies as eventually it leads to savings in transportation process and possible improvements in customer service. The reality is that taking the paper out of the end-to-end processes for transporting goods can dramatically lighten the load on companies.

Over the past 20 years, overall freight transport in the EU has increased by nearly 25 million, and under current trends and policies it is projected to increase further by 51 percent in 2015-2050. Now, in a number of regular format files, this data is mostly printed on paper. Ninety-nine percent of the EU's cross-border transport activities also require paper-based reports at either point of the project. The digitalisation of the exchange of information has the ability to significantly improve transport.

Sustainability in the supply chain

In its supply chains, international trade can save billions of dollars by moving from paper to digital solutions. For example, according to IATA data: $30 per airway bill for paper processing costs; $35 million per year for airway bills, which is equivalent to $1 billion per year. The shift will also increase security and transparency and increase government and private sector revenues.

  1. It can increase development and security, as well as international trade revenues, for governments. By providing electronic data that are structured, reliable and easy to use in automated risk analysis, it increases the security of trade operations. For fraud and non-compliance, administrative costs are reduced and less money is wasted. Paperless trading allows policymakers to reduce border shortages and expenses and expand their export infrastructure. It is the engine of administration reform and facilitates the national economy's implementation of eBusiness.
  2. It can increase the efficiency of supply chains and provide new value-added services for the private sector. It eliminates operational costs related to paper processing, increases supply chain transparency and information exchange between trading partners, improves business and finance processes, and helps build new collaborative modes among businesses. This improves the implementation of common standards and aims to simplify supply chain processes. The need for repetitive data entry is minimized and mistakes and delays are decreased. This allows companies to develop new, value-added capabilities such as automatic tracking and tracing technologies, data storage management, and protection. Increasingly, the national economy can compete on the level of services provided, not just on costs. 

About ControlPay

ControlPay is, with a growing staff of over 250, the leading freight audit provider in the world. The history of our business goes back to the year 1969, with the start of a logistics consulting company resulting in different ventures in logistics and transportation until we decided to redefine Freight Audit & Payment at the start of the century. Nowadays, ControlPay supports many large multinationals with complex logistics structures in their needs for control of freight costs and freight bills. Want to know more about our services? Just contact us!

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