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Creating Your Paper-Free Back Office

Published: 23rd Jul 18

Categories: Customer Service, Planning, Success

Creating Your Paper-Free Back Office

Creating Your Paper-Free Back Office

Building a paperless office can be a challenge for any retail or hospitality business, due to requirements to manage large numbers of staff while ensuring optimal levels of customer service throughout the operation. There are a variety of paper saving measures that can be put in place, though, to create an office that’s light on paperwork without being detrimental to essential control mechanisms.

Tips for creating a paperless office for hospitality and retail trades

Customer till receipts within retail and hospitality are unlikely to fall prey to paperless trends in business, but back offices and admin teams throughout organisations can be encouraged to reduce their use of paper in a number of ways.

1. One simple idea for cutting paper usage within offices is to monitor numbers of pages printed from computers and copiers per staff member and cut down on easily accessible printers. Staff may not be so motivated to print off reams of copies if they have to go to centralised printers to collect papers. This is also cost-effective and can save your business money on a consistent basis.

2. With regard to centralised finance functions, requesting electronic bank statements and utility bills cuts out some of the paper within the office. Paying bills electronically also cuts out the requirement to issue business cheques and related paperwork. This procedure can work well with all business suppliers if the right checks and balances are in place to ensure smooth operation.

3. Employee attitudes towards the use of paper and benefits of recycling can also be positively reinforced if you put recycling bins in place for all non-confidential papers and card generated in the office.

4. Increased use of internet-enabled devices throughout the business makes it easier to almost entirely cut out the paper reproduction of documents and opt for the electronic generation and distribution of letters, memos, emails and business reports. Electronic signatures on documents can be just as valid as physical documents signed with pen and ink, so creating an organisational culture that’s more dependent upon electronic correspondence is important for building paperless offices.

5. Increased digitisation of all documentation means employees have greater access to information which can be shared across company networks. Consider the benefits of scanners for individual use as these will also cut out any temptation to make photocopies. The use of optical character recognition (OCR) devices and software mean static files can be turned to editable documents that are easy for employees to access and amend. Portable scanners can even be used for handwritten notes and other forms of content.

Outside of the back office, time saving tools such as ‘kitchen automation’ software can rid restaurants of the outdated paper ticket system. All orders come through on screens in different areas of the kitchen at the right time – no more losing tickets or missing off that side of fries.

Increased use of digitisation can enhance productivity and cut costs

Increase in the use of digitisation really does increase levels of personal productivity throughout organisations and contribute to cost-cutting. Cloud storage enables employees to access information any time, any place, and reduces costs of running on-site computer systems.

A wide range of apps can be used with smartphones and other internet-enabled devices to capture documents and records of any kind. Uploading this data to the cloud means it can be accessed by employees working in any business location.

The successful reduction of paper within your organisation means creating the type of business culture that will not accept waste. So, rethinking all your organisational operations and requirements while adopting technologies that support moving away from paper, will start the ball rolling.

Virgate Accounts provide an outsourced finance department function and accountancy services for the retail and hospitality industry. If you’re considering the move to a paperless office, outsourcing your finance department to Virgate cuts down on paper and allows you to access all accounts records online, from any location. Get in touch for more details.


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