Invoicing. Does this word remind you of the effort involved with reconciliation and resolution of dispute with clients? If it does, you are definitely not alone.Office Coffee Service (OCS) operators often site Invoicing as one area of operations that they would like significant improvement in, and we bring to you the one step you can take to transform the way you invoice today: Electronic Invoicing. You may ask, how will electronic invoicing improve my P&L at OCS Accounts? Or, what revenue benefits will electronic invoicing bring to my OCS operations? Well, here are three prominent ways in which e-invoicing will contribute to your revenue and profitability:
#1. Reduced Time: If we take all of the tasks performed as a part of an OCS operations, invoicing is one of the most time-consuming tasks, if done on paper. We wanted to compare a typical OCS order cycle with paper invoicing versus an OCS Order cycle with electronic invoicing. We jotted down time taken for invoicing at all the relevant steps of the order cycle for both, and we found that time taken for invoicing could be reduced by 1/10th if we use electronic invoicing.
Here are 5 steps to an OCS order servicing process:
- Customer places an order
- OCS Team creates a pre-pick list based on the order
- Order is then delivered to customer, and customer is required to sign every invoice associated with the order to authenticate delivery.
- All Invoices pertaining to the previous month are batched together and sent to customers.
- Reconciliation of any disputes regarding the invoice amount which could be queries from the customer’s end regarding order quantities, dates or product description.
If you refer to chart 1 below, you will observe that during Step# 3, there would be a minimum of 5 minutes spent on getting every paper invoice signed. In order to perform Step# 4, there would be a minimum of 45 mins to prepare to ship the paper invoices per month, and during Step# 5, there would be a minimum of 7 mins to resolve any dispute with an OCS order. Assuming you get around 30 OCS orders a month, and only 5 among them have any dispute resolution associated with them, this would still mean a total time of 230 mins or 3.8 hours per month. Now, imagine if this was completely replaced with Electronic Invoicing. Refer to chart 2 and you would see how Step# 3 would take 10 seconds per e-signing of invoices on an iPad or iPhone, Step# 4 would take just 5 mins to attach and send one email containing all invoices for the month. It is also evident that Step# 5 would take 2 mins per invoice to resolve any disputes, since date of transaction, and digital signatures provide a lot more credibility to the OCS operator. Given the same number of OCS orders serviced with electronic invoicing, the total time taken per month would be 20 mins. Compare this with 230 mins taken by paper invoicing. This implies an almost 91% reduction in time taken for invoicing OCS orders.
#2. Improved Accessibility: Trying to find invoices from months ago, that an OCS Client might be referring to, could pose a nightmare situation of digging through tons of paper, if you were still using paper invoicing. But with e-invoicing you can record invoices digitally and view them in one accessible, easy-to-manage location. You can search by date or customer name or even the order number to find precisely what you are looking for. Now, wouldn’t that help immensely when you are on the phone with a big account and trying to find their billing amount for the last two quarters?
#3. Reduced Cost: If you refer to Chart 1 again, you would see how there is a significant reduction in labor required through the OCS order cycle, and particularly in Steps #4 and 5. With e-invoicing, you may no longer need one person to manually fill in the envelopes and deliver them. Nor would you need more than one person to resolve OCS order concerns with the client on the phone. You don’t have to worry about losing invoice slips anymore, and the e-signed invoices would build credibility with your customers. You can even save on ordering copier paper and stamps with e-invoicing. Isn’t that a cost-effective and convenient alternative to paper invoicing?
In summary, the benefits to electronic invoicing far outweigh the cost or time taken to implement it. It will not only help boost your employee retention but will also help improve the customer experience. Your OCS customers will definitely appreciate the convenience and transparency that e-invoicing can provide them on all their orders If you would like to transform your OCS operations with the capability of electronic invoicing, fill out the form below and one of our USAT representatives will reach out to you shortly: