As the weeks drag on amidst COVID-19, we are beginning to realize that this situation will most likely create long-lasting changes to the way we live and work.
Suddenly back office teams are logging in almost exclusively from home, online shopping and service options are in high demand, and many companies are realizing that employees can successfully work from home.
This unprecedented situation is changing the way we conduct business and many of us are re-imagining how we can address the changes. As we work with a variety of small businesses, and look at our own processes, we have identified three key areas of operations that business leaders should evaluate.
Your Paperless Options
Over the past years, businesses have become increasingly paperless by switching to electronic communication and processes. Now by necessity, the current social distancing and work from home orders have us all pushing this direction even faster. Whether you find yourself still doing almost everything with paper or have moved to mostly paperless functions, now is a good to evaluate your processes and identify what changes could most improve your operations.
Although here at Eagle we function almost entirely paperless, we recently moved to processing recurring payments using ACH transactions. Already we are seeing that this change is eliminating headaches while increasing our capacity to spend time on other things.
- Store and share documents. What about that paper stuck in the filing cabinet at the office? Or the one stored on your desktop at your place of work? The Document Storage feature in EBMS gives you the ability to quickly store any electronic documents within a customer, vendor, inventory item, task, invoice, or quote. Make your documents easier to access, find, and share - even with your teammates scattered throughout their home offices.
- Email invoices, bills, and receipts. Sending invoices, bills, and receipts via email has never been easier. The CRM (Customer Relations Management) feature in EBMS allows you to email documents individually or as a batch to a group of customers. From accounts receivable statements to purchase orders and direct deposit slips, automate your processes to quickly send documents from any location.
- Process Electronic Payments. Checks are quickly becoming the payment preference of yesterday. Whether receiving payments from customers or making payments to vendors and employees, options are available to process these transactions.
- The EBMS Payment Portal allows you to receive payments without the traditional payment devices. Get paid from anywhere by giving your customers the ability to quickly view and pay their balances online.
- Virtual Terminal allows payment info to be taken via phone and processed from the EBMS invoice screen.
- ACH Payments in EBMS allow you to receive recurring payments, pay vendors, and complete your weekly direct deposit payroll with speed and efficiency.
“There’s a way to do it better – find it.” –Thomas A. Edison
Your Online Presence
These days if you don’t have a website, people may wonder if you are even a real company. The question isn’t really if you have a website, but what options are you offering your customers and are these options efficient? Many of us shop, bank, communicate, and pay bills from a variety of websites. Is now the time for you to move some of your customer service options online?
- Connect your website to existing operations. Whether entering orders, sending out invoicing, or processing payments, many day-to-day operations can be done online. EBMS offers an integrated, self-service Customer Portal that gives customers 24/7 access to their account information. Allow customers to view order history, reorder quickly, and pay account balances all from your branded online customer portal.
- Sell online. Improve your customer experience by opening an online store that is connected to your existing EBMS inventory and customer lists. Business to Business (B2B) customers place orders online with their pricing while viewing availability and checking out with their payment terms.
“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.“ - unknown
Your Remote Workplace
Whether your business is considered essential or not, many office and admin teams are encouraging their teams to work from home. Making sure your team has the right environment to work from home, can make this situation more enjoyable and efficient.
- Move to a hosted server. Before the cloud existed, on-premise servers were the only option for businesses. Now, however, businesses are increasingly moving to hosted servers on the cloud for better speed, accessibility to data, reliability, and security. For local clients we recommend Landis Tech to get you started.
- Setup VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) for phone numbers. This is simply connecting your phone numbers through the internet instead of through traditional phone lines. Internet based phone makes it possible to answer your company phone number from any location. Again, Landis Tech or your local IT support can get you started.
- Setup remote meetings and communication. Microsoft Teams is our go-to for all things communication. At Eagle we use this app for everything from team meetings and screen sharing to calls and conducting webinars. Keep all your communication organized and in one central location. Go try out their free version now!
- Connect to EBMS apps. Give your team the ability to access customer information, clock in/out, complete tasks, and enter service time – all without going to an office. EBMS offers app features that give you options from wherever you are.
“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” –William Pollard
Don't worry, you don’t need to go completely paper-free with hosted servers and a huge eCommerce store all in one step. Instead take the time to evaluate your business opportunities and customer needs in each area. Pick one or two items that could benefit your business both now and into the future. Most innovation involves doing the things we do every day, a little bit better. Who knows, you may already have the tools and just need to take the time to put them to good use. Perhaps being pushed into these changes now will make you more successful into the future.
At Eagle Business Software we are committed to walking with you through change. We would love to have a conversation and point you in the right direction. Reach out to your Account Manager at Eagle Business Software or send a message to AccountManagement@EagleBusinessSoftware.com
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