The “green movement” isn’t just about recycling and water conservation anymore—businesses are striving to improve their green initiatives through office efficiency. In a global study conducted by IPSOS, 79% of consumers would rather buy from companies doing their best to reduce their impact on the environment.
Using tons of water each day, integrating green initiatives may come as no surprise when it comes to car washes.
Hoffman Car Wash is a 40+ year family owned and operated business with 28 car wash and Jiffy Lube locations throughout New York. Already having several green initiatives in place, including a water reclaim system through which some of the water is recaptured, cleaned and reused and waste oil burners to help heat their building, Hoffman was looking for additional alternatives to aid in their eco-friendly business practices, such as office efficiency. They hoped to find a way to reduce their carbon footprint as paper piles were growing and their work space was becoming more limited each week.
Tracy Braun, controller at Hoffman Car Wash, heard about a document management software product at an annual conference. Another controller, from Bubbles Hand Car Wash in Texas, was using Cabinet’s SAFE document management and workflow software and had invited the company to present and demo their services at the event.
Hoffman was hesitant to take on a new technology and enlisted the help of Howard Gross, president of eBizDocs, an award-winning electronic document management service provider and Cabinet reseller. eBizDocs is committed to helping companies, state agencies, local governments and other organizations find electronic solutions to otherwise inefficient record management systems.
eBizDocs has been a Cabinet partner/ reseller for over four years. Gross says they initially researched other providers in the marketplace to find out who was the best of breed. Factors considered included who could provide their customers with solutions that would help them excel in their level of service and offered a cost effective solution. Gross said Cabinet came out on top.
With eBizDocs’ help, Hoffman decided on Cabinet SAFE (or SAFE for short). The software streamlines user tasks by moving manual paper-based procedures into efficient automated workflow processes, eliminating the need for paper. It consolidates all information into one organized and easy-to-use system, allowing instant document filing and extensive management tools.
“Our job is to help our customers understand and decide what they need from a technical standpoint, based on what their business is and what they want to accomplish,” said Gross. “Hoffman was very sensitive during this process and wanted to make sure the product they choose would fit their needs with a price point that would fit with their budget. SAFE did both.”
According to Braun, there were other similar products in the market, but eBizDocs and Cabinet staffers provided more of a comfort level and did a better job at presenting the product with a better price point than its competitors. Also, a major benefit of obtaining a product through a reseller is their familiarity with what solutions will integrate and are best suited for a client’s specific needs. As a result, they are able to help assemble a total solution for each unique business environment.
Transitioning to a Paperless Office
Braun said a document management system like SAFE can reduce paper usage by 50 percent, and that SAFE’s Workflow gave them the access and efficiency they were looking for. “I myself would create a four inch stack of paper each week,” Braun explained. “Everyone in the office had papers scattered all over their desks. We were looking for access and efficiency, a way to control our paper usage and reliance on storage.”
SAFE leads to improved efficiencies, making it easier to locate documents. There’s no need for manual filing now that everything is filed electronically directly into the system. It also keeps staff more organized and increases the speed of how work is routed from person to person. “We used to print all of our invoices, emails, etc., and someone would transport the paperwork from one location to another location, and then a third location. Now, we don’t need anyone to transport these documents. Instead, information gets to the person faster and the work gets done faster,” said Braun. “Everything is filed electronically and documents can be entered into their own preconfigured cabinet.”
Hoffman is reaping the benefits of a more efficient office, but also expanding their green initiatives. “Not only are we helping the environment with our water reclaim system and waste oil burners, but now we are saving trees and reducing our carbon footprint,” said Braun.
Braun added that Hoffman is saving on material costs (paper, ink, etc.), but most importantly, time. “The benefit ties into the retrieval end of things. We can find the information we need in seconds because it’s literally at our fingertips. It takes away the dreaded question: Will I find that file?”
Guide and Assist
The integration at Hoffman Car Wash took less than two weeks, from implementing the system to having users build their own cabinets. As far as employee adoption, Jason Abare, Director of Technology at eBizDocs spearheaded a guide and assist method for Hoffman.
“Basically, we set up one cabinet for the carwash to start with. During the actual training we built a second cabinet and then we had Tracy build a third cabinet by herself,” said Abare. “Our job is to make sure our customers feel comfortable enough to use and configure the system themselves. We like them to be self-sufficient because they will be able to make system changes as required to meet their business needs. Customers enjoy standing on their own, but we’re there to help if needed,” he added.
For Hoffman, reducing paper waste is just one small part of their overall effort to decrease their carbon footprint, save money and become more environmentally friendly. The use of SAFE and other Cabinet products has enabled Hoffman to create better office workflows and improved customer service and support. The SAFE platform also ties in nicely with Sage MAS200, Hoffman’s accounting system. With their headquarters already enabled with SAFE, Hoffman plans to integrate document management into their other stores.