International Door & Operator Industry

JUL-AUG 2018

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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14 International Door & Operator Industry™ Brian J. Schoolman is an attorney with Safran Law Offices in Raleigh, NC. Safran Law Offices has focused on the Construction Industry for more than thirty years, and is proud to have worked with and supported IDA from its inception more than two decades ago. For more information, please contact Brian at bschoolman@ safranlaw.com, or visit us at www.safranlaw.com. billing, and service processes. Contact the IDA home office for recommendations of companies who are committed to working with the Association and the door dealer industry. Streamlining Payment Without Paper When I wrote about going paper-less in 2012, electronic payment options were in their infancy. I mentioned the Square device, which was available for taking credit cards through a smartphone. Square is still a leader in the field, but now there are plenty of other service providers to handle credit card reading, invoice generation, and back-office accounting functions. Moreover, both iPhone and Android devices may be able to read credit cards through the camera, or accept payment through Apple Pay and Google Pay, and not even need a swipe at all. The value of taking electronic payment goes beyond just the reduction in paper though. Having a physical credit card presented helps to reduce the likelihood of fraud reversals, especially if the technician gets other confirming information such as checking the user's ID, taking the ZIP code for the card, or other security information. Electronic payments are also immediately able to be downloaded into the dealer's accounting software, and allocated to the appropriate project file, thus reducing steps for data entry. Less White Paper Means More Green For those companies who are fortunate enough to not have to worry about supply costs, buying reams of paper and stacks of forms may not be an inconvenience. For the rest of the businesses out there, the simple fact is that it doesn't require spending much money to set up an office that is much less dependent upon paper. One estimate, from the site totallypaperless.com, is that a dollar invested on a targeted document management system can return as much as $20 to $40 on that investment. Why A Lawyer Would Like This When I wrote this article in 2012, I pondered whether the members reading it would question why a lawyer was recommending going to a paper-reduced organizational system. The answers were simple: preservation and organization. I have had any number of clients who have lost their records. Some of them have had fires or floods. Others have had paper files get boxed or stored improperly. The reasons for loss of records are too numerous to mention here. But all of those potential problems can be avoided with digitized records, because of the ease and low cost of redundant storage. Similarly, electronic files are easier to organize quickly and cheaply, and to keep in a single location. Ten thousand pieces of paper can fit into an average file cabinet drawer. You can put ten thousand (or more) times that many pages onto a portable hard drive. When or if you need to give access to your records to your lawyer, I know I will always want to be getting them already digitized, rather than having to arrange for the scanning (and the costs to the client for that effort). The faster a client can deliver his entire database of records, the faster I can learn what happened, and help him with his legal issues. Since 2012, I have added a third reason – security. As noted before, door dealers need to consider measures to avoid theft and fraud by their employees. They also need to protect themselves against fraud by potential customers, such as the use of stolen credit cards. By minimizing the number of opportunities for funds or records to go sideways, companies protect themselves and ultimately save money too. Conclusion The likelihood of reaching a totally paperless office is exceptionally low. Paper generates comfort, and everyone knows how to "use" it. The older generations still have not all adapted to the electronic marketplace. Even today, some customers may not use e-mail, or may not want to only get electronic documents and invoices. They also may have been scared off the Internet by security concerns. For these reasons, you probably aren't going to get rid of paper entirely. Still, the goal should be to eliminate what paper you can, to get your electronic data organized, and to make your personnel in the field and at the home office as efficient as possible. Reducing paper, and going digital, serves all of those goals, as well as helping the bottom line. LEGAL&LEGISLATION Continued from page 12 "Since 2012, I have added a third reason – security... door dealers need to consider measures to avoid theft and fraud by their employees. They also need to protect themselves against fraud by potential customers, such as the use of stolen credit cards. By minimizing opportunities for funds or records to go sideways, companies protect themselves and ultimately save money too."

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