Utilizing Mail to Enhance Your Digital Footprint

Recently, Entrepreneur.com posted an article with advice on how to use direct marketing mail to enhance your digital marketing.  Mail is still one of the few communications you can send to customers and prospects where they have to physically touch your communications.  Embracing mail as an important add on to your marketing and it makes good business sense.  To learn more about direct mail marketing contact us at GreenTrail Solutions, Inc.  An authorized Pitney Bowes Dealer.

Cleansing Addresses Saves Money

A recent article on gambler.com for entrepreneurs does a great job of highlighting the cost of bad addresses in your database.  Any time you are sending mail to a bad address you lose in multiple ways.  First is the obvious, the cost to print and mail the material is lost as well as the cost to have the mail returned.  All add up to huge hard dollar cost especially when your volume of returned mail increases.  Then there are the soft dollar costs that really make having a corrupt database of addresses costly.  If you are sending a marketing piece, there is the lost opportunity which depending on the average ticket price could be thousands of dollars.  Couple that with the customer service time wasted trying to track down the intended recipient or worse yet, your organization not doing anything to correct it an you are never able to communicate with your prospect.

GreenTrail Solutions through our software solutions can cleanse your addresses as you are putting them into the system as well as doing periodical cleansing to update those prospects who have moved.  With our system, you will always have updated information reducing your costs and more importantly making sure you are able to effectively communicate with your customers.  To learn more give us a call at 888-419-5743 or email us at info@greentrailsolutions.com.

eBilling – Customers want Choices

When it comes to how your customers want to be billed you should give them choices so says an article in Document Media Magazine titled  The Insanity of eBilling Today: Why Your Customers Don’t Seem to Care by Rich Rosen.  Mr. Rosen makes a great point when it comes to growing your eBilling base.  Instead of making the customer “fetch” their bill by having to go back to your site to log on (which let’s admit it, is very cumbersome) add software that allows you to push the e-bill right into their inbox.  You can do this through a secure, encrypted email solution that allows them to open their invoice and pay with just the click of a link.  Give your customers what they want, an easy way to view and pay their bills and you will get what you want, an easy and cost effective method of invoicing your customers.   Click here to contact us for more details.

Reducing County Government Waste in Print and Mail

Ever since the economy took a turn in 2008 county governments have been looking for ways to reduce waste to alleviate their budget shortfalls as much as possible.  Some areas of waste are obvious such as energy and transportation but others are less obvious and are hidden without expert consultation.

One area that GreenTrail Solutions through their consulting program can easily find waste and make recommendations on reducing waste is in the printing and mailing of documents.  GreenTrail Solutions’ expert Emerick Radic’s years of experience in the mailing industry make it easy for him to visit your mailroom and through observation and discovery; identify simple fixes that can save thousands of dollars which unless you have spent a decade in the print mail industry you would never uncover.  Many of the recommendations coming from this approach cost little or no money to implement but the savings can be substantial.

GreenTrail Solutions follows the problems or waste from the mailroom up the chain to see where the documents are created to give you a 360-degree analysis of why it’s costing the county more than it should to communicate your information to others.  Because we pinpoint a specific area of waste within our experience and expertise your improvement recommendation will be solid, concise and real.

The best way to see what you are missing is to make an initial appointment and see if it makes sense for your county to engage GreenTrail Solutions in the effort to reduce your hidden waste.  Feel free to contact Emerick Radic directly at eradic@greentrailsolutions.com.  You have nothing to lose except more money.

It Takes a Patriot…(To save money within the government!)

In all of our dealings with the government we have noticed a few things about our state, local, and federal governments. There are some really good government employees who care about budgets and process improvement.  They take their civic responsibility seriously and we really enjoy working with these folks!

At GreenTrail Solutions we sell different types of process improvement software and we have saved governments a ton of money. But it does take a patriot within the government organization who cares about saving money and making their departments more efficient to champion the change..

In reality, the private sector is more receptive to change because businesses know the more efficient you are the more profitable you will become. And what’s trending in the private sector is that management receives bonuses based on increasing revenue, decreasing costs, and leading to profit improvement. This bonus structure has private sector management hungry for savings and when you show them a product with hard and soft dollar savings they are quick to implement it because every day it’s not implemented is money lost.

The public sector (government) does not have a P&L bonus structure, so what motivates them to put in the work to make the best changes for their organization? The same thing that has always driven certain people in our country, the desire to do the right thing for their constituents. True patriots within the government dislike waste as much as the taxpayers.  They work very hard to educate themselves on the best practices available and even drive to push change within their departments.

At GreenTrail Solutions we’ve been lucky to meet some great people working in government on your behalf. Imagine how cost effective and efficient our governments would run if everyone served their constituents like a patriot would serve them.  The good news is, we are seeing more and more of them every day!

Stop the Madness!

