Office Depot and Paperless Transactions

This post will be about how an office supply megastore can provide inspiration to small businesses.

But first, a story.  The Hero of this story is about a young attorney working for the United States Department of Labor. The Hero is performing heroic acts of heroism by ensuring America’s workers are able to work in safe environments and are able to come back home to their families with all the arms, legs, and heads still attached.  Hardworking mothers and fathers across the country loved the U.S. Department of Labor, even if they didn’ t know why. However, deep in the Haunted Swamp known as “Dee Cee,” a twisted cabal of warlocks and witches conspired to ruin America. The witches and warlocks argued and fought each other and through their loathsome scheming, they created a foul beast known as “Sequester” to ravage the countryside. Long story short, the Hero will lose his job and he decided to start his own firm and needed to become a notary because it’s a pain in the neck to find one on short notice.

So the Hero — that is, I — took my business to Office Depot. When you become a notary, the county only gives you a certificate for your license, but nothing else really (other than information). So, to get the actual seal, you have to go to an office supply store and they’ll produce a seal for you.  What is cool about Office Depot, and the belabored point of this blog post, is their receipt system.

Office Depot’s “Green” store in Austin, Texas.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Full disclosure: I hate receipts. Seriously. I find holding onto scraps of paper for some phantom, future purpose is mind numbing. I know, I know, you need them in case you have to return something or for deductions.  But think about how many receipts you get on a consistent basis that you don’t really need.  These are wastes of paper, resources, and create clutter. But at Office Depot, you are given  three options: paper receipt, paper receipt and emailed receipt, or just email the receipt. I always choose the third option.

The paperless receipt option fits very well into my business model. Attorneys are notorious for being wasteful with office resources, such as paper, copies, etc. This wastefulness creates a great disservice to the client because it increases overhead costs, costs that ultimately get passed along to the client. Under the paperless model, an office reduces its operating costs by minimizing the amount of paper and ink. The Bexley Law Firm encourages not only law firms, but also small businesses, to think about the amount of resources used and how those resources will affect their bottom line. This is not to say, of course, that a business should not keep records. Proper recordkeeping is essential to having a litigation-resistant business.

In the next few blog posts, I’ll speak more about my philosophy on paperless recordkeeping and what it means to have a “litigation-resistent office.”

Robert S. Bexley, Attorney
Bexley Law Firm, LLC


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