No digital records of past invoices were kept. Since the pricing structure had evolved organically to vary by client, it was imperative to find their past order to ensure consistency in pricing.
New estimates were printed on letterhead paper, scanned, and emailed to prospective clients. Upon receipt of a ‘go ahead,’ staff would move to “My Deluxe Invoice,” located on a different computer, to create an invoice. That invoice would then be emailed to the client and filed—once again physically—in an invoice folder.
Payments were paid by cheque or credit card but, lacking an online payment system, required a member of staff to phone the customer to take their payment details over the phone for processing via a Moneris machine. Unsurprisingly, this could take several phone calls before staff were able to connect with the client.
Technology Solution Implementation
Sheldrake Williams and Ross assessed the process and immediately noted that Quickbooks was a powerful tool that could offer a huge benefit to the company.
After unifying price points across all clientele, we implemented a new system, expanding staff member use to include tracking estimates, invoices, inventory, payroll, and payments all in one—easy to access—digital location.
Now, instead of an arduous multi-step process, past invoices can be found immediately, estimates are created with a few clicks through a set of drop-down inventory menus, and estimates can be converted into invoices in under a minute.
Additionally, Quickbooks offers the ability for clients to pay online using their credit cards. This triggers a notification to the manufacturing company that a customer has paid, so they can initiate production. Simultaneously, a receipt is sent to the customer and the payment is automatically entered into Quickbooks. Overall, this system saves 90 minutes per order for a total time savings of 30–45 hours per month for this company.
Any costs associated with upgrading Quickbooks to add the ability to process payroll and track inventory was been more than offset by time savings costs and eliminating the fixed costs associated with the previous credit card payment machine.