A favorite line from  Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary is “Stop the madness!”.  Kevin (aka Mr. Wonderful), a billionaire businessman from Canada knows business and more importantly knows that bad processes can eat through your budgets and profits like the entire NY Giants team eating at  a chinese buffet.  In a recent conversation with a customer I asked them what they were doing with the digital pdf documents they were receiving from one of our core solutions and their answer was “After we receive the digital pdf documents we print them, then we scan them, then we add them to the file in SharePoint ®.   What?!?…Stop the madness!!!

The customer knows there has to be a better way but they didn’t know how to find a solution to what they know is a clear waste of time and resources.  That’s where GreenTrail Solutions comes in.  By consulting with our experts it’s easy to identify and implement a solution that fixes the problem and makes our client more efficient and professional.

Have a business process that you know is broken and need a solution?  Contact GreenTrail Solutions today for a free consultation.  You have nothing to lose except more time and money if you ignore it!

eForms – Don’t get left in the dust!

Five years ago eForms was an intelligent business practice to implement.  It saved a lot of time, money, and increased accuracy as it relates to both the data coming in and the data being entered into your system.  People were comfortable with technology so they figured out how to use your eForms.

Fast forward to now… If you are not implementing eForms you will get left in the dust.  Most people use technology every day because it is convenient but the new generation who is entering the workforce in droves and are becoming the consumers, employees and constituents use technology as their way of life.  Take technology away from a kid today and they have a difficult time functioning.  It would be like taking away our right arms when we were kids and asking us to communicate.  We couldn’t because we needed our right (or left) hands to communicate.  We wrote notes to each other in school and passed them in the hallways or in class when the teachers weren’t looking.  I refer to that as early american text messaging.  We used a pen and wrote words on a piece of paper and handed it to someone as a means of communicating information to each other.

I don’t believe kids in school hand notes to each other anymore.  They text, tweet, or Instagram each other the information they want to convey.  These same people are going to be your consumers, tax payers or constituents in the next few years and you still make them fill out things on paper with a pen.  Then you take that paper and most likely hand type it into your contact management software or scan it into your system.  That process is incredibly antiquated, time consuming, and expensive.

If the customers of tomorrow don’t like to use pens to communicate why are you making them?  You wouldn’t make your customers use smoke signals to give you information would you?  Of course not, no one communicates that way anymore.  Guess what, no one wants to use a pen either!  Get with the times and let people communicate with you in their preferred method which is via technology.

GreenTrail Solutions can provide you with an eForm solution before you get left in the dust.

What is an Electronic Form (e-form)

An electronic form, or e-form, is a dynamic document that captures information. E-forms can be downloaded by a customer for use at anytime, online or off. The e-forms can then be submitted back and added to the document management system for data extraction and storage. The entire form is stored electronically and can be put into a workflow for further review and approval such as the case with expense reports.

Any type of form such as invoices, expense reports, job applications, permits, or requests that is used to collect and track information can be transformed into a Microsoft Office Word e-form using the developer content controls. Forms can be created by any skilled Microsoft Word user, no programming skills are required. Electronic form creation and capture of the metadata fields can be provided  for customers by GreenTrail Solutions as a professional service.

Benefits of Electronic Forms (e-forms)

  • User-friendly Microsoft Word forms or PDF forms: E-forms can be filled out and submitted or added to the document management system easily using the widely-known and used Microsoft Word application(coming soon is support for PDF forms). Forms can be pre-populated with data, such as in drop-down lists and date pickers, saving users valuable data entry time and ensuring consistency.
  • Accuracy: E-forms improve the accuracy of data collected by ensuring the data type and format is correct.  For example, if a person was filling out a job application and attempted to enter a letter in the social security number field, this would not be allowed. It also improves the accuracy of the metadata collected on the form when it is added to the document management system. Since the values on the e-form can be automatically extracted, this removes the level of error that comes with manual entry.
  • Availability: E-forms can be made available at anytime or anywhere when there is an internet connection and / or computer available. E-forms can be placed on corporate web sites or be made accessible via the Guest Portal in the document management system.
  • Automation: Using the XML Node Extraction rules in the document management system, there is no limit to the amount of information you can collect via e-forms. The data is automatically extracted from the e-form and formatted to match your schemas and metadata fields. There is no manual entry of metadata required.
  • Cost Savings: E-forms reduce user errors, decrease processing time, and eliminate the costs of printing, mailing and storing traditional forms.
  • Efficiency: E-forms streamline the processing of forms such as expense reports, invoices, and registrations. After an e-form has been filled out and added to the document management system, it can then undergo a workflow process (review or approval) for further processing.

The Health Care Industry and Business Specialist

Have you ever found yourself walking out of the doctors office after a routine check-up holding a referral sheet with information for the specialist you were told to see?  Why see a specialist?  Because they are experts in a particular area with years of education and experience in treating conditions and ailments related to your particular issue.

