A quick way to reduce the environmental impact of any business is to limit the amount of paper it produces. Health provider Bupa has reduced its paper consumption by around 400,000 sheets per year by moving to an online billing system, which generates electronic bills for its clients.
The initial driver was practical rather than environmental, explains Martin Kirby, the company’s finance manager. “The volume of bills being produced was increasing rapidly and we needed to find a more efficient way of managing the process, which is why we initially looked at the e-billing software from Data Interconnect,” he says.
Today, when the core finance system raises an invoice, the information is sent electronically to the DI system, which creates a bill, and sends a link via email to the customer. The customer then clicks on the link and can download the bill from a secure portal. In response to customer feedback, the system doesn’t rely on passwords, instead generating a new secure link for each bill.
Financially, the system has made a significant impact – e-billing costs just 10p per bill to produce, compared with 65p per bill previously, says Kirby – meaning an annual saving of around £200,000.
The next stage is to integrate the e-billing system into all of Bupa’s billing processes, and ensure it is mandatory for new clients – around 20% of existing clients request paper bills
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