White paper information logistics v5.03


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Informatielogistiek. Who are using information? People do, they need information for their tasks to perform.Because of the dramatic changes in the information landscape during the last 15 years, this phenomenon is becoming more and more time consuming.
This white paper looks to the new
developments in information and document management, from the perspective of the user and his abilities to serve the customer in the best way.

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White paper information logistics v5.03

  1. 1. INFORMATION LOGISTICS – gaining performance – smiling customers "The most important, and indeed the truly unique, contribution of management in the 20th century was - the fifty-fold increase in the productivity of the MANUAL WORKER in manufacturing. The most important contribution management needs to make in the 21st century is similarly - to increase the productivity of KNOWLEDGE WORK and the KNOWLEDGE WORKER." Peter Drucker White paper of Ricoh on future customer needs In cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute ISST, Germany © Copyright Ricoh 2009 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by print, photo print, microfilm or any other means without written permission by Ricoh.
  2. 2. W hite Paper Informatio n Logistics January 2009 2 © Copyright Ricoh 2009
  3. 3. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 Summary The collection, distribution, recombination, and aggregation of information are essential activities that contribute directly to business goals and should therefore be optimized as a part of the business processes. A precondition is the full availability, accessibility and the quality of the information to be delivered at the right time. However, present solutions and organizational management systems have reached their limits: mass production is optimized but customized production is still insufficiently supported. Progressing beyond this poses a considerable challenge – and a significant opportunity. According to Gartner until now we have supported manufacturing and the office with IT solutions enhancing their productivity. But now as information and knowledge are becoming more of an asset it is time to support the knowledge worker. The knowledge worker today is coping with lots of information rendering him on one hand an overload of information on the other hand a lack of information to support him with the task at hand. The cause in most cases is that the support he gets from information environments is supply oriented in stead of demand driven adding value to the business. So this knowledge worker is either searching for the right information or juggling with an overload of information instead of contributing to the process and interacting with the customer and his needs. The puzzle mentioned above will be the challenge of today’s companies in staying competitive and innovative while presenting new services and products on the market faster and faster. In the past we have seen a development within logistics from supply oriented (supported by e.g. MRP 1) towards a more demand driven environment (supported by e.g. JIT). This development is initiated within the handling of information in a logistic way according to Ricoh and its partners. This new approach to handling information is called INFORMATION LOGISTICS. It will handle information and its resources in a logistic way adding value to the business. Basically the goal will be getting information at the right time, the right place in the right way supporting the value chain. This white paper will present an onset on what INFORMATION LOGISTICS is, what this approach could bring and how implementation is applied by Ricoh. Developing INFORMATION LOGISTICS Ricoh worked in close cooperation with e.g. Nyenrode and Fraunhofer. Ricoh’s view and approach “Your knowledge workers are the engine of the company, but h2 fuel them?” 1 JIT Just in Time MRP I Material Requirements Planning MRP II Manufacturing Resource Planning © Copyright Ricoh 2009 1
  4. 4. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 2 © Copyright Ricoh 2009
  5. 5. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 Contents Summary 1 Contents 3 1 Coping intelligently with information today 5 1.1 The challenge 5 1.2 General developments 5 1.3 Facts and figures 6 2 INFORMATION LOGISTICS – a new perspective 9 2.1 Time for a new approach 9 2.2 INFORMATION LOGISTICS 9 2.3 Benefits 11 2.4 Methodology 12 2.5 INFORMATION LOGISTICS – built around the user 12 3 How INFORMATION LOGISTICS can work in practice 14 3.1 The Information Broker – A Question of Timing 14 3.2 The International Financial Services Provider – Going for Growth 16 4 The Approach of Ricoh 18 4.1 Solutions now! 18 4.2 INFORMATION LOGISTICS Services 19 4.2.1 Awareness Assessment 20 4.2.2 Rapid Implemetation Methodolgy 21 4.2.3 Structural Improvement 21 4.2.4 Structural value added 22 4.2.5 DPO outsourcing 22 5 Ricoh – Nice to meet you 23 So what makes Ricoh unique for you as our customer? 25 © Copyright Ricoh 2009 3
  6. 6. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 4 © Copyright Ricoh 2009
