The Fourth Industrial Revolution moves like a tsunami, disrupting most sectors with unstoppable force. Now, the printers stand in its way like a beach hut in Sumatra. Here are three reasons you should kill your printer – show no mercy comrades!
We will begin this story with a digression, some thousand years before the printer, just to state the fact that we have been using written signs to communicate since forever: or at least since we drew stories on cave walls. Caves turned out not to be portable and the drawings lacked the required accuracy to handle more abstract stuff, like contracts for instance.
So the Sumerians invented cuneiform script and wrote their messages on clay tablets instead. Then came animal skin, the Egyptian papyrus and some Chinese dynasty even invented paper. The written language was a tremendous invention as it enabled us to easier spread knowledge across time and space. It even turned out to be quite handy when we had to remember stuff.
Yet, writing was both time-consuming and expensive, as it had to be done by hand. To make a long story just a little bit shorter, Johan Gutenberg came along and fabricated the first (kind of) printer in 1439. By using movable metal press types he was able to mass-produce documents thus creating The Printing Revolution and the age of mass communication.
The Gutenberg technique was refined over the years, but little happened until The Industrial Revolution entered the world stage with steam engines and rotary press. Printers then became a huge, massive, great success, or whatever Donald Trump would say. They contributed to the elimination of illiteracy, the advance of democracy and the development of the free press.
The printing technology since progressed during the decades with lasers and computerized functions and suddenly everyone needed their own personal printer.
Why are you giving me this boring history lesson, you wonder? Well, because we have to acknowledge that printers have done a damn fine job. But their time is over. The Fourth Industrial Revolution moves like a tsunami, disrupting most sectors with unstoppable force. Now, the printers stand in its way like a beach hut in Sumatra. If you do not kill your printer, you will be washed away with it.
Here it is, 3 reasons to kill your printer!
1) Digitalize or Die
If you think, “Hey, maybe we should try to digitalize our company a bit,” chances are, that it is already too late. A recently published paper from Dansk Industri shows that digitalized companies earn 2.5 times more per employee than non-digitalized companies. If you do not act, someone else will, and one way of acting is by storing your documents digitally. When all your documents are stored in paper format, the search process is a task in itself. When kept digitally, you can index your documents and eliminate the search process. Contractbook is a useful tool in this process, which is why we encourage you to take the next step towards digitalization.
2) Zen or The Art of Security
Do you need a clean and tidy desk to avoid stress and think clearly, or do you need the mess to boost your creativity? Scientists do not agree, and chances are that it depends on your personality. Yet, many companies have a Clear Desk Policy, meaning rules determining how employees should organize their working space. The main reason is security; Sensitive information and data are more prone to be viewed, copied and stolen when lying around which is a huge problem when the GDPR enforces. This is a good excuse to push the organization towards greater digitalization and a paperless (and printerless!!!) office environment. Furthermore, important legal documents easily get lost in fires, relocations etc.
So remember comrades, when your contracts are kept in the cloud – they do not depend on the weather. (Yes, you are allowed to copy that quote).
3) Killing in the name of… The Environment
You have probably seen this below a few email signatures: Please consider the environment before printing this email. We totally agree. The paper industry has a bad reputation, but they do not contribute to deforestation in the same degree as before. But… Even though the industry overall has become more sustainable, there are still some environmental issues that can be avoided if you choose to kill your printer. Here, have some facts:
- Discarded paper and paperboard make up roughly 26 % of solid waste in landfill sites.
- The pulp and paper industry uses more water to produce a ton of product than any other.
- The paper and pulp industry is the fifth largest energy consumer worldwide.
- Most paper comes from plantation-grown wood, but deforestation still happens mainly in Indonesia.
- Plantations are full of trees, but they are not forests. They are not complex ecosystems where plants and animals live in mutual relation. Commercial mono-crop plantations are most likely no place for animals.
- When paper is produced and recycled, it is bleached with chemicals such as chlorine and sulphur oxides that pollute both air, water and land if not handled right.
Whatever your weapon of choice – do not show any mercy, comrades!
Ps. 3D-Printers could be alright, but c’mon… A 3D-printed contract?
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