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2 min read

Cost of re-entering data from paper

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In construction, it's easy to fall victim to it's "business as usual".  After all, contractors are buried in project tasks, trying to maintain project schedule to hit already tight deadlines, and racing onto the next project.

One task that has plagued the industry for years is the reliance on paper and even going so far as to manually rekey the information into software once paper forms arrive in the office.

Knowing the costs:

Did you know that a single page costs up to $2 per page?  Think about that for a many forms do you fill out in the field on a daily basis across all your projects?  How many get keyed in over the course of a year - 25,000, 50,000, 100,000?


Error Rate:

Now factor in error rate - with an average error rate of data entry being 4% on average, this means that for 10,000 documents, you would have $400 that have bad data.  In construction it's often worse because you must factor in language barriers and handwriting legibility that makes entering the data that much more difficult.



Imagine we acquire and enter 25,000 documents with an average of 1.5 pages each across all projects for a year.  That volume results in cost of $75,000 per year just to enter the data from paper forms.  Add in 1,000 documents being miskeyed and the results are anything from billing the wrong amount to going back and fixing the bad entries ($10 each form for a true cost), suddenly you're approaching $100,000 in cost that gets incurred by your company.  The concerning part of this analysis is that re-entry of data from paper is only part of the puzzle as the overall cost of paper forms is staggering at nearly $5 per form that exists in a construction operation.  In fact, many contractors who have analyzed this cost found they were closer to $10 per form.  Our same example of 25,000 even at the conservative estimate of $5 per form far exceeds a minimum estimate of $125,000 per year and that is a cost that can easily be avoided and put to better use. 


Solving the problem:

Solving the problem is easier than in the past with technology being cloud-based and easy for even non-technical users to start choosing forms from a library and starting on any form from scratch.  eDocs by PeerAssist for example can be up and running in minutes and offers immediate impact to your operation.