The Top 5 Problems I Solved by Ditching the Paper Forms for an Online Store
As a business owner of a growing company, I have been through many “growing pains”. As I work with our apparel clients, I realize that I am not the only one with these issues. That is why I LOVE to share my own experiences with how I have solved some of the problems a growing business naturally has.
There are so many inefficiencies of using the old way of ordering company apparel with paper order forms I could scream. My employees know that I hate paper, and I’m not afraid to share my hatred of paper with the world.
I have summarized the Top 5 problems that were solved for me and my customers by converting our paper apparel order forms into an online company store.
1. Not Having Time
As a Business Owner, Human Resources Manager, Marketing Manager, Marketing Intern, or Jack of All Trades you have so many issues to deal with on a daily basis. Coordinating ordering company apparel for your staff often falls to the bottom of the list, but it is something that is demanded in a successful business for branding, marketing, and oftentimes employee safety purposes.
Online stores are a “set it and forget it” tool. For someone with a lot on their to-do list, this is music to their ears. Online stores run in the background of your business 24/7 on its own. What is better than an automated tool? Nothing.
If you spend the small amount of time to work with us to get your online store up and running, you never have to do it again. Even easier, we build the store for you.
2. Too Many Employees to Coordinate
This is a beautiful problem to have! It also comes with demanding challenges. Employees are great but they are also a constant focus. They don’t (or shouldn’t) go away, and the amount of them should keep compounding as you grow a successful business.
When you are dealing with paper order forms you are not only trying to keep the forms updated, you are trying to handle employee questions such as size, fit, color options, people wanting to see pictures of the products, etc. When you multiply all of these questions by your number of employees, you can imagine how draining this can be on your business manager.
The beauty of online stores being digital is everyone has access to it right on their phones or computers. All of your employees know how to online shop, and this is exactly how one of our online stores is set up. It loads in your product with all of your chosen colors, logos, size information, etc. and displays it just how any online shopping store would.
Simply direct the employee to your online store URL and all of those questions will be answered for you.
3. Handling Money
Collecting money or keeping track of employee expenses is a dreaded task of not only the business manager, but the employees too. Collecting paper forms and money will not be missed by anyone when converting over to an online store.
You have many options of charging (or not charging) for your company apparel, it is just really up to you. We have options such as:
- Purchase order number entry
- Gift certificate or E-certificate numbers
- Credit card entry
- Zero-dollar payment (where the employee never sees the price and the company is charged a PO).
4. Keeping Forms Updated
As mentioned previously, your online store is running 24/7 in the background of your business. There is no longer a need to update your forms with the most current pricing, sizes, or offerings and re-distributing the updated form.
Your online store is connected to the vendor where we buy the product from. This means that when an item becomes discontinued or low inventory through them, it is unavailable on your store. No more backordering if you don’t want to.
Once your store is set up you can open and close it as many times as you want to. If it’s once a year, we can go back to that same store next year and update it to the current year’s pricing and offerings. Easy!
5. Sorting! Packing! Shipping! OH MY!
When all of your apparel is ordered with a paper order form, your apparel company won’t know who ordered what. You will most likely get all of the apparel unsorted in a box. This mean that it is usually the business manager who gets stuck spending their time sorting the apparel into the employee orders.
It took one of my customer’s HR Directors 2 days to sort through their Christmas apparel orders before we set them up with an online store. Imagine how much that HR Director loves us now!
When your employees order through your online store it comes with all kinds of reporting on our end. As a service, we sort your items for you. You receive bags of items with the employee’s order receipt and exactly what they ordered. It’s a beautiful time-saver.
If you would like us to ship items to your employees, we are also able to do that. You do not need to grab all of the apparel from us and do this yourself. Of course, there are shipping charges, but it is well worth the time saved on your end.
All of the shipping data is collected when the employee checks out, so we don’t have to come back to you wondering where to ship the items.
Like I said in my initial paragraph, these are only 5 of the problems that I have solved for not only myself but many of my customers by converting our paper apparel order forms into an online store. I could go on forever about why I love my stores, but this blog would be too long. If youd like to see an example of the stores I love so much, Ive created this sample store for you to view: Company Apparel Sample Stores.
Get in touch with us and I can rant and rave about all of the other problems It has solved for me and our customers and that I know it can solve for you!
-Nicole Malson, Owner & President of STRYKER