Tag Archives: Invoicing

6 ways to reduce your invoice printing costs

Invoice processing and fulfilment

Even if you still need to send out paper based invoices there are still some things you can do to save money and reduce time

Aside of the physical printing of your invoices, there are other ancillary costs that are associated with the invoice printing process such as the toner, other consumables, paper, time taken by staff and the cost of postage. E-billing is slowly replacing the paper based bill but even if you are in the throes of making that conversion not all of your customers will be willing to comply to receiving your e-bill.

I am assuming that you are not sending an email with a .pdf bill attached that is not e-billing, that is sending a .pdf as an attachment.

Here is a quick overview on how to save money when you print and process your customer invoices.

1. Batch invoices for one company into a single envelope

It’s surprising the number of organisations that send out single invoices for each transaction rather than consolidating customers invoices into one envelope. This in itself can give you greater reductions in postage costs. Moreover, the customer wont thank you if they receive 10 envelopes when one will do.

If this is a manual process then unfortunately it will take time to ensure that your customer invoices are matched and inserted in to the envelope. You can automate the entire process by outsourcing the print and mailing process altogether. Click here to find out how.

2. Change the size of the envelope you use for posting out your documents

This seems obvious but surprisingly many companies use a standard DL size envelope and end up having to send out 3-4 envelopes to the same customer. This can cause another issue when the customer receives envelope 3 but envelopes 1 and 2 arrive later due to the inconsistent delivery of the Royal Mail.

Changing from a DL size envelope to a C5 (this is half the size of an A4 sheet of paper) will enable you to insert at least 15 A4 folded sheets comfortably. The importance here is making sure that you match the right documents for the same customer into the envelope as discussed above.

3. Postage discounts are available from the Royal Mail and via DSA (downstream access)

If you can pre-sort your mail internally and according to the mail providers criteria postage discounts could be anything from between 10% – 40% per envelope which represents a big saving on the bottom line. If you outsource the process then its possible to gain greater discounts using Downstream Access.

DSA is mail that has been collected and distributed by a competitor, but is delivered in to Royal Mail mail centres for final processing onto local delivery offices ready for delivery.

4. Invalid or incorrect addresses 

Invoice printing

Invoice printing

A sure fire way to end up having a steady flow of undeliverable invoices is having incomplete or incorrect address details. An accounts system that is regularly maintained and administered will reduce the number of returned or undelivered envelopes. Additionally an incomplete address will not qualify for pre-sortation discounts.

Make sure that your envelopes have a return address on the flap so that the Royal Mail can forward those items that weren’t delivered back to you.

5. Encourage the uptake of an electronic bill instead of a paper version

More and more companies are making it easier for their customers to sign up for e-billing. It is one of the single most effective ways of reducing costs and administration associated with print and mailing of invoices and statements!

6.White Space Management

Often overlooked but in simply terms use your paper invoice as a vehicle to hi-light some company news, offer discounts, promote a new product or service using the white space to print targeted marketing messages to your customer is cheap advertising, after all you’re printing the invoice use up the white space and be specific.

Even if its telling your customers to find you on social media – facebook, twitter, linkedin, google+ it’s a great way to remind your customers that aside of paying your bill you also provide other services and you want to engage with them.

You might want to target a particular audience with a personalised message and as you’ve already paid for the paper, the envelope and the postage why not use the invoice and personalise it with marketing messages.

Mailing solutions

Invoice printing can easily be outsourced and there are a number of mailing solutions including print-2-mail

All of the above takes time, costs money and is fairly labour intensive automating the process is a consideration and the days of cost benefits associated with high volume billing runs are long gone.

Even if you send out a few hundred bills a month there are some cost advantages to be had.

If you want to discuss some or any of the above please call us and we will advise you as to the best solution to suit your budget and your business needs.

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Invoice Processing. How to automate the process

Invoice processing and printing.

There are many companies still choosing to print these time critical documents in-house.

Choosing an end to end invoice processing and scanning solution will speed up the accounts payable process.

Choosing an end to end invoice processing and scanning solution will speed up the accounts payable process.

Why?

Here are some well documented reasons…

Because its too expensive to outsource.
Because we don’t want to give up control.
I want our envelopes post marked with our address details.
Because the Directors want to retain control of the print and despatch of our statements/invoices

If it’s taking you and your company too much time to process and generate your invoices and statements then you really should think about automating the processing by opting for a print services provider.

A printing mailing service provider specialises in the process, printing and inserting of invoices and statements.

Let’s look at the above points in more detail.

Twenty years ago outsourcing this onerous task would have been cost effective for the for high volume generators of statements and invoices.

Today, technology has changed and improved to such a degree that any company generating a few hundred invoices will benefit from tangible cost savings in postage and processing especially when this is weighted against the costs of doing it in-house factor in over ordering of stationery, consumables, maintenance fees, inserting machines and employees who are involved in the process too.

Retaining control – The question that needs to be addressed is do you trust your billing software to output the correct data? Are you painstakingly checking certain customer invoices for errors or omissions prior to actually sending them out?

Even if you have specific customers that require you to check prior to sending most, if not all mailing services will have a medium with which you can isolate those documents view and approve prior to print or sending electronically.

Envelope details – this is given as most print companies will suggest that the outer envelopes will be pre-printed with a return address, company logo and postage indicia in the corporate colours.

Company Directors are insistent in keeping the process in house – Next time the accounts department process the monthly, weekly invoice or statement run ask the Directors to spend time in the department just to see what’s involved in the process.

Present them with a time V cost analysis report that you’ve done in advance, costs both visible and invisible should be shown then see what response you get? I’d be very surprised if they didn’t exhale sharply and respond with “really it costs that much!”

What are the benefits of automating the process?

e-billing...If your company regularly sends out invoices and statements in a paper format as well as providing electronic billing then you will benefit from having this process automated.

The outsourcing of invoice and statement printing is not as complicated as you think.

By understanding a company’s billing cycle, how the information (data) is extracted out of the accounts system and how to send the data are taken care of by the mailing partner.

If managed correctly by the printing services company the cost savings will be evident.

For example by speeding up the processing time i.e reducing the time taken to despatch bills or statements, receipt of a datafile on day 1 can result in despatch the same day, which can have a dramatic impact on the DSO (days outstanding).

There is minimal time spent by the company once the data file has been emailed because the mail service provider does all the work.

Pre-sorting your bills and statements specifically for Royal Mail or DSA (downstream access) will offer huge savings on postage.

Outsourcing this non core business activity enables you to have the option of sending paper based items and an electronic version as well – multi channel distribution.

The data file can be pre-sorted for bills and statements that are required to be printed and posted or to be electronically sent.

In effect, your only concern is ensuring the upload of the information file. This is the only part of the process that your business truly gets involved in.

The biggest advantage of outsource bill and statement printing is that your outsource provider does all the work associated with printing and prepping of your invoices and statements for mailing.

You also have the flexibility to change the layout and format of your documents because most outsource printers can print in colour at the same time as printing the statement or invoice information therefore implementing a form change becomes effortless!

Most customers have come to expect paperless billing and it is cheaper than sending a paper version.

There is also a compelling argument to outsource the processing of your electronic bills and statements.

Of course there is always the option of implementing a complete end to end invoice processing scanning solution.

For more information about how invoice processing and scanning solutions can streamline your company process then click here for more information.

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 What do you do, how do you manage the process of billing your clients? Let us know your thoughts so we can share it.