As business solution specialist we are seeing a trend where the health care industry is following their own advice.  They are seeking out business specialist to help them eliminate inefficiencies and wasteful methodologies.  Just like a medical specialist can quickly diagnose an ailment she has seen many times so too can a business specialist identify and prescribe a solution for the offending practice in the administrative side of a health care entity.  All you need to do to put your health care facility on a path to optimum health is seek out a business specialist for an evaluation.  After all, as all health care professionals know, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

GreenTrail Solutions, Inc. specializes in business productivity solutions for the health care industry.

Click here to schedule a consultation with a business specialist.

Technologically Advanced Law Firms More Attractive To Clients

A recent article on Law.com by D. Casey Flaherty takes an interesting look at the impact to companies when utilizing law firms that are not very efficient when it comes to using the power of technology.  Mr. Flaherty who works for Kia Motors America was charged with auditing outside council too see the impact of waste.  He states “I audit outside counsel’s competence with technology. The audit is driven by fear — fear of wasting company money on low value-added work. The audit tests my hypothesis that lawyers, as a group, are deficient in their use of technology and that a direct consequence of this incompetence is that clients, like my company, Kia Motors America, outlay outrageous sums for unnecessary busywork. Thus far, my audit has confirmed my hypothesis.”  Why is this important to clients?  Because At $200 to $400 per associate hour waste can be very expensive.

Failure when it comes to a technology audit could cost your firm valuable clients.  Mr. Flaherty points out that “Of the nine major firms I have audited, all nine have failed — some more miserably than others. A few of these firms were auditioning for work and were not retained. Other firms, including longtime incumbents, agreed to rate reductions. One firm, for example, took an across-the-board 5 percent reduction that will be restored if they are able to pass a subsequent audit. Another firm agreed to a significant investment in associate training and has worked closely with me to upgrade a substantial number of their internal practices and processes. Finally, audit results influence my review of counsels’ billing entries.”.

You don’t need to fail an audit to alert your client to your inefficiencies.  General communications with your clients will tell a technological savvy customer if you and your firm are on the cutting edge and are efficient with your time and their money.

Some firms like Winston & Strawn LLP use technology as benefit to doing business with them.  You can see by this statement on their website that the use of cutting edge technology is a big part of this firms culture: “Winston & Strawn is among the most technologically advanced law firms in the world. We are committed to using state-of-the-art hardware and software in innovative ways to improve the efficiency and quality of our legal services on a continuous basis. Our dedication in this area has earned us a technology ranking of No. 21 overall among 170 firms in AmLaw Tech‘s 2006 “Tech Scorecard.” Our firm has a large team of professionals dedicated to servicing the technology needs of both our attorneys and clients. This team is responsible for building and delivering the most advanced technology systems and for providing the necessary technical training for all levels — from the newest associate to the most senior partner.”

Any person looking to hire a firm should ask how they utilize technology in their practice.  After all, it is your money that will be either saved or lost.

What’s your backup plan if the USPS falters?

Do you believe that mail will continue to be the best way to send transactional information to your customers, members, or constituents in the coming years?  Forget the fact the USPS is teetering on the edge of economic collapse as NBC.com has pointed out in a recent article titled “Postage prices rise, but USPS still teeters at the edge of ruin“.  Doesn’t it seem a little antiquated that we spend so much of our day answering emails and getting our information from the internet yet come home and have to go to the mail box to receive an important document, invoice, or check that was sent from somewhere 3-days ago?  Have you noticed the younger generation knows how to communicate more efficiently than any other generation in the history of the world.  But hasn’t that always been the case?  Each generation improves upon the last.  In the days of Andrew Carnegie he held a job as a messenger.  When a communication would reach the telegraph office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania it was up to young Carnegie and his friends to run through the city and deliver the message to the who’s who of the city.  Carnegie made a name for himself because he continually delivered the messages faster than any other messenger.

It is no different today.  If you want to be better than your competition, utilize technology to deliver your information faster and more efficient than anyone else.  At GreenTrail Solutions we specialize in helping organizations communicate more effectively than ever before.  From the time the Pilgrims reached America until now we’ve gone  from smoke signals, to couriers, to US Mail, to telegraphs, to telephones, to faxes, to email.  Which communication method is your organization using for its most important correspondence?

A business consultant once told me, “If you are not growing, you are dying.”  We understand that snail mail is going to face a slow death as long as you have people who prefer that medium of communication.  So you could either wait until all of your customers want to receive their communications digitally or institute a multi-faceted solution from GreenTrail Solutions.  For those who are ready willing and able to receive their communications digitally by all means send it that way. You will save on printing and postage and your message will be delivered instantly.  This is a also considered a green initiative.  For those who want to be communicated with by mail you can send it that way too.  Our software will allow you to implement business rules when it comes to communicating with your customers and deliver your message in the medium that they desire.  We will also show you the many ways to encourage migration to the digital format which saves paper, printing, and postage allowing your organization to leave a green trail!  Contact us today to have a discussion on how we can help your organization save green and become green.

By: Emerick M Radic – President, GreenTrail Solutions, Inc.