Saving Your Business Money
While businesses today are constantly looking for ways to reduce costs and help develop that competitive edge over their rivals; it's still worth bearing in mind that by investing in new technology, businesses can often access significant savings, particularly over the long term.
Amy Harris, Marketing Manager for Expert Market (a UK B2B website) offers you five of the best ways technology can be used to save your business money.
1. Invest in a Franking Machine
Whether your company uses postal services to deliver to customers or simply to carry out marketing, mail costs can often amount to a significant part of your budget. Investing in a franking machine allows business to automate their mail operations and increase their efficiency.
Franking machines save business money in a number of different ways including; no staff time lost on trips to the Post Office, almost eliminating the risk of overpaying postage due to integrated scales, and in some countries the national postage service offers franked mail at a discount to stamped mail. Savings that can be achieved differ between companies, but on average, installing a franking machine results in a 10-20% reduction in the postage costs of any business regardless of size.
2. Video Conferencing
Video conferencing is already well used amongst larger businesses but it is yet to be picked up on by smaller firms to the same extent. Technologies such as Skype and Facetime have improved significantly in recent times and now even the smallest business can use these to make free or low cost video calls.
These calls help save many firms the cost of fuel, accommodation and staff time out of the office, all of which can add up to quite a significant sum over the course of the financial year. Alternatively, you can look to invest in webinar technology which allows your firm to easily hold internal meetings when you have staff at a number of different sites.
3. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing merely means a company has invested in the technology to allow an outsourced firm to handle their data. This means that you reduce your need to purchase expensive IT equipment and your energy bills will also fall.
The savings made by using cloud computing could be hugely significant, with one report suggesting that businesses in the US could reduce their energy bills by over six billion dollars a year by switching to this technology. As an added bonus, cloud computing systems will also mean that your company has a secure offsite backup for your entire firm's data.
4. The Paperless Office
How much paper does your business use?
Whatever the answer, the cost of this all adds up, not only in terms of paper used, but in printing ink and equipment, duplication of data entry and disposal. The paperless office has been discussed for some years but now there are business management systems available using mobile technologies which can significantly cut down on the paper you use.
Companies can either purchase off the shelf apps or have bespoke systems made for them. The majority of these systems work by issuing each worker with a smart phone which contains all the company's forms and can carry out tasks such as capturing customer signatures. Prices for these systems vary but can start from around 20 US dollars per month.
5. GPS Trackers
No matter how many drivers your firm employs, investing in GPS trackers can save you money. The trackers provide information about company vehicles at all times and monitor driver behavior. For most firms, the most significant cost reduction after installing trackers is in their fuel costs which can often fall by up to 25% as a result of more efficient route planning and lower instances of driver speeding and idling. Additionally, installing trackers will reduce insurance costs and improve customer service.
Technology for Your Business
All of these technologies can provide a significant cost saving for your business and most will begin paying for themselves in a matter of months.