Traditional paper-based invoice processing can cost a company thousands over the period of a year and with rising operational costs and budgets being squeezed, rental businesses are identifying this as a key area where innovation can produce better value for money.
A growing trend of hire businesses are asking their customers to receive their invoices electronically now rather than through the post – the catalyst, of course, being the hike in postal charges in April this year.
Despite this, it is surprising that electronic invoicing has not been adopted far earlier in the rental industry when you calculate what easy savings can be made by hire companies - no matter what size they are.
Many companies that have chosen to go down the electronic invoicing route have seen significant savings. In fact recently, a customer of ours who approached their own customer base has managed to achieve a 95% take up rate for receiving their invoices in PDF format by email, and is on track to save thousands of pounds due to the large volumes of invoices sent.
With obvious cost reductions on postage, printing, envelopes and paper, it is really when you factor in hidden costs in the time taken to print, fold and stuff the invoices into envelopes that a hire company can see how beneficial it could be. Think of the possibilities of redeploying those staff resources elsewhere within your business to enable you to focus on improving customer service or grow the business, for example.
Sometimes traditional invoice methods can be deeply entrenched within a business culture, so you may need to employ a ‘mindset’ change amongst staff in order to get the most benefit from a simple invoice distribution change.
Don’t forget, with the best intentions, not all of your customers will necessarily want to receive their invoices electronically. So in our MCS-rm rental software we let you select the preference setting for each customer as to their chosen invoice delivery method. The options available include: post, fax, email and EDI (XML Invoicing). The EDI / XML invoicing option allows you to transmit invoices directly to your customer's back office systems and is equally as efficient - if not more so!
Either way, can you afford not to use electronic invoicing in your rental business?