  7. 7. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 1 Coping intelligently with information today Who are using information? People do, they need information for their tasks to perform. Because of the dramatic changes in the information landscape during the last 15 years, this phenomenon is becoming more and more time consuming. 1.1 The challenge Information is one of the key productivity factors in business today. Every business is increasingly dependent on knowledge and information driven by today’s very competitive market conditions. Gartner has described the enterprise for the world of today as the “Real- Time Enterprise” which needs flexibility and fast quality decision making. In this situation, having documents only physically or virtually is a necessary but insufficient condition for using the contained information in an efficient way. This white paper looks to the new developments in information and document management, from the perspective of the user and his abilities to serve the customer in the best way. The objective is to create competitive advantage by improving productivity and accelerating customer processes. The user of information has always been the driver for innovative concepts at Ricoh. Historically Ricoh started on the output side of information (printing) and for the last ten years also on the input (capturing) and storage side of information. The evolution now faces a new challenge as current technologies reach the limits of their capabilities to further improve business processes. This challenge in particular is related to the efficient use of the huge amount of information that has been collected. The name of this game is INFORMATION LOGISTICS. 1.2 General developments What kinds of developments are recognized in organizations today? Changes in the business structure and management structures show that: • A move is being made from a linear to an event driven enterprise. • Processes are becoming more and more individual. • Goods and services have become more customer specific. • Hierarchical management structures are changing to networked structures. • Management today need quicker and better informed decision making. • There are more employees whose job execution is highly depending on information (knowledge workers). • There are more virtual teams. • There are more peer-to-peer relationships and networks. • Mergers and acquisitions have led to larger, often global companies, with multiple, often incompatible management systems. • Due to outsourcing and efficiency drives, there are now fewer support staff leading to more workload on operational staff to digest information. • Market pressure is forcing organizations to find new ways to improve its performance and customer value. Due to the increased abilities of ICT (internet as a platform, mobility through advanced telecom technologies, software maturity like ECM, hardware miniaturisation and lower pricing etc), companies are now faced with a situation where: • There is more information available than ever before. • The amount of information is expanding rapidly. © Copyright Ricoh 2009 5
  8. 8. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 • There are more access capabilities for users than ever before. • The information is more widely spread. • The information is either structured, loosely structured but for the most part largely unstructured. • The quality of information varies dramatically. But it also means that: • Having more information does not improve decision making speed and quality. • Too much time is wasted in finding the right information in time. • Although more information can lead to innovation, it also puts pressure on process efficiency and the productivity of the employees. • Existing information is too often regenerated. • Quality and process control becomes difficult or impossible with that many sources. As a result of the combination of these factors, organizations are challenged in two ways. First the negative side; how does the organization handle decision making and efficiency with the increasing information flow. And second the positive side; what kind of improvements can really create new customer value. It is a fact that organizations are confronted with more demanding customers wanting high-quality, just-in-time information. If an organization pays attention to the new opportunities brought by INFORMATION LOGISTICS, they can mitigate business risks, like: • Decreasing speed, flexibility and/or quality of decision making. • Productivity decrease. • Variable quality and errors in goods and service delivery. • Dissatisfied customers. • Failing to comply with new rules and legal requirements. • Security issues. • Inflexibility. • Business processes which cannot cope with the required speed of operation. As the information landscape has become increasingly complex, companies face significant challenges to alter their way of working to cope with this new situation. But at the same time it opens a tremendous amount of nnew opportunities to create new customer values. 1.3 Facts and figures Time Spending Research shows that employees or knowledge workers spend at least 40% every working day in processing information. Furthermore, approximately 80% Working day of this information is in the 40% processing unstructured form of which is information 90% unmanaged. 22% of the 22% retrieving time is spent on retrieving information information and in only half of the cases one is successful. The other 11% not successful half people are busy with just 11% recreating recreating unstructured unstructured information that already exists. information that already existed 6 © Copyright Ricoh 2009
