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Have you been thinking about going paperless? Besides being an eco-friendly option that will support your efforts of being a good steward of the environment, going paperless can also boost your efficiency tremendously. A lot of landscape businesses get bogged down by paperwork—whether it be sorting and filing incoming paperwork, sending outgoing paperwork like invoices, or even manually entering data from paper into a computer system. All of these take up time and labor.
Going paperless can help you eliminate wasted paper, cut costs, and ultimately streamline your operations. Plus, it is something that your team members and customers will appreciate.
If you’ve been pondering going paperless, here are a few considerations for you to keep in mind.
It can be More of a Cost Savings than You Might Realize
Paper might not seem all that expensive by itself but think about all the costs associated with supporting a paper-heavy business. There’s ink, postage, storage, and even labor costs associated with running a business that relies on paper. If you really think about it, the expense that paper costs you can add up quickly. Going paperless is something that could absolutely save your business money.
Plus, think of all the physical space you’ll save in your office. A paper-based business must have numerous filing cabinets to keep track of accounts, invoicing, and more. In fact, one report showed that somewhere between 50 to 70 percent of office space is devoted to filing and storage documentation for businesses that still use paper to run their operations. Imagine freeing up all that space!
Accessibility is Enhanced
Digitizing your files and account information means that you make accessibility easy. You can pull up information at any time—and ideally, anywhere. If you or your crew are on a property and you have questions, it’s not like you have to call the office and have someone physically pull the file to get answers.
Of course, this is contingent on having the right tools to support you.
One of the tools that Include Software offers is a mobile app companion to our products called iCREWtek. By integrating seamlessly with our software, it provides a real-time connection from field to office. This makes data entry simplified. Account information can be entered on the spot, in real time, as opposed to being filed or taking notes to be entered into the system later (when they could get lost or forgotten). It also allows for information to be pulled up at any time—and anywhere—so customer or account manager questions can be easily answered.
This simplifies billing, too. When the invoice process is digitized, they can be created instantly so that billing won’t be forgotten. You probably hate to think about those invoices which slipped through the cracks because they got lost or forgotten—but you know that it’s happened. But when you make the process digital, that’s no longer bound to happen and can directly impact your bottom line.
Customers will Appreciate It
When companies think about going paperless, they often think of their customers appreciate their eco-friendliness. And many certainly will. One statistic we found said that paper accounts for approximately 25 percent of landfill waste and reducing office paper use by just 10 percent can help prevent 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gasses.
But we also want to point out that customers will appreciate you digitizing your business because of the convenience and ease that it offers them.
More specifically, if you integrate customer portal technology, your clients will love that they can easily access and review their account information at any time. You also make it easier to pay their bill—and frankly, that means you’ll get paid faster. With a portal, your clients can pay their bills day or night—any time—and that makes them more likely to take care of it. It’s not like a piece of paper that can get misplaced or forgotten.
Plus, research has shown that many customers even prefer this “self-service” method of dealing with businesses. It allows them to take care of things on their own time with a simple and easy process. With a customer portal, they can even use a credit card or e-check—which is much preferred as many people have moved away from using cash and paper checks. Once a client makes a payment, the account is automatically updated and the funds are automatically deposited into your company’s bank account. Everything about it is streamlined.
Let Include Software Help You Go Paperless
If you’re serious about going paperless, those of us here at Include Software are available to help support you in your efforts. We think that there are many benefits to be experienced by making this leap—but you absolutely need the right tools to support you in your efforts.
By implementing landscape business software and its accompanying tools like iCREWtek and Asset Client Portal, you can make life easier on your team and your customers while also gaining the benefits of reducing costs, hassles, and your company’s environmental impact.
We have helped many landscaping companies to integrate software into their business and in turn, go paperless. We have the ideas and the solutions that will help make it work for you, too.