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If your business is already operating on a tight margin, trimming down expenses should be your first priority. While the past decade has seen a sluggish economy, the same can’t be said for innovations in technology. Tasks once performed manually can now be automated to increase efficiency and cut costs. Here are a few ways you can streamline your business operations to make a positive impact on your bottom line.


Take Control Of Energy Costs

You may have already taken steps to lower energy bills by upgrading insulation and replacing inefficient appliances. But even if you are using new ENERGY STAR®-certified products, you can still take charge of your energy costs by reviewing your usage information. Smart meters are digital meters that collect usage information and make it available to you the next day. You can securely access this data online to see the actual patterns of energy use in your business. With this information, you will be better equipped to track down inefficiencies and make adjustments. Because a smart meter sends information to your utility company electronically, you can also enjoy the added convenience of not having to open your building for a meter reader each month, as well as no longer paying utility bills based on estimates.


Take Employee Onboarding To The Cloud

New online platforms can replace many of your HR functions. Background checks, completion of employment forms, orientation, scheduling and training can be done online with employee onboarding software. These platforms can reduce your administrative load and help new hires quickly get up to speed.


Automate Employee Expense Accounts

Time spent completing expense reports is time your employees could be using to do the real work of your business. Eliminate the clutter of paper receipts and issue company credit cards to your employees. You can set individual daily spending limits and restrict where the cards may be used. Expense management tools allow employees to complete expense reports online and email them to the appropriate department in your company.


Link Bookkeeping Software To Your Bank Accounts

Manually entering transactions keeps bookkeepers employed, but it is really a duplication of what your bank has already done. Most bookkeeping software comes with importing tools that allow you to directly download transactions and statements. You will no longer waste time processing piles of receipts. Many systems will even categorize transactions and reconcile accounts. All you need to do is run reports.


Stay On Top Of Your Inventory

If you haven’t updated your inventory management system recently, your productivity may be suffering. You don’t want employees rummaging through warehouses, or scrolling through spreadsheets to locate product. Today’s inventory management software is dynamic, allowing your sales force to know instantly what’s available and what is back ordered. Keeping close tabs on your inventory prevents over-ordering, which ties up working capital and adds to storage costs. Newer systems are also mobile, which is vital for salespeople who need to confirm orders while out in the field.


Want to learn more about how smart meter-enabled tools and services can save money? Contact ComEd at 866-368-8326 or visit ComEd.com/BizSmartMeter.

For more tips and inspiration for small business owners,
CBS Small Business Pulse Chicago.

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