  9. 9. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 Consequently, the real challenge today is not about dealing with the enormous amount of information available, but how to deliver the right information product consisting of the right information elements in the right format, at the right place, at the right time for the right people and all this customer demand driven. The lead time in finding the right information and the accuracy of the information together determine the result of decisions and thus having a direct impact in the success of an enterprise. A growing challenge About 80% of information is unstructured in the form of e-mails, 20% presentations, texts, videos, images, Structured MRP, ERP, CRM … etc. An IDC study confirmed these findings As if this situation is not bad enough; Gartner analysts Web Information estimate that information is growing Detailed designs »50% at a rate of 50% per year. More 80% Annual than 70% of information is both Unstructured 90% Email Growth Unmanaged Contracts unmanaged and unstructured. If Scanned Docs you’re concerned that your information systems are out of your Research control, wait a year, it will get worse! Business risk In a knowledge-based economy, companies are increasingly dependent not only on the availability of documents but also on the effective use of the information they contain. It is no longer a question of being able to get your hands on information (of uncertain quality) but rather of deploying reliable, high-quality information the moment it is needed. In addition, companies often depend on knowledge-workers to make informed decisions that affect their business (and those of their customers). Knowledge-workers are also typically the higher paid employees. Therefore it clearly makes good business sense to ensure that knowledge workers have access to good and timely information. The IDC study also indicated that 68% of respondents believe effective management of information drives productivity and 66% believe it will improve customer service. Improving the management of unstructured information seems to be a relatively straightforward way to improve productivity and revenue. As, on average, more than 10 knowledge workers are involved in every single process, it is clear that there is room for significant gains. Furthermore, a significant efficiency improvement on the day-to-day operating level of the knowledge worker has a noticeable multiplier effect at company level. Source: IDC/Gartner/US Department of Labor 2 In the article “From Having to Using” it was described how working with information can burden the productivity of the knowledge worker. Based on a discussion an idea was generated but resulted in a large number of e-mails with lots of people involved and contacted but nothing substantial happened. The result was that after the start with one idea ‘face to face’, 21 e-mails (virtual communication) were created, with zero substantial answers. Three experts where involved who didn’t communicate and four managers were involved without adding any value. From a logistics point of view, the throughput time took two weeks without any planned action or decision being taken, with time & energy wasted and lots of confusion. 2 From Having to Using, Ing. Jan Willems MBA, Information Logistics Experience Center, Nyenrode Business Universiteit, July 2008, ISSN 1872-3934 © Copyright Ricoh 2009 7
  10. 10. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 So on one hand the knowledge worker is showered with information he doesn’t need or doesn’t have to be involved in, on the other hand it takes too much of his time in locating the information he does need for executing the task at hand. Both cases cause a waste of time of the knowledge worker with the result of a major loss of effectiveness and efficiency. 8 © Copyright Ricoh 2009
  11. 11. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 2 INFORMATION LOGISTICS – a new perspective 2.1 Time for a new approach The development of INFORMATION LOGISTICS can be compared with two major developments in manufacturing which took place in the last decades. They significantly improved and changed the business. The first is the development of Just in Time in the goods logistics which enhanced the system from supply driven to more demand driven. In the information world INFORMATION LOGISTICS is driving a similar change in focus from the supply driven collecting and storing of information (having) to a more demand driven (JIT3) usage of information. The second is the development of Industrial Engineering and more specifically Goldratt’s theory of constraints4. Similar to the production bottlenecks in Goldratt’s theory, in the information world those constraints are mainly formed by the user who needs the efficient JIT supply of information to do his job. By solving those constraints, one can expect similar types of efficiency improvements, acceleration of business processes and flexibility. This is supported by Peter Druckers theory around the productivity of the knowledge worker, which focussed the attention on the bottlenecks in the information usage. The collection, distribution, recombination, and aggregation of information are essential activities that contribute directly to business goals and should therefore be optimised as part of the business processes. A precondition is the full availability, accessibility and the quality of the information to be delivered at the right time. However, present solutions and organizational management systems have reached their limits: mass production is optimized while customized production of information is still insufficiently supported. Progressing beyond this poses a considerable challenge – and a significant opportunity. How can we support knowledge-intensive, flexible and sometimes unforeseeable information processes within and across networked organizations? Companies today need a very flexible, fast and efficient information supply for individual workers and decision makers, but they also need to be able to keep sight of their overall business goals. The required solution cannot be achieved by modelling and optimizing business processes further because support is required at a ‘task’ level, within and across business processes which means a deeper insight in information flows and demand on the job. 2.2 INFORMATION LOGISTICS Managing information compliant with handling information in a logistic way we first have a look at logistics. Definition Logistics: Logistics is that aspect of managing a company, which occupies itself bridging time & distance in the production and distribution processes, in such a way that it leads to optimal company results in harmony with the costs of development, purchasing manufacturing and sales. (Source: APICS and Handboek Logistiek, VLM) 3 JIT Just in Time 4 The Goal E.M. Goldratt/J.Cox, 1986 Het Doel, Goldratt, ISBN 9027467005, Het Spectrum B.V. © Copyright Ricoh 2009 9
