How many people feel like we are in the middle of an information explosion? (If you have opened your email recently, you know exactly what I mean!) It ’s no wonder. An average week-day edition of a metropolitan daily newspaper contains more information than a person from the 17th century would be exposed to in a lifetime. More information has been generated in the last decade than in the previous 5000 years and general information doubles every 2½. For all those net-surfers - in 1995 their were 31 million pages you could view. By the end of this year it is estimated there will be as many pages on the internet as there are inhabitants on our planet. We know that information is the currency of business. We are in an information economy. The question then, is how do we make sense of all this information?
The way we make sense of all this information is with documents. Documents transform information into usable knowledge and are critical to the success of any organization. Documents are found in various paper and digital formats: paper files, Word documents, spreadsheets, Presentations, emails. Even the internet is simply a collection of documents. If you think about it, the collective knowledge of your organization is contained in your documents. Successful management of these documents is essential to your organization ’s success. Documents are the key vehicles by which information is transferred in, around and out of your office. We have found that when we can optimize the flow of these documents, we can have a tremendous positive impact and increase profits, improve competitive advantage, enhance client satisfaction and even lower liability.
We know that documents are critically important to an organization when we examine the cost of creating, distributing and storing documents. Studies show that on average, 5% of a company ’ s annual revenue goes to cover document costs. Some industries like financial services and healthcare are double that figure. That means on average a $10 million dollar business will spend half a million dollars this year alone on document costs. Another way to get your mind around the cost of documents is to consider that document cost per office employee. The average cost per week per office employee is $230. That works out to about $15,000 a year!
When they dug deeper in the spreadsheets they found that only 10% of the cost of a document is related to the hardware. 28% of the cost is based on the time it takes to produce the documents inside business processes. Now I know that sounds like the biggest piece of consulting fluff you ’ ve ever heard. So let me clear the issue up. By a show of hands how many of you have put together a sales order in your organization (OR sub correct vertical market here). I rest my case. It doesn ’ t matter if you are selling office equipment, selling cars, selling real estate, trying lawsuits, treating patients or originating mortgages. Every industry has its processes that are choked in paper. And as a result nearly half of the cost of managing documents is related to the storage, the retrieval, the recreation of lost documents, compliance, security and the list goes on …
The bad news is that things are not getting any better. Pages per employee increasing at 10% per year Graphical content increasing Use of color increasing Printing is 80% of document output
The good news is that there are two strategies that can simultaneously optimize the flow of information and lower costs. The first strategy is focused on the hard cost of output. Our print optimization service examines the flow of documents through your output devices like printers, copiers and fax machines. We seek to direct the correct output to the correct device ensuring the highest productivity and the lowest total cost of ownership. A recent IDC study revealed that organizations that optimize their print output can save 8 to 42 percent on their printing costs. Our Workflow Optimization service looks at the flow of information through your core business processes. We seek to employ common, easy-to-use technologies to streamline the flow of information through your processes. Our experience has been that not only can we reduce overhead expenses, we are also often able to add substantial value with returns like improved competitive advantage, enhanced customer service, stronger compliance and even reduced risk. My question to you is which of these two ideas do you feel would be best to implement in your organization immediately?
Our Document Workflow Analysis starts with a brief 20 minute survey of your key business process. Our goal is to get a 30,000 foot view of your business to see if there are areas where we may be able to add value. We ’ll look for areas where we can make an impact with cost reduction and improved productivity. We’ll also consider other value added areas of customer service, competitive advantage, regulatory compliance and risk reduction. I ’m curious, what challenges are you facing in your business today? From the time the (process starts) until (process finishes) what happens?