The Paperless Rep Firm
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The Paperless Rep Firm. Jim Conway [email protected] Finn & Conway/Glatte www.Finnandconwayglatte.com January, 2000. Objective. To improve the efficiency, productivity, sales, and profit of your firm by:.

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The Paperless Rep Firm

Jim [email protected]

Finn & Conway/Glattewww.Finnandconwayglatte.com

January, 2000


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Objective

To improve the efficiency, productivity, sales, and profit of your firm by:

  • Electronically tying everyone in your firm together real-time all the time by use of e-mail, voice mail, networking, file sharing, and Internet video links.

  • Substituting electronic messages, scanned documents and file transferring for almost everything previously done with paper.

  • Communicating with customers, principals, and others by e-mail and providing information for them through your website.


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Wrong Reasons to “Go Paperless”

  • It is “High Technology”

  • Others are doing it; I should too

  • Have extra time and money to spend

  • Reduced paper expense


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Right Reasons To “Go Paperless”

  • Quicker and more accurate communications

  • Brings order to the “chaos”

  • Copy the exact message to others as needed

  • Electronic records (quick to recall)

  • Reduced clerical activities

  • Frees up more time to sell

  • More profit, less hassle, and lower expenses


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“Paperless” Tools

  • E-mail (both internal and external)

  • Computer network system

  • Networked CM software* (i.e. Market Force)

  • Voice mail system, cellular phones and pagers

  • Scanners and digital cameras

  • Networked accounting software* (i.e. Macola)

  • Networked sales history software

  • Company website

*real-time


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Steps To “Go Paperless”

  • Make a list of ALL the paper coming into, traveling within and going out of your office plus that used in the field. Note reason for, frequency, quantity, and source of each.

  • Ask each member of your staff to take several days to study this and then give you a list of what papers they spend time on and if they have suggestions on how to reduce or eliminate any of them. Elimination of an unnecessary action is the best “paperless” step of all!


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Don’t

  • Don’t waste time and hard drive space scanning and archiving papers that are historical and will probably be looked at only once. Use file cabinets for invoices and acknowledgements and other such papers.

  • Don’t make “paperless” optional. When you add internal e-mail, various company-wide software, voice mail, scanners, and the like, insist that they be used. Fear of something new and the comfort of something old can stop your “paperless” progress cold. Push it just like you did when you brought the first PC or fax machine into the office.


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Do

  • Use voice mail to take phone messages, but have a real person answer the phone. The system should have the ability to transfer, record, and broadcast from any phone and from a remote location.

  • Use real-time networked CM software for customer records and sales activities on a single database. It should be accessible and real-time via modem.

  • Scan incoming papers such as marketing memos, new product announcements, etc., saving them as a pdf file. Then send them all at once to your staff each day or as appropriate. Should a hard copy be needed, they can print it out.


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Do

  • Scan, then e-mail time-critical papers to salespeople in the field. When they return to the office, their in-baskets should be almost empty since they have already seen and had the chance to work on everything important while in the field.

  • Use scanning/e-mail to send papers to your other offices, unless the number of pages is too great (then maybe use USPS or Fed-Ex?). E-mailing is just as fast as faxing and there are no phone charges, plus the recipients can delete, save, or print documents as they so choose.


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Do

  • Use real-time accounting software (i.e. Macola)

  • Use real-time sales history software

  • Have an up-to-date, complete, and professional website

  • Encourage your principals to send copies of marketing memos, new product memos, and the like in an electronic format. Explain what you are doing and the benefit that all your staff, including those in the field, will immediately see the information on each of their PCs. But the habit of multiple copies is hard to break!


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Do

  • Use Excel or Lotus for forecasting. Encourage your principals to e-mail you spreadsheet forecasts that you can update and return via e-mail.

  • Tie your sales history software to your forecasts. Encourage your principals to accept your forecasts in this form.

  • Use PowerPoint or an equivalent and an overhead LCD projector for customer, principal, and distributor presentations.


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Do

  • Encourage your principals to communicate with you via e-mail. Respond to their faxes via e-mail and most will switch over, at least for your company. Use the fax only when letterhead is needed or documents must be attached.

  • Be online with all your principals that offer it.

  • Respond to your customers via e-mail and include links to your principal’s website and your website.

  • Use digital cameras to take pictures of potential product applications to e-mail to your principals.


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Summary

  • There will always be a need and a place for some paper. If it is cheaper, faster, and more convenient to use paper for a task, use it!

  • However, “going paperless” makes sense for many tasks and functions in a rep firm.

  • “Going paperless” can add profit, reduce hassle, improve efficiency, and allow you to be of greater service to your principals and customers.


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Addendum

Finn & Conway/Glatte

Hardware and Software

  • Network: Novell 4.0 Ethernet.

  • CM Software: MarketForce version 4.1

  • E-mail Software: Netscape & Eurodora

  • Accounting Software: Macola Progression 7.1

  • Sales History Software: MS Access (custom)


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For updates to this presentation and additional information on this subject, please visit www.Finnandconwayglatte.com


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If you have questions as you “go paperless” in your firm, please feel free to drop me an e-mail. I’ll be happy to help if I can. I’d also be very interested in learning of other things you’ve done or do in the future that improved the efficiency and productivity of your company. Thanks for listening!

Jim [email protected]


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