  12. 12. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 Looking at the full supply chain Logistics Supply Chain Mgt logistics management has to occupy itself from supplier up until customer Company Processes with e.g.: Supplier Customer • Handing resources like raw materials, semi finished products, capacity etc . • Customer satisfaction. 5 To minimize capital and stock-piles concepts like JIT , make-to-order, canban were introduced and implemented towards MRP, ERP and DRP. To support these logistic concepts transactional IT-environments were implemented. This environment handled only structured information. It was however found that unstructured information like documents were a major part and a very valuable asset to the companies. At first documents were captured within document management environments. When found that documents were a carrier of information and that other non-structured information was essential to be controlled for the company as well ;ECM6 environments were set up to support this. Handling the full lifecycle for this non-structured content ILM is being applied. However the link with the structured content was missing what should have been resolved with enterprise application integration. The result was that a lot of information is linked and to be found. However these solutions only provided a supply oriented environment in stead of a demand driven. On the other hand the growing amount of information leads to an overflow of information with the still unanswered question of: do I have the right information now to execute my tasks and to present the right results to the next step. This is where INFORMATION LOGISTICS comes in to solve this issue and present a solution. The vision of the Fraunhofer institute regarding INFORMATION LOGISTICS is: • Information will become more rapid, more global, more mobile. • It will become the decisive competitive factor. • It is essential to view it holistically, to manage it and to control its logistics. Information is created throughout the entire product creation process. The goal of INFORMATION LOGISTICS is to optimize content and format of information, to reduce throughput times and to achieve a high degree of parallel processing. Our approach is such that information can be created and reused in a structured manner all along the value creation chain. This requires the use of an information model, an overall product tree and a graphic design concept. The deployed system must meet these requirements optimally. Based on the above the following definition for INFORMATION LOGISTICS is used by Ricoh: INFORMATION LOGISTICS is managing and controlling information handling processes optimally with respect to time, distribution and presentation in such a way that it contributes maximally to company results in harmony 5 JIT Just in Time MRP I Material Requirements Planning MRP II Manufacturing Resource Planning ERP Enterprise Resource Planning DRP Distribution Resource Planning 6 ECM Enterprise Content Management ILM Information Lifecycle Management 10 © Copyright Ricoh 2009
  13. 13. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 with the costs of capturing (creation, searching, maintenance etc). The right information will be obtained towards delivery in time to the right environment and result in an improvement for the people involved,. Information Logistics Information Processes Supplier Customer The aim of INFORMATION LOGISTICS is to deliver the right information ‘product’, in the right format, at the right place at the right time for the right people and all this customer demand driven. If this aim is achieved the knowledge worker is best equipped with information for the task at hand for improved interaction with his customers.. Boosting the productivity of knowledge workers is for every company nowadays of utmost importance gaining competitive advantage. Information has become the heart of all business activities and the role of disruptive technology has changed the way people conduct their business. 2.3 Benefits INFORMATION LOGISTICS will provide innovative, cost efficient solutions, accelerating the information processes, offering compelling business results. Enhancement of INFORMATION LOGISTICS results in: • Acceleration of Productivity. • Cost Reduction. • Knowledge Collection / Combination. • Process Control Improvement (* e.g. Downtime Reduction). • Increased Customer Value. • Enhanced & Managed Quality and Compliancy. The final result will be a far more satisfied customer for you. Create business benefits This new ability to provide customer- and context specific, just-in-time information will lead to increased customer satisfaction. By speeding up the supply of quality assured information and synchronizing related activities, the performance of the information process increases. It enables knowledge workers to absorb capacity overload through providing them with only the necessary context-related information, based on their specific task. They are facilitated by supplying context-aware search facilities, task-oriented information pull services, automated meta-data extraction, individualised dossiers prepared from heterogeneous sources, and an active, targeted supply of information. Three main benefits could be realized: • an increase of flexibility of the organization © Copyright Ricoh 2009 11
