Explore how these 3 practices can reduce business costs.
Read time: 5 minutes
Businesses have opportunities when it comes to cost reduction. If you are looking to reduce costs, here are three good places to start:
1. Improve document management and reduce paper
2. Reduce travel
3. Outsource IT functions
It's time to join the ranks of other businesses in taking advantage of the tools to save money in these three areas. Let's dive in.
1. Reduce paper costs
Improve output management and digitize your paper-heavy processes. As an office consumable, paper costs money - and not just for the paper itself, either. There's also time and money involved in procuring and storing boxes of paper.
To reduce paper, turn paper into digital documents requires buying and maintaining a “fleet" of machines to do the printing, copying, scanning and faxing. This includes “consumables" — ink, toner and other parts, which, like paper, need to be bought, and kept somewhere.
Once created, documents have to be distributed, filed, accessed, mailed out, and eventually, recycled securely. Translation: file cabinets, file rooms… and employee time. Oftentimes, paper communications are a vital necessity. But how reduce paper and make your office's paper and paper-related costs work more efficiently?
Digitize those documents
Reduce paper and make documents work for you. What does that mean? Employees can search for what they need, then read, share, and even, when need be, print what is relevant to them. Cloud services can make it easy for employees at multiple locations to access and share these documents.
The challenge will be “getting there" — which will require lot of scanning, verification, and organizing.
Consider IT outsourcing services that provide document conversion services. Also look for a partner that provides secure cloud collaboration and data storage and access.
Digitize your work processes
Most businesses don't just create and accumulate paper, they also run on paper. And “pushing paper" forms, inter-office envelopes, and Fed-exes are often slow and less convenient in our digital, Internet era.
Look for digital content and document management systems, and workflow automation tools. Think “less paper, more productivity, less costs."
Wrangle your printer/copier fleet better
You can't expect to make all paper-related activity go digital, but the odds are good you can improve its efficiency. A Managed Fleet Optimization service can help you right-size your fleet, and handle management of devices and consumables, reducing your equipment, supplies and related costs.
2. Reduce travel costs
Travel is an inescapable reality for some businesses. It is also inescapable that travel is inefficient. Even armed with mobile devices and wireless Internet service, employees still lose otherwise-productive time when they travel. Not to mention, it costs money to travel. But increasingly, travel can be avoided — using tools and services that businesses can afford.
Smartphones, tablets, and notebook and desktop computers can not only perform voice and video conference calls, but these devices can also be used for “remote desktop access" — controlling one computer from another, or simply sharing access to a distant computer's screen session.
Apps, managed cloud services and IT outsourcing services for this are readily available, and highly affordable — especially compared to travel costs. Audio and video calling, in addition to remote access, is good not just for meetings, but also for customer support, remote system administration, teaching and training, and other business activities.
For activities where larger groups are involved, look into teleconferencing. Depending on how much remote collaboration your business conducts, this can be as flexible as a large display on a desktop or on a rolling cart brought into a conference room, to a “telepresence" meeting room or auditorium equipped with “life-size" video walls, multiple cameras, microphones and speakers, interactive whiteboards, and lighting.
Concerned whether your company can deal with running these activities? Don't be — third-party providers have the IT and AV experts, along with cloud services and collaboration software.
3. Reduce IT costs
Managed IT office services can and will keep your business humming.
Businesses are using more computer technology than ever before. Employees — and customers — need information to be available and accessible 24/7 while remaining secure for increasingly “mobile" employees and customers. That can be a daunting IT challenge for smaller businesses, many of whom have one or two dedicated IT staff in-house at best. “Managed IT support" offers the IT services to keep your company's computers, networks, applications and employee activities up and running. Look for managed IT support that includes:
Help desk including for desktop, server and mobile, onsite and offsite
Hosted email, collaboration
Phone and computer networking
Backup and recovery
The result? Smoother IT, with better security, better reliability, lowered and more predictable TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).
When it doubt, call in the experts
Whether it's document management, online meetings and collaboration, or keeping your company's technology infrastructure humming, you don't have to tackle these tasks on your own. Your company doesn't generate its own electricity, build its own delivery vehicles, or grow its own coffee (unless you're in one of these businesses, of course).
The more you can outsource cloud services to dedicated experts, the more your company can focus on the actual business. Savings are everywhere. You just have to know how to look.
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