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The bottom line is this … tips for business success

Monday, 20 August 2007
By Print 21 Online Article

If you would like your business to make more profit this year for doing less work then please read on: Davin Hamnett (pictured) of Printec Solutions has the answers.

The idea of a better bottom line appeals to everyone, and although I’m not about to start giving away money, I can provide you with a few tips which in an average-size operation will save you considerable amounts of money and time not to mention enhancing your corporate identity.

So how can your operation realise these improvements? The quick answer is to embrace the wonders of the “electronic age” within your departments. You might be thinking at this point that you have already done this and don’t need to read any further; but please read on as you may pick up a few hints that you hadn’t thought of yet. Let’s look at an average-size operation to see how efficiencies can easily be gained.

Accounts Department

  • Creditor Payments: How many of you still manually write out/print out cheques and send them to your creditors, or manually EFT payments and send out remittance advices? In my experience most operations still do. If you calculate all of the time and money it takes to write the cheques, print the remittances, prepare the envelope and send the cheque, then it is likely that this whole process is costing you anywhere from $2000 to $3000 per annum in time and stationery. Why not simply get your MIS to keep a track of all the payments you have marked off, create an electronic banking file for upload, and then email all your remittance advices to your creditors?
  • Debtor Invoices: More and more of your clients are now asking for debtors invoices /statements to be sent electronically. Every time you can do this, you are saving yourself money, whilst enhancing your image. Have you asked your suppliers who would like this done? Remember email doesn’t cost you anything.

    Production Department

  • Quotations: I am still astounded when I walk into large organisations only to find out that they are still faxing quotations to their customers. And what is even more frustrating is that they are having to type out a manual email to send because their MIS doesn’t do it automatically for them. A couple of years ago at one of our average-sized customers, we converted all communication in the sales and production department over from faxing to email. At that stage my customer calculated the time and money savings approx $6,000 to $7,000 per annum. Not only that but his customers were “extremely impressed” at his new speed and quality of his customer relationship.

    Sales Department
    Using the same philosophy as we have also discussed, use your MIS to communicate more effectively with your clients via system generated update and confirmation emails and SMS. It only takes a matter of seconds and next to no cost to pass on a piece of information to your client, however the benefits in regards to your client’s satisfaction is immeasurable.

    Other Possibilities
    Taking this electronic philosophy even further we can start looking at administrative tasks that tend to be laborious and time-consuming and can be sped up by electronic processing.

    What about allowing your clients to obtain selected quotations, place job orders, upload graphic files, and even pay for the job via your online E-commerce site? Think of the efficiencies that this could bring: not having to send out sales reps to pick up the quote specifications; not having to physically estimate every quote; not having to proof every job; not having to invoice every job; not having to chase payments. Obviously not every job is going to fall into this category; however if a percentage of your operations can fall into this category (however a large percentage can), then think of the improvements in efficiencies you’ll gain – which eventually feeds to a better bottom line.

    A large problem with implementing these kinds of profit-making initiatives is the “Well that’s the way we have always done it” factor; not all of us like change. However when you consider how much work it takes to make money, it is definitely worth investigating simple ways to save money.

    These are just some of the suggestions that we implement with our users of Quote & Print on a regular basis. Please feel free to contact any Q&P representative to see how these suggestions can be implemented for your business as well.

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