  14. 14. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 • an acceleration of time to completion and improvement of quality with enhanced compliancy • an increase of efficiency That will result in timely delivery of relevant information to their customers which will positively influence their processes and satisfaction. 2.4 Methodology What is needed is a new way of thinking. INFORMATION LOGISTICS as the enabler not only focuses on information or processes, but on the use of information in order to accomplish the goals demanded. It amounts to a fundamental shift of perspective from supply-oriented to demand-driven information flows. An INFORMATION LOGISTICS solution triggers and controls information flows, that are governed by the business goals and other individual or role-specific preferences. The solution focuses on supporting all the information-related work within every single task. It therefore speeds up the information fulfilment process and increases the flexibility of the operation. Demand driven INFORMATION LOGISTICS solutions support their users in performing any task for which specific, timely and relevant information is required such as: decision making, processing requests or applications, preparing meetings, reacting appropriately to urgent messages or digesting information from different sources. Only the needed information is provided to the worker concerned, without necessarily changing the business processes. This means that all projects start with an analysis of the demands of the respective persons and the overall business goals. 2.5 INFORMATION LOGISTICS – built around the user What is needed is a new way of thinking. An approach, that extends the current approach to information handling and not only focuses on information or processes, but on the use of information to accomplish certain goals. It amounts to a fundamental shift of perspective from supply-oriented to demand-driven information supply. What does INFORMATION LOGISTICS do? Essentially, INFORMATION LOGISTICS ensures that in any process in which information plays an important part, the right information reaches the appropriate end-user precisely when it is required. It supports knowledge workers by providing task-specific information out of the unmanageable stocks of stored information. It presents context-driven, customized information on time via automated processes in complex environments. The application of INFORMATION LOGISTICS comes with a set of efficient methods and proven techniques that optimizes the business goal driven information flow for Information workers/decision makers.” An important element is the fact that we are approaching information from a logistics point of view as if it were a product. In addition to those tools and techniques, Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC) provides us with the background to understand and cope with information bottlenecks. Based on that theory the focus is not on the process itself, which is often given, but on the bottlenecks which is different to the current approaches. That will significantly accelerate and improve the information processes to employees and customer such, as TOC has done in manufacturing. The combination with the approach of Ricoh towards INFORMATION LOGISTICS 12 © Copyright Ricoh 2009
  15. 15. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 described in paragraph 4, for the first time will enable us to handle all information at the bottlenecks an critical points within the processes and therefore boosts business results. INFORMATION LOGISTICS solutions trigger and control information flows governed by the business goals and other individual or role-specific preferences. The solution focuses on supporting all the information-related work within every single task. It thereby speeds up the information fulfilment process and increases the flexibility of the operation. Targeted information INFORMATION LOGISTICS solutions support their users in order to give them more adequate interaction with the customer or his request for e.g. information. So they will support the knowledge worker in handing him the right information in preparation of his task towards the customer. INFORMATION LOGISTICS changes the usage of information from document- centred to task- oriented. Only the actual and relevant (targeted) Information Logistics Interacting with customer Worker information needed is provided to the de worker concerned, re liv sk e ta par su er without necessarily e lt pr changing the Performing Customer business processes. a task co op ntr ta ng INFORMATION er oll da lyi Receive Retrieve & a t in pp LOGISTICS leads to a Search io g su n significant improvement in receiving, retrieving, and sending information. Store Send How does it relate to existing technologies? It significantly extends and enhances the current technologies. In the first place INFORMATION 7 LOGISTICS solutions will build on top of existing infrastructures like ECM , data warehouses etc and will use them as well managed repositories. Current integration methods such as ETL, EAI, etc. are important but not sufficient elements to provide the final solution. In addition to the current platforms and technologies, INFORMATION LOGISTICS solutions will add the tools and techniques to define the ontology and the profiling of roles and technology as well as the platforms to execute the operational information flows. It will enhance the information environment for better and faster utilization. To complement current assessment approaches, TOC related methodologies will be added to define and solve information bottlenecks. Building on existing infrastructure The INFORMATION LOGISTICS approach do not require an expensive investment in the renewal of existing infrastructure and applications, although it is of course, a pre-condition to ensure that good tools (like multifunctional devices, ECM/DM platforms and an adequate organizational structure) are in place. INFORMATION LOGISTICS is built on top of already existing infrastructure and applications rendering better utilization of the already available information. 