Cutting back on unnecessary waste is vital for businesses to make the most of their resources and thrive – not to mention the fact that it’s as good for the planet as it is for your bottom line. Luckily, it’s easy to do, too: you can take steps right now to make the changes needed.
From changing your comms processes to creating an upcycling station, use the tips below to identify and resolve areas where you could reduce waste in your support and sales departments and start seeing almost immediate benefits.
A VoIP (voice-over internet protocol) connection is a great way for your sales and support teams to run more efficiently and save your business money at the same time. The great thing about a VoIP connection is that it’s both more reliable and cheaper than standard phone lines, and, in most cases, you’ll only pay for the lines and features that you need. Set-up is easy, too, and you may be able to get up and running with your new system within just a few hours.
For some examples of the benefits that this option can deliver, a business operating a VoIP call center can take advantage of automatic call distribution and call routing, dependent on agent expertise, self-service functions for customers, and advanced analytical tools. This makes for a more streamlined process and better use of staff time.
One of the easiest ways to cut back on the waste of time and money is to make the shift to paperless. Digitize as many processes as possible, and think carefully about whether you need physical copies before printing off a document. Encourage your staff not to print off emails unless necessary and to draft on screen rather than on paper.
Set your office printers to print double-sided as standard, and keep paper recycling bins within arm’s reach of all staff: it’s been proven that taking measures to make recycling more convenient has a huge effect.
It may be a significant initial outlay, but buying the supplies your office needs in bulk can save you big in the long term. Everything from stationery to sugar to cleaning supplies can be purchased cheaper when ordered in bulk, so budget for a big spend a few times a year to start raking in the savings.
It’s also worth speaking with each of your suppliers to see whether they’d be prepared to offer a further discount on a large order due to your status as a loyal business customer – sometimes, all you need to do is ask!
Firstly, always try to invest in high-quality, durable equipment for your sales and support center: reduce waste and boost sustainable practices by avoiding cheaper items that are likely to need replacing in a comparatively short space of time.
When equipment is delivered, try to choose a carrier that is prepared to take away the packaging materials for recycling and, if possible, the old item, too. If there is equipment or devices that your office only rarely uses, consider renting these items rather than purchasing them to save on storage space.
Use a spare cupboard or corner of the office to make an upcycle station: staff members should place all items of equipment, stationery, etc., that they don’t use here. When an employee needs something, whether it’s a stapler or a scanner, they should be encouraged to check this space first before ordering a new item.
Create a system to organize supplies held here so that team members can easily find what they’re looking for.
Ask your employees to be mindful of the lunches and snacks that they bring into work, and encourage the use of reusable storage containers over plastic or foil. You could also consider handing out reusable water bottles branded with your business’s logo to each member of your team. As well as creating less waste, this will act as some extra advertising when it’s used outside of the office!
Have food waste or composting facilities on hand for staff to use, too, to further your business’s commitment to waste reduction.
Some other easy ways to cut back on waste include:
- Consider not using a cover sheet for faxes
- Share and circulate documents rather than printing off a copy for each member of staff
- Have a single central information bank
- Take steps to remove your business from unnecessary mailing lists
- Use lighter-weight paper where possible
- Invest in silverware and cutlery in staff kitchens rather than providing disposable plastic or paper cups and plates
- Use the back of documents for scrap paper or writing memos or notes where possible.
- Set up some office recycling targets for a bit of fun interdepartmental competition! (Don’t forget to offer a reward for the team that recycles the most!)
Minimizing waste in your sales and support departments can benefit your business, your bottom line, and the environment. Use the guide above to identify where you can make some simple changes and start seeing the difference.