4 Ways to Lower Operational Costs and Increase Efficiency
It’s important to look at the everyday processes within your firm that could be slowing your company down and decreasing revenue. Even small snags in timing on a day-to-day basis can cost significant amounts in lost revenue. In fact, according to the IDC market research firm, corporate revenues decrease by 20 to 30 percent each year due to inefficiency. Throughout this past year, your employees may have developed detrimental processes or may not have used up-to-date tools. Here are four ways you can reset your business practices to ensure higher revenues this year:
1. Enable Employees to Focus on What They’re Best At
According to a Gallup poll, only 34% of Americans feel engaged at work. The poll also found that a key component of employee engagement included workers being allowed to do what they do best. Unfortunately, often a significant amount of time is spent on repetitive tasks such as searching for documents, manually tracking documents, scanning files, entering data multiple times into different systems and trying to read illegible handwriting, among other critical, yet un-fulfilling tasks.
Luckily, there are services and software, such as digital mailroom services, workflow automation, and e-forms that make completing these tasks significantly easier. Automating these activities decreases human errors (for example, Helen in accounting is entering data into the ERP system and multi-tasking), and it frees up time for your employees to do more of what they’re good at, increasing their happiness as well as their time to complete revenue-boosting activities.
Your current mail process may go like this:
- Employees receive all sorts of mail and email—invoices, purchase orders, membership applications, employment applications, insurance appeals, legal documents, etc.—that sit in a pile on their desk or in their inbox.
- Every few days, they sort through this pile, finding which documents are important, which should actually be dealt with by someone else, and which are just junk. Those documents are then put in another pile to be addressed later.Sometimes important documents are processed late or accidentally discarded.
But, with an outsourced digital mailroom, your incoming mail and emails will be received, scanned, and indexed on a daily basis. The digital documents can kick off workflow automation software tailored to your business rules for processes such as invoice review, approval, and payment, or they can be electronically transmitted to you in any format to be imported into your internal system. You can remove myriad inefficiencies, keep your employees focused on more important tasks, reduce costs, and improve relationships with your clients and vendors.
2. Improve Customer Experience While Saving (Everyone’s) Time
We’ve all had that experience where someone calls and we spend 5 minutes getting up, rummaging through filing cabinets, looking for that exact document we need to discuss. With scanned documents securely stored in cloud document management software, there is no reason your accounting staff, HR department, or you need to pause and make the person you are speaking to wait. Instead, all of your documents can be uploaded to the cloud, so in only a few seconds, whether at your desk or on the go, you can easily and securely access important documents in only a few clicks.
Alternatively, if it is critical that you respond to customer correspondence quickly, processing documents as soon as they are received for review and response is imperative. An outsourced digital mailroom can receive, digitize, index, and time-stamp incoming mail for your timely response.
3. Reduce Real Estate Costs
Office space is a huge unavoidable cost, especially in metropolitan areas. However, there are many ways you can reduce the space your business needs. One is to eliminate filing cabinets and storage boxes by scanning, indexing, and hosting them securely in cloud document management software. You may even be able to downsize and relocate to a better location or more contemporary office space.
In 2019, 66% of companies allowed remote work and 16% function as fully remote teams. Your competitors may be cutting costs and offering more competitive rates because they’ve reduced their office space. As more teams work remotely, it’s important to transfer files to the cloud so employees can easily access files from anywhere on any device, and reduce storage fees for important paper documents. Transitioning over to a fully cloud-based system can sound like a headache, but you can simply send your documents to a document management company like MetaSource, which can scan and index your documents and implement cloud document management software for you.
4. Be Prepared for an Audit
You never know when that dreaded audit may come. It’s important to be prepared. Make the process easy and minimize time and frustration by having your documents easily accessible. Storing files in the cloud makes it much easier and quicker for them to be found, and you can give auditors temporary access to specific documents and folders remotely, so their impact on your office is minimal. Your employees aren’t suddenly sucked into spending time on an audit, being able to focus on their core tasks instead. You’ll also save costs by providing secure, electronic access to files online, instead of paying costly copying and shipping fees.
It really is time to go digital and transfer all your files from expensive, heavy, hard-to-sort-through paper formats to a cloud-based document management system. Outsourcing your mailroom and implementing workflow automation software takes you even further in improving your company’s bottom line. These services cut costs across the board while freeing up time for your employees to spend on the job you hired them to do instead of unprofitable administrative tasks.