Environmental Protection

Greener Pastures for the Billing Process

The digital revolution is making business and personal communications, media content consumption, household banking and a host of other activities largely paper-free, which is obviously a big plus for the environment.

Another sector where Mother Nature is making significant inroads is in the business invoicing process. Formerly an intensely paper-driven operation, billing departments in companies of all types and sizes are taking advantage of new technology to convert virtually every business billing transaction to an electronic platform.

Driving the billing process to greener pastures makes sense for everyone involved. In addition to reducing the environmental impact of paper billing, electronic invoicing and payment transactions deliver huge time and money savings to the companies that produce invoices while also providing significant benefits to bill recipients.

Today, businesses across many industries are sending over 80% of their bills via electronic channels and receiving the round-trip payments electronically. Whether an HVAC supplier, apparel manufacturer or industrial plastic distributor, all have achieved remarkable eBilling rates.

Billtrust, an outsourced billing provider, works closely with its customers to help them achieve significant levels of eBilling. A key strategy they use to achieve eAdoption growth is educational campaigns promoting the benefits of eBilling.

Tips for Launching a Green Billing Initiative

Companies can make major progress toward overall sustainability goals by successfully planning and implementing a green billing initiative. Businesses that are looking to move customers to a paper-free billing process can start with these tips from Billtrust:

·Designate a green billing champion: Building consensus at the outset is key. A green billing champion can help by encouraging internal and external stakeholders to move toward sustainable billing practices.

·Set objectives: Any initiative that has specific goals and is frequently measured is more likely to be taken seriously. Companies that want to achieve greater sustainability in their billing operations should set objectives, measure progress and communicate status. To support this, Billtrust provides their customers with an eAdoption monthly dashboard that can easily be shared within an organization to track progress.

·Provide a variety of green billing methods: Companies hoping to convert their customer base to greener billing practices will have more success if they offer a range of choices for how their customers can receive and pay their bills; online, mobile and email billing options will drive higher conversion rates.

·Explain the strategy to customers: Educating customers is the key to driving conversion rates higher. Since sustainable billing practices offer benefits to the environment and to customers, those who understand the strategy are more likely to adopt it. The good news is that the bill itself is a powerful and cost-effective marketing tool.

·Provide incentives to customers: Since paperless billing can significantly reduce operating costs while making major contributions toward sustainability goals, it’s worth rewarding customers who are on board. Recognition or monetary incentives like discounts can go a long way toward boosting adoption rates.

A commitment to adopting sustainable billing practices can advance corporate sustainability goals, and once customers and internal partners see the benefits, the initiative can move forward quickly.

Meeting Sustainability Goals while Improving Operations

Businesses can make a major reduction in their environmental impact by improving the billing process, but it’s important to keep the big picture in mind and choose methods that will deliver real results. The good news is that more and more companies are giving sustainability initiatives a higher priority in the name of good corporate citizenship. Those that do so can make real progress by moving to a green billing process that seeks to eliminate the use of paper. When companies move toward sustainable billing practices, everyone wins: Company sustainability goals are advanced. Processing costs are dramatically reduced. Companies and customers alike save time and money. And the environment takes less of a hit from wasteful paper-based invoicing and payment transactions. For these reasons, it’s time to move billing to greener pastures.

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