7 ECM Enterprise Content Management ETL Enterprise Transaction Layer EAI Enterprise Application Integration © Copyright Ricoh 2009 13
  16. 16. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 3 How INFORMATION LOGISTICS can work in practice We have seen that a new approach towards optimizing knowledge-intensive information processes within organizations is needed. INFORMATION LOGISTICS will increase the productivity of people (especially the knowledge worker) working in their day to day task fulfilment. In this way the workload of primary and secondary tasks is reduced, thus enabling them to spend more time on their primary activities, which will improve the level of service of customers. In the end this will improve the level of satisfaction of customers. INFORMATION LOGISTICS will lead to a more efficient and effective organization. How might an INFORMATION LOGISTICS solution be implemented in practice? Below, we offer an illustration based on the cases of two quite different types of companies, faced with two quite different challenges. In each case INFORMATION LOGISTICS offers a highly effective solution. 3.1 The Information Broker – A Question of Timing The company.... The knowledge worker Mr. K The company collects information from a Mr. K is a knowledge worker for a major corporation. If we follow Mr. K through his day, wide variety of government and other we can see how INFORMATION LOGISTICS supports agencies, news services, and so on, analyses him in his work. In the morning, Mr. K logs onto and filters it, and then passes it on to its his workstation. The system opens directly to a customers. This type of ‘knowledge portal providing him with an immediate and up- organization’ can be found both in the to-date overview of all areas relevant to him. profit and non-profit sectors, as well within companies themselves (e.g., the Corp. IT Targeted e-mail Organization, Corp. Quality Departments etc.) When Mr. K checks his e-mail, he is also only faced with e-mail that concerns him directly, .. its challenges since the INFORMATION LOGISTICS automated PSI- forwards (forwards that are based on Profiles, Semantics and the Information itself ed.) ensure The company is facing a number of that all other e-mail is sent directly to the challenges. appropriate colleagues. Security news is also filtered in a similar way, so Mr. K only sees In the first place there is the just in time messages that concern him. The messages are delivery of high quality customer relevant sorted by priority and automatically marked if information. Customers are calling for more they have already been (automatically) forwarded selective information: they receive too much to the users of the affected systems. that is irrelevant to their needs – and they do not always get the required information Status reports they need on time. Turning to his diary of projects, Mr. K is presented with a short status report marked with Secondly there is the productivity of the approaching milestones for all projects he is knowledge workers compiling the reports involved in. The system also provides him with a for the customers, the need to accelerate link to an automatically trimmed dossier for each the process and improve the quality of those project (in fact, this is merely an intelligent reports. This productivity is hampered by the interpretation of data from PMS, ERP and DMS) fact that information is often difficult to find that contains links to changed documents, notes unnecessarily duplicated, kept too long, or on discussions, agendas and preparatory material 14 © Copyright Ricoh 2009
  17. 17. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 incomplete. At the same time due to poor for the next meetings and other relevant synchronisation, its processes of collecting, information. He is also provided with an overview digesting and summarizing information are of all travel plans of his colleagues and the too slow, and lead to unnecessary availability of all the people he is to meet with duplication of efforts. during the upcoming week Finally, like many companies in a News on demand competitive market, the company also needs to keep costs under control. Although Mr. K can choose to view whatever news he wishes, some information flows are ...and its solution enforced by the company (e.g. circulars about health or accident prevention). A. A solid Enterprise Content Management platform assures that all information Knowledge on demand coming from multiple sources is available in digital format at a place Mr. K has some questions about a particular accessible to all persons who need it. project and he knows that one of his colleagues should know something about it – so he sends out a request for information through his portal. B. A thorough analysis per task/role of Instead of using predefined mailing lists – or even what information is needed, its value, worse the all@company.com account – he uses a where, for