This guest post by Allison Zimmer originally appeared on the Small Business Solutions blog.
Some people jump out of airplanes or ski black diamond slopes to get their thrills. Short of landing a huge new account, there aren’t many greater thrills for a business owner than finding new ways to cut their business expenses. That’s why we’ve assembled this list of the top ways you can cut your business costs today through better document management. Most of them are surprisingly simple – and perhaps even right in front of your face.
1. Print smarter.
The average business spends approximately 3% of their annual revenue on printing, making it the third largest expense behind rent and payroll. Most companies underestimate how much they’re spending by around 40%. That’s a big margin of error – and a lot of wasted money. Simple shifts, like printing on both sides of the paper whenever possible, is a good place to start. So is restricting color printing. Both save a lot of ink.
Xerox printers let you set permissions and restrict color printing to specific documents, departments or employees. Perhaps even more important than managing the prints you need is managing the ones you don’t. It sounds unbelievable but almost half of printed pages are discarded. Another 20 percent are never picked up from the printer at all! You can stop this in its tracks with printers that don’t print until the user actually shows up at the printer and validates the print job with a PIN code.
But perhaps the most effective way to reduce your printing costs is by outsourcing your print management to an expert. Managing your own print environment can take much more time, effort and resource than you realize – or want to invest. A managed print services (MPS)strategy can potentially cut your costs by up to 30% and give you a single point of contact who can manage your vendors, handles supplies ordering, and give you a detailed understanding of your print environment. They’ll also provide support and advise you on industry-standard best practices. Need help finding a partner? Contact us.
2. Assess your equipment.
While repeating expenses should be the first place to look when you want to cut costs, you also need to examine your hardware. A print assessment can identify opportunities to save money and boost efficiency. If you’re one of the many organizations that can’t say immediately how many printers are in your office, where they’re located or who are printing on them, you should call an IT solutions provider or office equipment dealer and ask about an assessment today.
While investing in new equipment may seem more like spending than saving, outdated office equipment can cost you money that you’d probably rather keep in your pocket. Outdated equipment is inefficient, often goes unused in favor of better, new equipment, and is probably the source of a lot of costly repairs. A print assessment can also tell you whether your devices are placed appropriately for the teams they serve, or whether certain devices are over or under-utilized.
3. Go digital.
Digitizing data can be a highly effective way to reduce your costs. It can also have a number of other benefits that can help you build a better business overall. Digitizing documents and storing them in the cloud reduces expenses by reducing printing, and by improving productivity. Digitization can cut paper out of the way you invoice, report financials, manage legal and human resource forms and handle other time-consuming processes It also means you’ll need less office space since you’ll have fewer physical records to store.
What’s more, you’ll spend less money on supplies like paper and ink. Solutions like Xerox Web Capture Services makes scanning easier than ever, so there’s no difficult learning curve, and your transition to digital can be simpler than you expect. Bonus: it works with any brand of scanner so you won’t need to invest in new ones.
Xerox Web Capture Services – Xerox Web Capture Services is the only solution that automates and scans a document for immediate use without additional steps of creating files, renaming documents and importing it to an application.
What’s more, Xerox multifunction printers can save scanned documents to the right locations automatically, which is a huge time saver for your employees. Xerox printers using ConnectKey Technology® let you scan and print documents directly to and from cloud storage apps like Microsoft 365 and Dropbox. Xerox offers rebates on printers, including a wide range of color, black-and-white and multifunction models. You can shop online or find a retail location near you.
4. Enable a remote office.
More employees are working remotely than ever before and for good reason. Telecommuting can limit absences, increase productivity, and even help your business save money. It may even score you a better team of employees. A study by Stanford professor, Nick Bloom, found that remote workers were more productive, got more done, worked longer hours, took fewer breaks, and used less sick time than their in-office counterparts.
Employees who telecommuted – or had the option to do so – also demonstrated better retention and higher levels of job satisfaction. The study estimated that, on average, companies saved an estimated $2,000 per every employee who worked from home. Learn more about the benefits and how to get started here.
Enabling a remote workforce for your business isn’t as complicated as it sounds. It simply requires the right mix of technological tools and basic communications skills. Here’s another article you might want to read to learn more about successful mobile business.