How can I streamline my back-end processes?
If you’re like most business owners, you’d prefer to spend time with your customers rather than be behind the scenes shuffling papers. By improving the efficiency of your back-end operations with these strategies, you can do just that.
Reduce manual processes. Relying on paper places a burden on people and their time. Transitioning to a paperless back office may be more feasible than you think. Begin by following the paper trails in your workplace. A variety of document management solutions are available that allow you to digitize critical documents and provide staff an easy to way organize, store and share information online. Many of these solutions are also able to create custom workflows that route documents automatically to the right person or folder for approval or task completion without handling a single sheet of paper.
Cut back on paper checks. If you are still sending or receiving paper checks, now is a good time to consider a more automated payment system. Your bank likely offers options such as remote deposit, accounts payable and accounts receivable automation and payment capabilities or lockbox services that enable your bank to collect and deposit payments into your account directly. Options like these save time and postage, speed up the cash flow of payments and reduce the threat of fraud.
Automate other repetitive tasks. Do you send reminders to customers about upcoming appointments, payment due dates or time-sensitive promotions? Most small businesses perform time-consuming tasks like these regularly, often requiring users to tap into multiple sources -- customer lists, accounting systems and other databases — to complete these jobs. If this sounds familiar, consider ways to consolidate and automate these efforts. Outbound Interactive Voice Response (IVR) or SMS text messaging are a couple of options that can help streamline workflows and automate recurring processes, freeing up your and your staff’s time for other important tasks.
The Bottom Line: Automation technologies are easier to use and more affordable than ever. Many of your customers (and competitors) are likely using them. Join them!