going paperless dry cleaner business

Have you thought about going paperless?

If you have, join the crowd.

Many dry cleaner owners and managers have done the same thing. But they haven’t followed through on it.

If that sounds like you, you’re missing a golden opportunity to generate a competitive advantage and take your business to the next level. All you have to do is install a POS software solution.

Benefits of a Paperless Business:

Businesses converting to paperless can reap the rewards.

Going paperless generates numerous benefits for today’s companies—not the least of which is boosting profitability.

These benefits include:

  • Cutting operations costs
  • Reducing office clutter
  • Getting customer payments faster
  • Decreasing the influx of mail
  • Having instant access to data at your fingertips
  • Transferring knowledge among employees

Interested in learning more about paperless benefits? Read this article by Mike Kappel on Forbes.com

What’s more, going paperless pumps up customer service—the lifeblood of dry-cleaning businesses. That builds customer loyalty and engages word-of-mouth advertising. According to Neilson, 92 percent of consumers believe friends and family over other forms of advertising.

Many businesses owners and managers refuse to go paperless because it changes things.

That’s only human.

How do you handle change?

People hate change—even if it’s a game changer.

They also dislike many of the other demands it puts on business, like re-training counter people and administrators.

Create a Change Management Plan First

The first step in going paperless is to create a change management plan.

Taking this first step can make all difference. Here’s what implementing a change management plan can do for you in your when going paperless:

  • Align existing resources and capabilities
  • Help address employees’ concerns
  • Reduce risk and inefficiency
    Increasing team motivation
  • Enhance your team’s morale
  • Cut training and re-training costs
  • Boosting growth an innovation for the future

Put simply, creating a change management plan simplifies and streamlines the effort to go paperless.

Plus, it increases the chances you’ll see a healthy return on investment. That’s never a bad thing.

The Easiest Way for Going Paperless
The simplest and easiest way of going paperless is by installing a point of sale (POS) software solution, like Enlite POS.

It’s also the most cost-effective way.

Installing a POS solution not only streamlines the transition but also helps you better manage your paperless business. Those things can make a dramatic impact on your business.

But with so many moving parts in your dry-cleaning business, you may not see all the advantages going paperless provides with a POS solution.

3 Going Paperless Benefits

Below we outline four opportunities in your dry-cleaning operations where businesses going paperless can reap big rewards:

Paperless Billing

Billing is a critical function where going paperless help.

But many dry cleaners set themselves up for failure with this business process. They still use handwritten tickets and manually send out invoices to billing customers.

Handwriting tickets work, but it has its downsides—not the least of which is encouraging mistakes, especially when things get busy. Several downsides of using handwritten tickets include:

  • Got lost or thrown away
  • Mixed-up with wrong orders
  • Clutter up the office
  • Slows down operations
  • Can create discrepancies in billing

But the biggest downside to handwritten bills is accountability.

Using handwritten bills prevents you from tracking what’s happening with the process. So, there’s no accountability with this process.

What about holding employees accountable?
Employees may be under-charging or overcharging customers or siphoning money from the till and you’d never know it.

A POS will give you insight into all of your employee’s actions as it relates to billing.

Are you losing money because of inaccurate tickets?
If your employees do not detail invoices properly, you can be losing money or over-charging customers.

If you are using Enlite, from one screen (no bouncing around) you can:

  • Accurately detail invoices
  • Easily change pricing and items
  • Quickly apply upcharges or discounts
  • Categorize your services for exact reporting
  • Manage different pricing levels based on the customer
  • Take pictures of damaged or stained garments
  • Access your entire price list (no matter how big) without scrolling

By utilizing a POS for creating tickets, you can minimize and even eliminate inaccurate billing before you are negatively affected.

What’s more, your customers are getting non-itemized bills. Lack of transparency here can hurt customer service.

What about the time lost for billing customers each?

Calculate how much time is lost billing your customers. You have to organize all the customer’s invoices. Verify the billed amount is correct. Then you have to print a statement and either hand it to the client in person or send it in the mail.

If you have 5 customers, billing might take you 20 minutes. But what happens when you have 50, 100, or even 300 customers you need to bill each month?

Moving from a paper-based system to a POS solution provides paperless billing eliminates these downsides.

Having more control over billing allows customers to know what they’re getting billed for, and you’re gaining more control over this critical business process.

A POS solution lets you:

  • View customer balances
  • Track payments
  • Track employee actions
  • Generate itemized statements—all at a push of a button

More importantly, paperless billing:

  • Cuts Costs
  • Saves you time
  • Boosts customer service
  • Increases on-time payments

Tagging Garments

Tagging garments, like billing, is a critical business process—one you can’t afford to ruin.

The tag you place on your garments is the only link you have to that customer.

What is the impact of a lost garment?

  • Lost revenue and time
  • Poor customer experience
  • Negative impact on your business reputation

Processing garments manually using a paper-based system is costly, inefficient, and labor-intensive. It’s also error-prone.

Unless you have the right tools

Converting to paperless eliminates many of these disadvantages. Using a POS solution to tag garments can help you automate your tagging system using heat-sealed tags (multi-use) to track orders.

This process adds barcodes directly to a customer’s garments.

Going paperless with tagging:

  • Increases productivity
  • Boosts customer service
  • Reduces mistakes
  • Reduces lost garments

One caveat, though: A few customers may dislike having barcodes applied directly to their clothes.

So, check with your customers before doing it.

What other options are there?

Two other options are using preprinted barcodes rolls (single use) or a tag printer (single use) to identify garments.

If you have not gone paperless, it is most likely that you are using preprinted barcodes.

A sophisticated POS can help you manage all three options.

Tracking orders

Tracking orders is a third critical business process, like billing and tagging.

Some dry cleaners still use a paper-based system (like a notebook) to track orders.

Like many paper-based systems, this approach is error-prone, inefficient, and froth with danger.

What happens if you lose the notebook or it gets thrown away?

If you want to take your business to the next level, you’ll need to start tracking your orders in a different way.

A proper POS solution, let’s you track orders from when you receive the garments till they are ready to be picked up.

Do you have a process you need to track?

Using a proprietary feature in Enlite, you can model a custom process, create your own statuses and scan garments or invoices as they move through it.

With each scan, know exactly where the garment is, who scanned it and at what time throughout your custom workflow.

Excellent for tracking garments between drop stores and plants, tracking presser productivity, defining automatic statuses from your conveyor process.

Tracking orders electronically eliminate the downsides associated with manual tracking and provide numerous benefits, including:

  • Speeding garment intake
  • Eliminating tagging errors
  • Boosting worker productivity
  • Cutting assembly time
  • Increasing employee efficiency
  • Streamlining operations significantly
  • Facilitating employee training time

What’s not to like?

Conclusion

Businesses are going paperless in these four critical areas—billing, tagging, and garment tracking—can increase productivity, boost profitability, and create operational efficiencies that can dramatically impact your business. It can also help you boost customers service and customer loyalty. Together, these benefits can help you take your business to the next level.

So, if you’ve been thinking about going paperless and have put it off, again and again, it’s time you did something about it. You can go paperless quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively with a change management plan and Enlite’s POS software solution.

Remember, If you’re not going paperless, your competitors probably are.

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