USPS mail delays and how they affect your business
Minimizing the Impact of USPS Mail Delays: Finding efficiencies for invoice printing and mailing
Changes to the USPS delivery processes are set to cause major disruptions across the US. For consumers the changes represent a substantial inconvenience. However, for finance departments, the adjustments are much more serious as they risk impacting cash flow at a time when businesses can least afford the delays.
Although e-invoicing has grown in popularity in recent years, a significant number of businesses across the US still use paper invoicing. Delays to delivery of invoices invite interruptions to the order to cash process that companies can’t afford, especially as the economy continues to struggle against the prolonged global pandemic.
But there is hope. An alternative method of invoice printing and mailing will minimize the effect of the USPS delays. In this blog, we’ll identify what finance departments can do to improve their services and reduce costs in invoice printing and mailing.
USPS mail delays are costing finance departments
The USPS has become increasingly unreliable in recent years. Since 2011, next-day deliveries have declined by over 15%. First-class deliveries are slower than ever, with next-day guarantees shrinking to an all-time low of around 5% in 2020.
Billing and Collections functions are finding that they have less flexibility, even as cash flows and margins are increasingly squeezed to account for market uncertainty. According to the research firm Hackett, the average time for invoices to reach customers and enter their financial systems has increased, reaching an average of ten days in 2021.
In that time, late charges accrue, wasting money and potentially damaging relationships between the customer and their suppliers.
Distribution: Invoice printing and mailing innovation
The situation, however, is far from hopeless. Forward-thinking finance departments are investing in their invoicing processes to optimize their systems. Best practices is complete automation with electronic invoicing. But even finance departments that aren’t ready to make the full switch to automation can decentralize their invoice printing and mailing to overcome costly postal delays.
By using local print networks in the region that the customer is located, finance teams can reliably slash invoice delivery times, printing their documents as close to the final destination as possible. The approach is called distributed printing and offers an essential workaround for finance functions under pressure. Distributed printing services tap into comprehensive networks in multiple locations to reduce delivery times by an average of 2-3 days today.
Why hasn’t distributed invoice printing and mailing been used before in finance?
Traditional printing processes focused solely on increasing printing volumes in a single location to reduce costs. However, when businesses factor in the cost of postal delays, the modest savings they make with batch processing are outweighed by the time and cost of the order to cash process.
Results that speak for themselves
Finance teams that use distributed invoice printing and mailing benefit from the improved consistency of delivery. Consistency boosts both the Buyer and the Supplier confidence and improves relations. Positive Buyer-Supplier relationships are a critical component of ensuring that businesses remain in robust health, despite continuing economic unpredictability caused by the pandemic.
Decentralized printing is relatively easy to set up, provided the right partner is used. Finance teams can use distributed invoice printing to take the first step in their digital transformation. It’s crucial for finance departments to acquire confidence before kickstarting wider invoice automation journeys.
Countering mail delays with distributed invoice printing
Mail delays could cause serious issues for businesses at a difficult time. But finance teams can avoid incurring additional costs and charges from print invoices by using distributed invoice printing. Identifying the right provider will be essential for finance leaders that are interested in building on efficiencies to craft comprehensive e-invoicing operations in the future.
Switch to better invoicing with Tungsten Network
We’ve built the world’s largest, compliant business transaction network helping global businesses maximize efficiencies with electronic invoicing. Our network is safe and secure, designed to ease your accounts payable and receivable processes by providing excellent visibility, insights and speed, without sacrificing compliance.