Step 1: Evaluate Areas To Go Green
For a business to go completely green, there are a lot of complex areas involved. The easiest, and most obvious, is reducing or eliminating the need to print. This translates to hundreds if not thousands of dollars in savings per year as you no longer need to purchase paper, print reports, replace toner, replace drums and/or printers. Download our more detailed, step-by-step guide below for more information on other areas to help reduce your carbon footprint and costs to your business.
Step 2: Evaluate Costs
Evaluating your monthly expenditures on paper and printing will help you calculate the ROI of implementing software. With less expense, you can reinvest the savings back into your business or take a nice vacation. Use the estimator to the right to calculate your average printing and associated staffing expenses. (Some assumptions: you are printing in black and white only and you replace your printer every 5 years.)
Step 3: Evaluate Current Software
What software are you using, if any? Does your software allow a completely paperless office? Think about front-end, back-end, and delivery operations; retail (emailing receipts vs. printing); and wholesale: viewing reports, online orders, driver’s sheets for deliveries, production reports, invoices, and purchase orders.
Step 4: Change Habits
Going paperless is difficult. Like any major change, you may need to take things slowly. Be aware. Where is the paper wasted from printing or reprinting daily? Notice areas of improvement. Here you can focus on streamlining or automating paper tasks such as orders, invoices, statements, and purchase orders. Use less ink or toner. Start easy by changing the settings for printing to lower quality to save on cost while you work on going paperless.
Step 5: Implement New Software
If your current software does not offer you the ability to go completely paperless, you may need to consider new software. Some features to consider when evaluating new software: EDI (electronic data interchange) imports and exports, remote online ordering for both wholesale and retail, handhelds for DSD (direct store delivery), ability to email receipts/orders/invoices, online payment portal, online reporting, production monitors throughout the production process.
If your current software isn’t paperless-capable, considering switching to TwinPeaks as we offer a 100% paperless-office software solution.
Step 6: Convert Old Papers
Convert printed documents to PDF or other electronic format so you can email them when requested rather than fax. If you must print, consider using recycled paper. For sensitive information, there are many shredding services that will come and collect paper and recycle it for you.