By Nicole Laurier on Nov 14, 2013 2:07:00 PM
Guest blog by Oren Tabib. Oren is the President of Pioneer B1, and is passionate about helping small businesses with efficient and sustainable solutions to help them thrive.
To keep up with the competition, growing companies have to keep up with innovation and new technology, which also encompasses making intelligent decisions about the choices they have in front of them. And while many of us have altruistic feelings about the environment, most times the only reason to make a business decision is if it makes sound business sense. Fortunately, more and more ways “to be sustainable” and watch your bottom line are becoming available. One of the ways to “go green” is by reducing the amount of paper in your processes. Going paperless, or at least using significantly less paper, saves money and the environment all in one.
Below are 6 ways to help you “go green” using software.
Stop mailing – Instead, Digitally Fax or Email your Invoices and Orders.
Today, everyone has an email address and almost any small business software application can automate the process of invoicing. So go ahead and stop wasting time and paper by printing, folding, and mailing your invoices; it will not only free up your employee’s time, but it will also help your cash flow by having your clients receive your invoices earlier.
Stop Printing Packing Slips – Print Directly on Labels.
A classic practice is to print a few copies of every invoice and/or order. One copy is for the packing line, one for the customer, and one copy to keep for the in-house records. Modern software solutions in almost every business management software will offer “pick and pack” automation that can save the need to print a packing slip and will streamline the order fulfillment process. You can also talk to your shipping carrier and print the packing slip as a label and easily stick it on the relevant box.
Use Barcode Readers – Avoid Mistakes and Improve Customer Service.
Barcodes are a really simple and cheap tool that can save a considerable amount of time, avoid mistakes, streamline your processes, and most importantly it will increase your customer satisfaction. You don’t have to serialize all your items. Start by integrating a barcode into your current forms or packing slips; that barcode will represent the order or invoice number making it easy to scan during different stations of your supply chain. Barcoding eliminates the mind-numbing and highly fallible process of entering a long series of numbers again and again.
Create a Portal for your Business Partners.
You can spend too much time and energy with your personnel trying to reconcile the order and payment activity with your customers and vendors. Personal relationships are what keep business happening, but what could be a better service to your business partners than if you let them view their open orders, see the status of each order, pay any open debt through the portal and even allow them to make an order that will appear automatically in your software to be approved and fulfilled. Check with your software provider if they have an out of the box application that is ready to go and just needs to be implemented. A non-custom solution will help by reducing the cost to use it and eliminate potential software bugs. Check with your current provider to see what established solutions might be available.
Stop Filing – Save your Documents in the Application and in the Cloud.
The days of housing massive rooms of files are no longer necessary. Move forward and free up some of your office space for a new productive employee by ditching the file room and only keeping digital copies in your software system. However, don’t forget the need for redundancy; get connected to the cloud and have a virtual set of files that is updating constantly so that even with technical failures in one area, you always have a safe back up to access.
Use Analytics instead of Printing Reports.
Your invoices, the orders made, and all the detailed information about your clientele is housed in your database. You can use that information to provide you with relevant, intelligent reports to help inform you about what is happening in your company so that you can decide how to make more intelligent business decisions. By having more analytical information available to you through your Accounting/ERP/CRM system, you don’t just save paper, but you also add the ability to drill down within the reporting systems and utilize the information you already have to its maximum potential.
Utilizing advanced business applications and operating in a sustainable fashion will not just help the environment, but it can also dramatically help your bottom line.
About Oren and Pioneer B1:
We at Pioneer B1 are passionate about helping small businesses with efficient and sustainable solutions to help them thrive. If you are frustrated and need someone to help you adopt an integrated small business software solution, or to transition to one that is scalable for your growing company, contact Pioneer B1 today and let us help you get your company into the future now.