Over the past year, the Mahaska team has pushed “going green” to the top of our priority list. Aiming to put more environmentally friendly practices in place, Mahaska has made big changes across the board. From software upgrades to complete changes in processes, we have implemented several things that have helped cut down our ecological footprint.
Mahaska has recently upgraded the software we use for reporting. This new software gives gives us the ability to have reports in formats that allow for electronic storage. In order to have all our documents in one storage area vs some electric and some in filling cabinets, we have started a scanning project. This project consists of scanning all of our 2016 documents and labeling them in a searchable format. This offers our office the ability to efficiently search for documents without thumbing through filing cabinets or stacks of paper. Effective this month, November of 2016, Mahaska will now be placing the electronic files in the shared folders instead of printing them and placing them in binders. Not only will this free up physical storage and time, but will help decrease the amount of paper used significantly.
Mahaska has implemented a payment portal that allows our customers the ability to do everything online. Rather than printing, mailing and potentially processing payments manually, customers can now view or print invoices, statements and even pay online. Our goal is to eventually give E-statements to all of our customers and are happily providing training to those who are unfamiliar with the electronic portal. All these functions allow Mahaska to provide customers the information they need when they need it, all while reducing our use of paper and other resources.
On the sales side of things, we have started to utilize mobile formats when selling to our customers. These include utilizing iPADS to store and share our promotional sheets with customers, rather than printing copies which typically end up in a recycling bin or trash. The new reporting system also allows us mobile access to sales reports that we can share with customers, again, avoiding the need to print a copy at the office and take to the customers.
Our next step going forward is making needed forms (i.e. new customers, lease agreements, new product requests, etc.) 100% digital, which can then be emailed for approvals rather than mailing hard copies between our various locations. All of these efforts our helping Mahaska run more efficiently and effectively in a rapidly growing technological world, but more importantly these efforts allow us to reduce our ecological footprint.