Changes to sourcing policies, production and manufacturing techniques and even the transport used to deliver products or services to customers are the frontline changes that should make a substantial dent in a company’s carbon footprint, and these may be the most obvious customer-facing sides of your business.
There are back-office functions common to most corporations that can also contribute to helping companies make progress on a path to net-zero or carbon neutral status.
Back Office Transformation
Back office functions like Finance, Human Resources, and Legal tend to be left to their own devices, but each of these departments can reduce their carbon footprint by adopting paperless practices. Let’s take finance and, in particular, the Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable functions.
During enforced lockdowns, many companies were forced to find alternatives to paper invoicing due to:
- Staff had issues accessing on-premise ERP systems remotely due to broadband access or bandwidth issues – Invoices could not be created
- Mailrooms or Mailing Houses were unstaffed n- Invoices and Dunning letters could not be posted out
- Customers’ email servers rejected PDF attachments from outside sources, causing emailed invoices to end up in Junk mail folders or quarantine – Invoices were not read
- Staffing shortages caused a backlog in creating individual invoices one by one
- Invoice queries were not managed efficiently when working remotely – Invoices did not get paid
Switching to sending out PDF copies of invoices caused its own challenges:
- Uncertainty of delivery
- Uncertainty of invoice status
- The disconnect between those creating and sending the invoice and the contact details of query procedures outlined on invoices
- Problems sending the invoice with any related documents needed by buyer AP teams to process invoices.
Accounts Receivable and Credit Teams may have created a workaround to the immediate challenges of lockdowns, but not one that was sustainable.
The most sustainable method of sending invoices without paper involves sending secure links to customers by email or text. Customers can then self-serve invoices, associated documentation and account statements. The data payload and electricity used to send a secure link is far lighter than that of a PDF attachment, and data presented online can be made available in a flat-file format such as CSV that can be immediately uploaded into Accounts Payable software for processing.
Portal based invoicing combines the machine readability of EDI based electronic invoicing with the flexibility of emailing PDF documents. Primarily though, the energy savings come in the automation involved to process thousands or millions of invoices at once.
Corrivo is designed for such scale and handles the global invoicing requirements of an enterprise, obviating the need for separate systems or teams per division or geography.
To find out more about how your organisation can reduce its carbon footprint and improve the sustainability of its back office, visit www.datainterconnect.com/sustainability or download the infographic below.