Saving money is just as important for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as it is for consumers. An SME that can bank some savings each month can build a buffer against uncertainty, create a war-chest to fund growth plans and ultimately avoid the need to borrow money at a time of rising interest rates.
Yet in a high-inflation, low-growth environment, it can be challenging to find some money to set aside for a rainy day. One way to save some cash in the business is to reduce operational costs.
Here are a few ways that your business might be able to reduce ICT and office automation costs without hampering growth or performance:
- Implement a print management solution
Unmanaged print environments are a source of unnecessary costs for many SMEs. A print management solution can give you more visibility and control over your printing and copying costs. It automates your cost recovery and expense management processes, enabling you to track, analyse and allocate the cost of every printed, copied, scanned, faxed, or emailed document. This can help you to curb abuse and wastage of company resources – for example, unnecessary colour printing or excessive personal use.
- Digitise paper-based processes
Automating business processes such as generating quotes and invoices is a powerful way to improve efficiency and save money. You can use a document management solution to streamline filing, storing, and retrieving documents. This cuts many unnecessary steps out of paper-based processes, so that your team can spend more time adding value to your business. It can also help you to reduce the costs of printing and storing documents.
- Audit your energy usage
In times of heavy load shedding and rising power costs, electricity has become a precious commodity. SMEs can no longer be complacent about energy use, since they face growing costs in the years to come. Most companies can identify some ways to save money on power when they conduct an energy audit.
Plus, an energy audit is essential for any business that wants to implement an appropriately sized generator or solar installation to gain some independence from the grid. Additional ways that you can save money on power include using LED and motion sensor lighting, opting for energy-efficient devices such as Energy Star-certified printers and screens, and supplying staff with laptops instead of desktops.
- Move towards anywhere operations and lifecycle management
In a world of hybrid work, it’s important to ensure that your team can be productive wherever they are. Partnering with a turnkey service provider that can help you manage IT assets such as IP phones, printers, and PCs throughout their lifecycle can bring predictability, reliability, and cost-savings to your workplace.
- Barry Venter, CEO at total workplace solutions provider, Nashua