Paper-intensive processes reengineering: why and how to optimize document workflows

Documents remain a significant expense for most companies. Further driving the need to convert document workflows to digital is the growing demand for management to implement paper and cost reduction initiatives. According to an IDC research, here are some numbers to think about:

  • SMB (small and medium business) users spend 15% of their revenue on document-related technology, while large businesses spend up to 20%.
  • 70% of businesses with 100+ employees have deployed paper reduction initiatives with the goal of reducing 30-33% of their annual paper volume.

Reengineering paper-intensive workflows to convert paper to digital is the first step businesses use to reduce paper in workflows and their costs. Advanced enterprise capture technology enables the integration of both structured and unstructured documents into digital workflows.

Prior to the introduction of enterprise capture, capture technology was limited in its ability to extract information from documents and required human intervention to enable integration within the workflows. Data within documents that was required to initiate a workflow was manually entered into the process, driving higher cost end increasing the time to process as well as the number of errors.

Enterprise capture includes advanced tools that support classification, extraction, and data validation that enable integration of documents (paper, fax – yes it’s still used by several “more traditional” organizations and any digital file) within enterprise business systems. Document classification elevates enterprise capture from a standalone application to an integral part of a business process that could be accessed at any stage of the process.

Inefficient workflows place a great constraint on businesses because they delay process completion that eventually impacts the bottom line. An IDC study shows that the following are the top 5 pain points that drove respondents to automate LoB workflows:

  • Document workflows and routing within or across departments
  • To complete business transactions.
  • Lack of e-signature/authorization technology.
  • Document life cycle and storage management.
  • Security related to paper-based documents.
  • Sharing and collaborating.
  • Compliance with business policies and governmental regulation.

Integration of mobility, cloud, social networks, and predictive analytics is changing when, where, and how business is conducted, and also changing client relationships and means of communication. As this technology is adopted by businesses, we expect they will need to enhance access to valuable content to support faster-paced engagement cycles. To achieve that, it will be critical to have content (structured, semi-structured and unstructured) indexed and accessible for integration within workflows.

Workflow automation is used to link together the elements of workflow (events, tasks, resources) in an attempt to increase speed, visibility, accountability, security, and coordination by which the work gets done.

 

DEALING WITH THE INFORMATION CHAOS – IT’S NOT ONLY ABOUT TECHNOLOGY, IT’S ABOUT PEOPLE AND PROCESSES TOO

Information is the life essence of every business. It’s also everywhere and in any format and that makes a challenge for corporations to manage, process and access information.

There are two things that led us to the current information chaos. The first one is the consumerization of technology due to the cloud and mobile internet based products. Currently, people expect from companies the same anytime/anywhere access, problem-solving, simplicity and usability that they have in personal life. The second one is the exponential growth of information created in the world – 90% of it in the last 2 years! These two things together leave companies with a big challenge to address, because processes and workflows are not adapted to this reality.

Due to processes being broken, people are drowning with unstructured content leading companies to be unable to satisfy their customers’ needs and companies being perceived by society as bureaucratic and not client focus.

So, how to manage all this chaos? How to optimize and manage document workflows? With a proper Content Server Suite that ensures information quality right from where everything starts – at the entry point.

 


To Dos:
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