Technology targeted for business operations provides terrific benefits, from significantly reducing the amount of overhead needed to support growth to reducing the need for paper and the associated people and storage required to keep it all sorted out. Here are five ways technology provides maximum benefit with minimal input:

Use a Tech Expert

Appoint, retain or hire a tech expert and make sure that the specialist comes with specific qualities and the ability to be accountable for results. This includes having a solid understanding of the technology and system at all levels; a natural curiosity about how the system might help the company be more efficient; the ability to creatively overcome perceived system limitations; an ability to view the business and the software globally; and the skill to assess the best ways tech can be implemented and utilized across the organization to improve performance.

Utilize accounting software to its fullest potential

The technology that runs the accounting system is one of your company’s most flexible but often under-used resources. The software’s built-in functionality has many cost- and time-saving benefits: it can reduce the paper and reconciliation needs surrounding company-issued credit cards, and can allow users to scan receipts, which are then automatically uploaded to the digital ledger, eliminating or reducing a paper-based administrative process.

Most accounting software supports electronic invoicing, eliminating the need to manually print and mail monthly invoices and statements to customers and creating a digital paper trail documenting sent and received data.

Move from paper to digital solutions

Go paperless. Send proposals and contracts electronically as PDF files and eliminate postage. Or utilize resources like Google Drive or OneDrive to allow cloud files to be securely shared without sending the documents via email. No filing cabinet (or paid filing staff) necessary. Electronic signatures are valid and the process is a breeze, with many options for providing electronic signatures available through Adobe, DocuSign and other software providers.

Take advantage of banking tools

Banks have tools which can be big time-savers for their customers. Take bill pay, for example. Entering bills into a single website and having the service cut the checks and send them on your behalf can be a game-changer. No more writing manual checks or printing large check runs and having to sign checks individually. It also saves the required postage to mail the checks.

Another tool banks often provide is a desktop check scanner

This device allows large numbers of checks to be quickly scanned and deposited into the company’s bank account with a minimum of data entry. This can save the time needed to complete a daily trip to the bank or scanning and depositing many checks individually via remote deposit.

Use Google Forms

Google Forms has secure, easy-to-use tools for collecting and storing information, and exporting as needed for daily tasks. Timesheets, daily vehicle inspections, daily spray application tracking, property inspections, contracts and proposals, sales lead forms, or just about anything else being sent to print can be moved to the cloud.

Because the documents are stored in the cloud, they do not need to be printed out and filed manually. How easy would it be to produce records for Department of Ag or DOT if forms are cloud-based? In addition, forms can be shared with everyone who needs access without the cost of maintaining rows of filing cabinets onsite. Eliminating all that paper may even save enough room to add new office space for growth.

These are just a few of the many ways high-performing technology can be used to streamline repetitive processes, drive higher employee productivity, provide faster and more personalized customer service and shorten the distance between problem and solution.

Words of Wilson features a rotating panel of consultants from Bruce Wilson & Company, a landscape consulting firm.