By Dominic Keogh, Marketing Director, Managed Document Services Ricoh Europe PLC
It has not gone unnoticed that the volume of information is growing rapidly within enterprises. In accordance, leaders across Europe realise now, more than ever, the true business value that lies in digitising hard copy business critical documents. In recent research, as many as 88 per cent of business leaders across Europe agreed that digitising and unlocking data from physical documents would improve business decision-making, and 70 per cent believe that digitising hard copy documents would save between five and 20 per cent of their annual turnover. It’s clear that, in an age of digitisation, the right technology tools can help put an organisation at the helm of the future workplace.
It’s not just a case of information flowing out of a business, but also how it comes into a business. By capturing the inbound documents, extracting the key data and putting that directly into the workflow, both productivity and speed can increase dramatically. This can be easily achieved by migrating from a Managed Print Services to Managed Content Services model. For example, Ricoh is currently working with a leading healthcare insurer and receives all of its inbound claim forms. We scan and extract the data, validate it and then put it directly into the insurance assessors workflow. As a result of better management of content and the document process, they’re no longer wasting time manipulating paper documents or searching for information, and their customers are getting a faster service whilst improving customer satisfaction and retention.
Organisations must now be able to manage both printed and electronic documents simultaneously. Documents move around the network from paper to electronic and back again several times during a business critical process. As a result, organisations should look beyond the last stage of the information journey lifecycle – where a document is finally printed – towards the entire document life cycle and how information moves around the business.
Although business leaders recognise change is afoot, technology is still evolving at a much faster rate than their business processes. New research from the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by Ricoh Europe, found that three quarters of European business leaders surveyed are not reacting to changes fast enough. And less than one quarter (just 24 per cent) felt they can
rapidly take advantage of new opportunities or adapt to unexpected changes. Only one in three believe their organisation can rapidly re-engineer processes to support change.
To help overcome obstacles, business leaders can look to the latest managed document services (MDS) approaches, however. These promote enhanced business agility, productivity and customer centricity, but what is the best way to adopt MDS capabilities to approach the challenge?
The first step is to ensure print functions can produce business critical documents on demand and act as the central conduit to document management across the organisation. This offers the ideal combination of supporting the business, optimising business critical processes and maximising the use of technology. The end result will see quicker access to information, increased efficiency and customer responsiveness.
By gaining the visibility, it becomes more seamless to introduce tracking and auditability from a centralised system, while providing the flexibility for future process optimisation as requirements change. Such actions will also give the business leaders a more holistic view of what is really happening in their enterprise and enhance future decision making.
The latest and best MDS approaches study what is really happening inside your business and how your customer support ecosystem is performing. To maximize the return on this new approach, you must identify the relevant inputs, throughputs and outputs and ensure your back end systems fully support communications and engagement with your customers. Where the best of breed solutions can really make the difference is when they allow you to do this in a way that reaches them at exactly the right time they want, and in the format they really want it.
Since joining Ricoh Europe in 1991, Dominic Keogh has held a number of senior product management roles in Europe and North America. After serving as Sales and Marketing Director for Fuel, an industry training specialist, Keogh returned to Ricoh Europe as Marketing Director for Managed Document Services (MDS), which also incorporates the Outsourcing Services Business. In addition, Dominic is a Leader of the Global Services Business Centre Marketing team for Ricoh Company Limited.