whom and when it is predefined communication ‘information request’ needed, provides the transparency that is ‘sent to the topic’. It looks like an e-mail necessary to implement breakthrough addressed To:information- improvements. request@company.com with a Subject: Project X and a body with attachments that explain his C. Based on things like the description of request. The system then retrieves the names of the concepts and relationships of the everyone who might know about the project. It information elements (ontology), does this by using skills profiles and by analyzing business rules user demand profiles etc, whether people have requested documents on this project before. The system then checks to INFORMATION LOGISTICS applications are see who is at his work place and sends out an e- being developed. They will provide mail. ‘Since we’ve reduced internal spam by automatic classification and distribution more than 90%, people react nearly 4 times of incoming information based on roles faster,’ thinks Mr K. profiles and global context of the information. They will help knowledge Feeling he would like to check up on some workers in compiling reports by aspect covered in the meeting, he requests a providing them with the necessary special view of all information concerned with a relevant information only when they particular project. The ‘WoW’ service (What (type need it and informing them about other of result) on What (topic), ed.) allows him to type relevant reports being created through in ‘Project related information –ON– project X’ a topic based synchronisation of the and he receives all the relevant information he requires information handling. That will significantly speed up the process, avoid Printing on demand duplication of work and significantly improve the productivity of the Mr. K wants to print all the documents which knowledge workers. have been changed since the previous meeting. The system proposes using a printer located next At the same time customers are to the meeting room and informs him that the (automatically) being profiled and an printout will take 1:15 minutes. When he reaches automated Information Dispatch system the printer, he inserts his id card and the will only send the information necessary documents are printed. for that particular customer in time and via the most effective channel. That will Efficient request handling decrease the information overload on After this short interruption, Mr. K returns to his the customers and improve flexibility. task inbox and finds some investment requests © Copyright Ricoh 2009 15
  18. 18. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 D. Based on the questions the customer he has to approve as a specialist. To do this he has, the INFORMATION LOGISTICS not only needs the technical requirements but application is supplying him with all also related project plans, latest product relevant information within the context information from all potential vendors and not at of the question, only as far as and when least information on availability of the products and previous decisions in similar cases. In the he needs it. Finally that will increase the past this was a tedious job as he had to collect customer value and satisfaction and the needed information from a lot of different thereby supports the business goals of sources, check all that data, in most of the cases that company. finding out that it either was not complete or even not available. Results were numerous e- mails for trying to get missing information, thus slowing down the overall process a lot and bothering colleagues. Now the relevant information is presented to him and the system checks the completeness of the in formation before it is presented as a case ready to process. 3.2 The International Financial Services Provider – Going for Growth The company.... An international financial services provider, active in banking and insurance, offers its private, and business customers a comprehensive package of products and services. It does so through various channels: through its own distribution network, through intermediaries, and through other distribution partners. This multi-channel distribution strategy gives the company the flexibility it requires to be able to meet its customers’ needs. ... its challenge The company has ambitious plans. It sees increased customer satisfaction as the key to future growth and profitability, and proposes to achieve that through greater efficiency (integration of channels for customers’ convenience), more highly motivated staff, and more cross-border integration and synergy. The major challenge is to improve the process of credit applications and claims handling (cases). One of the key issues is that they are confronted with unsynchronized and slow processes and unbalanced resource levelling. At the same time they are confronted with at the one hand major amount of regulations which require optimal flexibility and at the other hand risk management requiring optimal control. … and its solution A. In the first place the input systems capturing the applications forms and other related documents will be replaced by intelligent systems, which automatically extract necessary Meta information. This will be done in the (branch) offices as well in the other B. Channels like intermediaries, assuring all incoming information is available in digital form. Those systems will provide automatic classification and distribution of incoming information based on role profiles and global context of the information. In addition control and security applications will assure compliance with (company) regulations. 16 © Copyright Ricoh 2009
