How Can Office Equipment Dealers Customize their Invoices?

posted by Nick Lombardi on Friday, November 30, 2018 in Office Equipment Blog

We don’t have to tell you the Office Equipment Industry is highly competitive. And as a dealer of office technology, you are probably hyper-aware that a key aspect of being successful in this space involves your ability to differentiate beyond the products and services you offer.

By simply being thoughtful and deliberate about the information you include on your invoices, you’ll place yourself above and beyond your competition. Including the right information, reports, and features on an invoice will make it simple for your customers to make payments to you. More importantly, doing so will proactively answer their questions, displaying the information they need to conduct their business successfully.

Choose from a Variety of Invoice Features:

Period Covered

In the ‘Period Covered’ section, you can opt to show the timeframe for which the rental payments will cover. The name of this section can be adapted to whatever suits your business, for instance, if maintenance or service is included in the rental payment, you might choose to title this section, ‘Service Period.’

Current Only

By incorporating the ‘Current Only’ option into your invoice, you will suppress any charges due between the current invoice print date and the previous invoice's due date. Customers with contracts containing a high number of invoice lead days will find this feature particularly beneficial as, without this option, they could interpret the ‘Previously Billed’ charges as “still owed,” which can be a source of frustration for your customers.

Rolled Up Invoicing

In some cases, it may be possible to roll up charges for multiple agreements for a single dealer on a single invoice. This cuts down the clutter your customer has to comb through in order to pay a bill. If you have customers who may benefit from this feature, contact your representative to discuss whether they are a good candidate.

Consolidate Payments for Multiple Agreements

If your customer will be billed for multiple agreements, they may find it easier to consolidate payments into a single line item. Consolidation combines identical charge descriptions with the same due date into one line item on the invoice, with the exception of usage charges.  

Emailed Invoices

Invoices can be auto-emailed to one or many addresses. While some of your customers may prefer good, old fashioned USPS delivery, more and more, there is a preference to operate electronically. Some may even wish to receive both an email and a hard copy invoice for their records. Simply let us know what works best for your customer, and we’ll set up an invoice method to match.

Spreadsheet Invoicing

By opting for this format, you’ll transform static invoice data into a workable format, making it easy for end-users to import, export, and sort without restrictions. This option enables your customers to increase efficiency in their reporting, processing, and budgeting optimization tasks.

‘Spreadsheet Invoicing’ displays invoice details in a more organized way. End-users appreciate that they can reconcile charges more quickly, and even use the data in conjunction with software programs to perform machine utilization analysis, department breakouts, cost centers, and trend analysis for budgeting.

Just as with standard invoicing, ‘Spreadsheet Invoicing’ maintains the ability to include other features or reports (which we’ll cover in the next section!) such as usage reports or asset details.

Choose from a Variety of Invoice Reports:

Asset/Equipment Detail

Your customer may find it helpful to include a high level of detail in their invoices. ‘Asset/Equipment Detail’ may be especially helpful to operations where budgets are set and funds are allocated by department or location. By including ‘Asset/Equipment Detail’ within an invoice, your customers can see their various assets broken down line by line.

This report will display the following information:

  • Make or brand of equipment

  • Specific Model

  • Serial # to identify the specific piece of equipment

  • If provided by the dealer, an Equipment ID (or Machine ID) can be included

  • Equipment Location (Address, City, State & Zip) of all active assets for the contracts on the invoice.

Usage Details

On CPC contracts, the ‘Usage Details’ report outlines activity and usage stats at the asset level. If included, this section is sorted by the meter group/volume ID and can display the total amount of copies in a fleet, as well as usage percentage by machine.

Just as with the ‘Asset Detail/Equipment Detail’ reports, the ‘Usage Detail’ report can also display the following information at an asset level:

  • Make or brand of equipment

  • Specific Model

  • Serial # to identify the specific piece of equipment

  • If provided by the dealer, an Equipment ID (or Machine ID) can be included

Remit Details/Invoice Charge Details

The ‘Remit Details’ section of the invoice contains all the basic items you would expect to see on any invoice. It is here where the current charges are summarized, providing a line item per charge type at a contract level. Charge details will not include any past due or previously billed charges. Instead those will be summarized between the charge detail and total due, complete with a reference to the invoice number.

What Other Kinds of Invoice Data can be Customized?

Even beyond the invoice features and reports listed above, know there is still further flexibility for customizations.

  • PO/Reference Number: At a contract level, dealers can choose to include a ‘PO/Reference Number’. This feature mainly benefits the customer because it makes it easier for them to pair an invoice with a specific purchase order, which is very useful when it comes time to reconcile funds on their end.

  • Vendor Asset ID/Machine ID: At the asset level, dealers can choose to include a ‘Vendor Asset ID/Machine ID’ number. This feature is useful for dealers because it makes it easier for them to pair an invoice with a specific machine or asset.

  • Additional Comments: ‘Additional Comments,’ which can be displayed on the 'Asset Detail' or 'Usage Detail' reports, are added at the asset level and can include any kind of unique or specific details about a particular piece of equipment. This feature can be helpful to both dealers and their customers.  

Our team is skilled at managing and setting up creative, innovative, working invoice solutions that help our office equipment dealers succeed in their everyday business. We can help you build strong enduring relationships based on trust and the understanding of your customers' needs. Download our complete flyer to learn more about our invoicing solutions.

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About The Author

Nick Lombardi is the Invoicing Leader for the Contract Management team at GreatAmerica. He has been working for GreatAmerica since 2011, but began his current role in July of 2018. He completed his undergrad education at UNI with a Marketing Degree in 2009, and later obtained his Finance Degree from Mount Mercy University in 2013. Nick is always looking for opportunities to increase efficiency by evaluating current processes and developing his technical skillset. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amber, and his 4 year old son, Leo.

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