Thursday, August 6, 2009

Money-Saving Strategies

By Mark Brousseau

During the interactive roundtable luncheon at the 2009 TAWPI Forum & Expo in Washington, D.C. this week, attendees shared the best money-saving strategies they have implemented in the past year.

Below are some of the best ideas.

... Take good care of your scanner maintenance technician and they will reciprocate.
... Use of early tracking of customer replies to mailings in transit can help you avoid the cost associated with sending second notices
... Consolidate IT archive solutions; getting rid of outdated technology can save you big bucks
... Use slightly slower (and less expensive) disk storage in place of ultra high-speed archiving
... Enable internal and external end-users to access your archive to eliminate the need for dedicated back-office staff to handle all archive requests
... Ensure that personnel initiatives are team-based, not individual-based
... Take a hard look at open source technologies for IT back-office functions; they work fine and saved one end-user hundreds of thousands of dollars a year
... Educate your staff on the cost -- and potential impact -- of errors; other strategies for reducing errors: send errors back to the "team" that created them, have personnel who don't make mistakes mentor others, and don't be afraid to look at even small errors with relatively smaller savings
... Implement a program to recognize your best performers; symbolism helps
... Use a MICR database or other account lookup technology to reduce data entry requirements
... When shopping for an ECM solution, make sure its functionality is aligned with your business needs; you shouldn't buy features you don't plan to use
... Leverage the Internet to drive improvements in reject processing
... Move to image cash letters (ICLs) to eliminate daily trips to the bank branch
... Adjust your staffing to reduce the money you need to pay out for shift differentials
... Implement Lean Six Sigma
... Move to electronic signatures to save time and to reduce the number of documents required
... Adjust end-user pricing to further incentivize them to move to more efficient processing methods
... Consider remote keying with recognition technology
... Never pass up a free lunch -- definitely attend the interactive roundtable lunch each year

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