  19. 19. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 C. A solid Enterprise Content Management Platform will provide a secure, trusted and controlled basis for all information, accessible for all relevant employees. D. A thorough analysis per task/role within those processes, of what information is needed, its value, where, for whom and when it is needed, provides the transparency necessary to implement breakthrough improvements. That will reveal bottlenecks, parts that can be automated, and which employee needs what information to handle the credit or claim application. E. Based on things like the description of the concepts and relationships of the information elements (ontology), business rules, user demand profiles etc, INFORMATION LOGISTICS applications are being developed. This will be placed in the architecture of the information environment complying with the results needed for the INFORMATION LOGISTICS environment. F. In the first place an INFORMATION LOGISTICS application will dispatch cases to those persons most suitable for the case, based on employee profile and case context. That will improve the resource levelling. When this person is absent or has a workload which is currently too high, it will automatically dispatch the case to a colleague which is most suited for this case. That will greatly improve the flexibility. G. Another INFORMATION LOGISTICS application will automatically monitor the cases based on context and business rules and only provides the case to the employee when all necessary information is available. If part of this supporting information is over due it will automatically fire requests even cross border. That application will also synchronize the information handling over different processes and channels thereby improving the efficiency of all related processes. H. An automated multi-channel Information Dispatch system will provide relevant participants in the process with the necessary information including status information. I. When opening the case the employee will get all relevant information and now is ready to handle the case with a minimum of interruptions. That will significantly speed up the process of case handling. J. As most of the activities are automated or controlled by the application, process control is improved significantly and therefore the ability to comply with regulations has been improved. K. By implementing the INFORMATION LOGISTICS solutions described above, the business process is accelerated. Which means the reaction time of the bank to a credit or claim application is much shorter than before. That will result in an improved customer satisfaction and provides the company with an important differentiator in a very competitive market. © Copyright Ricoh 2009 17
  20. 20. White Paper Information Logistics January 2009 4 The Approach of Ricoh 4.1 Solutions now! INFORMATION LOGISTICS seems to be a needed but complex solution for the future – but first of all INFORMATION LOGISTICS is demand driven, starting with the business goals. This means INFORMATION LOGISTICS as a methodology must also be practical and can not lack support for migration paths. Indeed there are many solutions that can be implemented today that tackle some of the pressing issues by means of INFORMATION LOGISTICS inspired approaches. Solutions are needed now and the following examples will present you a way to solutions that are ready to use now! Optimizing the information flow INFORMATION LOGISTICS changes the perspective and enables local optimizations based on predefined goals. Thus a project has not to start with an in-depth analysis of all processes but identifies with simple tools where the information flow is costly or better information flows could improve the revenues or the quality. Sometimes very simple changes can lead to big savings. Different handling of the existing infrastructure only costs training and coaching. Bigger gains are possible if processes around valuable information are made explicit and controlled and supported. Quality management is dependant on timely and correct information – optimized information flows can help a lot to improve quality management. If the optimization removes redundant data entry or facilitates data collection procedures the administrative load is lessened. Looking at information flows that cross the normal barriers between organizations, better approaches towards load balancing may arise. Doing all that even only in some test areas will improve the speed and the flexibility of the organization. Because the overall interaction process with the customer is in the focus of all the analysis phases the results will effectively increase the service level that can be provided for them. To start an Information Flow Optimization as a first step towards an INFORMATION LOGISTICS supported infrastructure is different from normal BPR or ILM8 projects – Ricoh’s INFORMATION LOGISTICS approach focuses on the interwoven demands of the people involved in the business processes in order to define and eliminate bottlenecks in short quick win projects that also result in a sound basis for structural embedding of the results. To achieve these results we carry out a tool-supported assessment of the targeted processes. This will lead to an identification of promising improvement areas. Based on the toolset short term solutions can be proposed and implemented. This will be supported by our “rapid implementation methodology” to ensure the solutions will be effective and still supportive as a base for continuous improvements. This roadmap is supported by our INFORMATION LOGISTICS Services as described in next paragraph 8 BPR Business Process Redesign ILM Information Lifecycle Management 18 © Copyright Ricoh 2009