One of the ironic twists provided by the Internet revolution has been the growing use of paper in offices across the world. The electronic medium may have sped up dispatches via e-mail but it appears businesses are still demanding a hard copy for important reports and precious information.
In an effort to satisfy Canadian customers’ demands for increased speed but traditional quality, California’s NowDocs.com has introduced its on-line same-day document delivery service into Toronto.
The six-month-old private print and delivery company recently announced customers will be able to deliver documents to Toronto within two hours. The rest of Canada is available for next-day service.
According to Bennet Hirsch, NowDocs.com’s senior vice-president of marketing, the company’s advantage is the speed at which customers can upload their documents to NowDocs.com’s destination offices in 14 cities. The documents are then bound, collated and delivered in a short turnaround time.
NowDocs.com is similar to an application service provider in that it also provides customers with hosted on-line features, Hirsch said. These include an on-line address book, so customers can address packages at the click of a button, and a virtual filing cabinet, which allows travelling employees to print rapidly changing documents such as marketing literature and sales sheets.
Analyst Mark Quigley of the Yankee Group in Canada in Brockville, Ont., said NowDocs.com’s presence is an indication that the notion of the “paperless office” has failed.
“I can have an electronic document to you in less than two hours using the Internet,” Quigley said, referring to the relative ease with which on-line users can send a document attachment via e-mail. “The big difference is in the presentation. Sometimes electronic copy isn’t acceptable. Having a signed document or having a document that is properly bound is something some clients will only accept.
“In the electronic world, the deadlines have become shorter and shorter,” he added. “People are expecting things much quicker than they did in the past.”
As always though, concern about security will be of paramount importance to customers sending possibly sensitive information over the Internet, Quigley said.
“I would think the comfort level in terms of transferring documents over the Internet has certainly increased,” he said. “Having said that, it’s going to continue to be a concern as long as people continue to read about hackers stealing (credit) card numbers and hacking into Web sites.”
NowDocs.com has taken measures to ensure the safety of all documents, Hirsch said.
“Once you enter our site, it’s extremely secure, with SSL 128-bit encryption, Cisco firewalls and other security features,” he explained. The company also employs a dedicated T-1 line out of its server farm in Austin, Tex.
“So, for example, if you’re sending documents to New York for same-day delivery they get routed through our server farm, and then they would be routed on a dedicated T-1 line to our facility in New York.”
NowDocs.com’s same-day print and delivery service starts at $19.95 for up to 10 black and white pages, with next-day service priced at about $10 less for the same document size.