Software is needed in order to reduce the need to execute slow, manual communications via phone, fax, courier and alike means. These tools are needed to automate processes such as asking for information from government entities, which frequently requires wide-ranging but redundant paperwork. By hastening communications, software permits title companies to serve consumers more competently and, in turn, serve more consumers without adding staff. In some instances, the software allows title companies to access real-time HUD information completely online, with no need for hard copy paperwork, using web-based interfaces that access the necessary databases distantly (Austin, 2012).
Another area that could be very helpful is that of placing online orders with vendors. The kind of system captures information entered by hand and applies the information automatically to a variety of documents, getting rid of time-consuming and superfluous work. The software automates document preparation for processes at dissimilar stages of the titling process such as preparing HUD documents, writing checks and reconciling escrow account data. This type of software also gives title companies the capability to produce activity and productivity reports and keep an eye on inventory (Austin, 2012). Technological advances in electronic documents can save a company time and money, which decreases overhead costs by using less paper goods, by focusing on electronic documents.
Another area in which Stewart feels that they can improve is in going green. Applying green procedures to the workplace creates a healthy atmosphere for workers, decreases needless waste and distinguishes the role that businesses play in leading the way for social change. For the business that is thinking about going green, a diversity of reasons exists to take the leap. Going green can progress the overall competence of a business. Dropping needless waste can trim operating expenses for the business that can make huge differences over time. Refilling ink cartridges instead of throwing them away is another money-saving practice, since it saves money on the purchase of new cartridges, and it also decreases the amount of plastic thrown away from the cartridge and packaging (Lorette, 2012).
Two areas in which Stewart believes that they can work on are recycling paper instead of discarding it and recharging ink and toner cartridges instead of throwing them away. The average office worker in the U.S. uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year. That's about four million tons of copy paper used every year. Office workers in the U.S. produce approximately two pounds of paper and paperboard products every day in the normal course of doing business (Paper Recycling at Work, 2012).
"Each year over 375 million empty ink and toner cartridges are thrown away with most ending up in landfills or in incinerators. To put this in perspective the 375 million cartridges per year amount to disposal of:
1,000,000 cartridges per day
11 cartridges per second.
375 million cartridges put end-to-end would circle the earth over three times.
This mountain of waste can be reduced through reuse and recycling. Yet approximately 70% of all ink cartridges and 50% of all toner cartridges are still not recycled" (Environmental Benefits: Reuse & Recycling Ink and Toner Cartridges, 2009).
The plastics that are used in making printer cartridges are made of an engineering grade polymer that has a very slow decaying rate. "On average it takes between 450 to 1000 years depending on the cartridge type. Throwing ink cartridges into garbage cans causes great harm to the environment as ink cartridges are known to leak printer ink thus polluting the surrounding environment. Most significantly, carbon black toner has been classified as carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer" (Environmental Benefits: Reuse & Recycling Ink and Toner Cartridges, 2009).
More than three quarts of oil are used in producing each new laser cartridge. In order to manufacture a new inkjet cartridge, about three ounces of oil are required. Recycling helps lower this expense to a considerable amount. An estimated amount of over eleven million gallons of oil can be saved in about seven months by recycling ink cartridges. By recycling printer cartridges, natural resources and energy are conserved by reducing the need for new materials. "Up to 97% of the materials that make up a printer cartridge can be recycled or reused if taken care of. Printer cartridges can in extreme cases be refilled up to 15 times before reaching the end of their life most though averaging between 5-7 refills. For reused/remanufacturing cartridges the oil consumption is reduced to zero" (Environmental Benefits: Reuse & Recycling Ink and Toner Cartridges, 2009).
There are numerous beneficial and compelling reasons to recycle in the business world. The first is to lower cost for waste removal. Decreasing ones waste stream through recycling can lead to lower waste removal costs. Recycling services may still cost; but the rates can be negotiated to equal or better waste removal costs by themselves. A lot of businesses that start all-inclusive recycling programs also find that they can evade waste collection and disposal costs that can only be anticipated to rise over time. Another reason is for good Corporate Social Responsibility. Recycling is a long-term sustainability venture with triple-bottom-line rewards. Aside from the environmental ones, benefits also comprise enhanced public image, reaching new markets and enhanced worker morale (Klein, 2010).
Stewart Title is a company that appears to know what they are doing. The have shown to be very successful in the Title Industry and have a plan laid out to continue to be successful in the future. They have identified a couple of areas in which they want to improve their business practices moving forward in order to help sustain their profitability. They feel that if they begin to recycle paper as well as ink and toner cartridges they can move their business into a green environment which will not only be good for their bottom line, but will be a good selling point with their customers as well.
Austin, S.N. (2012). Software for Title Companies. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/list_6705247_software-title-companies.html