Each year, about 15 billion trees worldwide are cut down for industrial use. About 35 percent of them are used to make paper. Assuming there are more than 15,000 pet sitting businesses (conservatively), the pet sitting industry could save roughly 75,000 trees a year by going paperless. I know we aren't going to get every pet sitter to stop using paper, but every little bit helps the environment. It's a team sport.
Paperless = Convenience
If saving space or the environment isn't your main motivator, what about convenience? Accessing and sharing information is really easy when you store documents in the cloud. There is no reason to run home or to your office to retrieve a document, and sharing it with someone should be as easy as copying a link.
Have You Ever Gone Paperless... On Scout?
There's going paperless, and there's going paperless with Scout. Programs like Google Docs and iCloud are great general use document repositories, but they aren't built specifically for the pet sitting industry. This makes them bulky to use. But Scout isn't just a repository. We integrate being paperless into the platform and provide a seamless experience.
Electronically Sign a Service Agreement
Two months ago Scout released our services agreement feature. In that time, I've recycled eight large binders worth of customer contracts and reclaimed half a Billy bookshelf!
How it Works
- Write or paste your service agreement in the editor.
- Save a draft or publish your final version.
- App users e-sign the latest version of the agreement.
- Pet owners opt in to request a copy via email.
- The date, time and IP address of the signor is stored.
The first time a customer opens the app, they have to sign the agreement. If you make changes and publish a new version, the app will ask them to resign it. Easy right?
Store Files in the Cloud
Even though we're "more than just a repository", we do still have to store documents. File Vault, Scout's cloud storage feature, goes beyond a generic document storage service. Organization and searchability are the keys to the File Vault. There's no need to create folders or long tail file names. Documents can be:
- Associated with a user profile,
- Tagged with keywords
- Given a general description, and
- Shared with the click of a button.
Easy to Use Interface
Most of the documents you have are probably related to a staff member or customer. Vaccination forms, pet insurance information, employee handbooks, and tax forms are just a few examples. In a generic cloud storage service, you would probably create a folder system or file naming convention for each client and staff member. That's just more work. That information is already in Scout, each user in the system is basically a folder. Also, how many of you are really great at keeping up with your file organization? Definitely not this guy! Scout's File Vault also makes sharing documents incredibly easy. Each file has a button next to it that copies a secure link to your clipboard. All you have to do is paste the link in a text, email or even add it to a blog post.
With the release of File Vault and the ability to manage service agreements, the entire Scout eco-system is paperless. In addition to getting rid of paper contracts and user records, we've eliminated the need for:
- new client forms,
- daily planners,
- handwritten notes, and
- physical invoices.
From end to end, Scout eliminates the need for paper. Most of your monthly bills can be paperless too. I've opted-in to paperless invoicing for almost everything. It's good for your environment, it saves your precious closet space, helps you stay organized, and provides convenience which lets you spend time doing what you love!