The All or Nothing Trap in the World of Electronic Bills and Invoices

Through the years of consulting with businesses on how to implement electronic billing and invoicing I have learned that business will turn down significant savings because of an often unspoken rule that I will call, “all or nothing.”
This all or nothing rule slams the door, puts the breaks on, and dams the stream, of significant savings. The phenomenon is quite real and usually surrounds implementing technology that makes the business more proficient and profitable and the customer more loyal. What is it about technological solutions that cause businesses to react as a deer in headlights? How is it that a proven cost-cutting profit-making technological change is unilaterally rejected at first only to realize that later the implementation is inevitable and the business is forced into more profits and savings? Ironic isn’t it?
Electronic invoice presentment and payment is a proven technology with significant cost savings and can increase customer loyalty with a small percentage of customers using it; however, businesses resist implementation in many cases because of the unwritten rule, “all or nothing.”
Electronic invoice presentment and payment is an area of business in which small percentage of use yields significant savings and increased customer loyalty. So rather than balking at potential savings because of low percentage of use, embrace this technology and introduce this to just a few of customers. Rather than going for the entire market go to 5% of your customers and ask them to try this new solution. Some may call this pilot testing, what it is in reality is keeping the sample size small and interest among non participating customers growing.
Let’s take a look at the facts.
Fact 1: Paper, print, and postage to mail an invoice costs a business $.90 (This is a national average, your cost may be higher or lower.)
Fact 2: Processing a paper payment costs a business $.25
Fact 3: Presenting an electronic invoice and receiving payment for that invoice costs on average $.35 or in other numbers saves $.80 per bill.
Fact 4: National averages show that at least 13% of your customers will use electronic invoice presentment and payment the first year that it is implemented. In the next three years the number of users paying their bill online will increase to %60.
Fact 5: Business save 6% on paper print and postage the first year an electronic invoice solution is implemented. In the second year 30% savings and in year three 44% savings
Fact 6: Of all households that have access to the internet 54% pay at least one bill online.
Fact 7: In the world of electronic billing, small percentages yield excellent savings.
All or nothing gives you nothing. A business professional once said “100% of nothing is nothing.” Though the obvious is stated in this phrase, often businesses will, with white knuckles, hold on to the old ways for fear of change only to lose significant savings through non implementation of new proven ways of transacting business.

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