Our CBP (Chief Bill Payer, and computer guy) has kindly agreed to provide you with some ideas that we are using:
In the past several months, we have begun our paperless initiative, sounds kinda funny for a paper store to be talking such rubbish. What I mean is we have replaced many of our back-office tasks with an automated and computerized system. We no longer print every invoice etc.
Our first foray was an investment in a Neat Receipts Scanalyzer; What an amazing piece this is. It scans and reads our invoices and then saves them in an IRS approved format. We no longer have to print out any vouchers and have saved a ton of space by not needing to store the old papers.
Once we got that going, we realized that we had boxes and boxes of old Merchant copies of customer sales receipts, you know the ones. So, with the advent of upgrading our software, the makers of Quickbooks Point of Sale introduced a Signature Capture/PIN Pad device. Voila, we cut our receipt printing in half! They also released their newest version of the software, POS V8. This release has streamlined much of our day-to-day business and allowed our employees to be more efficient, to better serve you- our customers. We also upgraded our financial software to the latest version of Quickbooks 2009, now we're cooking with gas. Monthly bookkeeping and inventory tracking have been cut tremendously, thanks Intuit!
We then thought of what else was being wasted..... Diet coke! That's right, cans and cans of the stuff get summarily dismissed every day and we were just throwing them in the trash (No recycling here for some reason). So, we now have our very own bin in the office that gets taken to the recyclers once a week.
How about the temperature you ask? Well, our store has a great corner window, it lets in lots of sunlight in the afternoon, creating a warm and toasty reprieve from the cold. So, we decided to make the most of nature's free offering and have fine tuned our thermostat to account for the increase in afternoon heat. Our lights rely on timers to get them up in the morning and shut them off after the madding crowds have abated. No sense lighting up the midnight parking lot!
So, there you have it! We have started and will continue to look for ways to help ourselves and our environment. We have cut our administrative paper usage by approximately 75%, our receipt paper by 50%, our energy costs by 10% and saved the landfills from zillions of empty Diet Coke cans. Sorry Staples, our office-supplies spending has been reduced at your expense!
So, what have you done? Let us all know by commenting on how you have managed to get your kids to turn off the lights, driven a bit slower, changed your thermostat to an electronic type (far more efficient) and programmed it according to your occupancy. Let us know what fancy or basic ideas you may have for the rest of us. Remember, not all these ideas are free but an investment in the right ones can provide long lasting benefits.