Eliminate Your Printer

2022 09 02 head

In an increasingly technology-focused world, the demand for businesses to digitize has grown dramatically.

So, what does it mean to digitize your business?

Essentially, it means incorporating technology into your business operations to increase efficiency, enhance customer experience, and boost sales.

This could mean developing a mobile application for your startup, transitioning into ecommerce, offering mobile payment options, and more.

The goal of digitizing your business is to keep up with the rapidly changing economy by offering your customers more ways to access your business, and streamline daily operations. Therefore, the methods you choose to digitize your business can vary based on your startup’s needs.

As a consumer, we know digital approaches work. I can buy an airplane ticket and travel through the world without any paper documents. I can book hotel rooms and museum visits without any paper recipes. I can buy a household and an ebook library without printing out any paper forms. Paper disappeared in the ecommerce world.

Start small. Optimize your internal process with technology.

I challenge you. Your company does not need any printers, fax machines or landlines.

Eliminate Your Printer

You do not need a printer in your company. Send your documents as PDF documents. Archive these PDF files electronically.

Printers are not ecological. They are costly in natural and human resources.

Our company tangly never possessed any printer, fax machine or phone landline.

On average, we need to print around three documents each year. Governmental authorities always required these documents.

We did not print any documents in the years 2021 and 2022. This is a powerful contribution to sustainability.

Fax Machines are obsolete

I cannot understand why anybody wants to send information using a fax machine.

Electronic communication, PDF documents and digital photography are better solutions.

Simply use emails or chat solutions.

Landlines were used in the last millennium

Teams are distributed over the world. Collaborators often work at home or at co-working offices. Why should you use a landline?

Mobile first is the sole logical answer [1].

Use a mobile phone for your work interactions. Better is to set up channels on Slack or Discord applications.

Eliminate Your Paper Archive

I always found very strange that people print their documents and store them in cabinets.

They never heard about digital backup with redundancy to avoid loss through incidents. Store your files in the cloud to implement a disaster recovery process.

Naturally, all confidential information shall be encrypted with a company encryption key. We are using GPG as a simple and secure approach to hide confidential information from prying eyes.

You can exchange documents and emails securely with collaborators and customers using GPG and S/Mime solutions.

tangly uses macOS. We bought the GPG email extension to sign and cipher all communications. We also support the S/Mime-based approach.

Lessons Learnt

  • Printers and fax machines are really obsolete. We never add a true need to buy one in the last eight years [2].

  • A paper archive can now slowly be destroyed. Swiss federal and state laws were finally adapted to acknowledge that digital archives are legally allowed.

  • We never own any landlines. Mobile phones are now fully accepted since telecommunication companies offer flat rate contracts. More and more communication is now held over internet communication solutions.

  • All contracts and invoices [3] are sent as electronic signed PDF documents [4].

  • Native digital people often do not anymore possess paper books, CDs, or printed photos. Instead, they use the digital equivalent. It is more ecological, cost-effective and is additional features.

  • Physical money has disappeared in the context of companies. All financial transactions are electronic.

Every time you use a printer, a fax machine or a scanner, you have identified a process you should digitize.

Analog paper and digital processes are not compatible.

1. The cost of mobile connectivity has tremendously decreased the last years. Often the cost of a mobile subscription is lower than the cost of a landline.
2. if a partner or a customer insists receiving a paper form, just send him a PDF document and let him print it out. Ask yourself if a company requesting paper documents is an organization you want to work with.
3. Digital first approach allowed us to implement Swiss QR Code for invoicing with an investment of one working day. The support of Factur-X for B2G processes was around two days effort.
4. We do not digitally sign our documents. Recognized digital certificates are currently way to expensive in Switzerland. Therefore, almost nobody is using this approach.