Ever feel like there is not enough time?
Probably all of us sometimes find our relationship to time a challenge, whether specifically at work, or just life in general. There are a lot of words written, including not a few songs, about time: saving time, capturing time, mastering time or being run over by time. A search of the web will return a number of articles, many of which address particularly the psychological aspect of feeling time pressure — helpful steps to master the feeling of “not enough time.” And there are recommended steps on how to better manage your time. Of course, you probably don’t have enough time to check them out!
A big aspect of time worry is your state of mind. And let’s face it, most of us would benefit from tips like getting sufficient sleep, prioritizing and planning, and focused work vs. multi-tasking.
But sometimes there actually is something you can do to save time. To be specific, you can eliminate work that is probably taking your staff more time than you realize. Did you know that studies have shown that dealing with supplier inquiries can use up to as much as 24 percent of a staff member’s time?
Have you measured the time your AP staff spends answering vendor and internal inquiries? Do you know how much time that is? If you have two staffers who each spend just 15 percent of their time on vendor inquiries, it’s taking up 12 hours of their week. Twenty percent of their time? That’s a whole day for each or two days between them! And if you hit that 24 percent mark, that’s over 19 hours a week.
Suppose you could add that time back to your staff members’ days? You can by implementing supplier self-service. In a study of AP customer inquiries 80 percent are found to be simple, such as: Did you get our invoice? When will it be paid? Has it been paid? These questions are ideal for vendor self-service. By implementing vendor self-service, you can remove 80 percent of inquiries from the queue, substantially cutting down the time your staff spends fielding them.
Consider not just the time to respond to the call or email, but the distraction factor—that’s the time it takes to refocus and get back on pace on the work they were doing prior to the interruption of the inquiry.
Years ago multi-tasking was hailed as the way to achieve success, but that has since been debunked. Very few people are gifted with the talent to multi-task well. By far most of us are better when we’re focused. Focusing on one task at a time is more productive than attempting to juggle multiple tasks. So just enabling your people to keep focus can improve productivity.
But with vendor self-service, you not only remove the distraction of the interruptions of vendor inquiries (to you and to purchasing, whom vendors often call first and who in turn contact you), you remove most of the interruptions themselves! And you allow your staff to focus on those inquiries that are real problems that need solving.
So you gain in a couple ways. And one of those ways is actual time saved through the removal of 80 percent of the inquiries. So while it may add something to your “to do” list now, the payoff in looking into and implementing vendor self-service will pay back in saving your staffers’ time in the future. And that’s Time Well Spent (yup, there’s a song for that too!).
To see how InvoiceInfo’s vendor self-service solutions can benefit your operations and your company click here to request more information or call (678) 335-5735.