Optimizing Information - Overview
A 10% increase in the usability of corporate data can result in substantial revenue benefits, according to CIOInsights. Further, CIOInsights indicates this can result in:
- The median Fortune 1000 business would increase total sales by $55,900 per employee
- Sales per employee in the retail sector would jump 49%
- The average telecommunications company would increase sales more than $9,600 per employee
- The average commercial bank can improve return-on-assets by 32% by implementing a 10% increase in data intelligence and accessibility1
In order to fully realize these kinds of benefits, you need to be able to find the right information — from wherever you are, when you need it.
As the volume of business information flowing through the enterprise increases about 60% a year,2 — extracting, indexing, and making accessible business critical information is increasingly difficult.
Businesses don’t always recognize and treat information as a valuable asset; in fact “only one in ten organizations has a data strategy.”3
What is needed is a new appreciation and approach to optimizing the value of business information: more proactive, fact-driven, and directly supportive of productive activity, while continuing to ensure the protection of these valuable assets.
At Ricoh, we believe the key to overcoming information overload can begin with treating business information as a valuable asset, properly managing business critical document process change, and motivating resources to efficiently use information to increase revenue opportunities.
Ricoh’s Managed Document Services (MDS) strategy is designed to optimize the value of all business critical information. These can include complete scanning services for the conversion of paper documents into digital files, the extraction and indexing of captured information, and integration with business critical information applications, e.g. enterprise content management (ECM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), or sales force automation (SFA) system.
By making information buried in hardcopy available and actionable, these services are able to help you optimize the value of your information assets, delivering the right information, in the right format at the right time to those who need it. People can be more empowered to make faster and better decisions as a result of having accurate, quality data — which could lead to improved revenue, customer retention, and product innovation.
1Business Intelligence Slideshow: How to Sell the Value of Data to Your CEO, CIOInsights, Don Reisinger, 9/1/2010
2IDC, The Digital Universe Decade - Are You Ready? - May, 2010, Sponsored by EMC
3Creating an Enterprise Data Strategy: Managing Data as a Corporate Asset, Wayne Eckerson, Director of Research, Business Applications and Architecture Group, TechTarget, June 2011
Optimizing Information - Business Outcomes
Identifying Significant Barriers
People across the organization do not have ready access to business critical information essential to doing their jobs. You would like to identify the most significant barriers to using information assets, but it would be a massive undertaking considering the multiple formats, sources and usage across the enterprise.
Optimizing the value of information begins with a thorough understanding of current business critical document processes: the capture, extraction, flow, and desired use of information assets. This involves focusing on three components: the people and culture of information usage, the processes themselves, and technology. You should request a solution that accommodates different (and changing) formats and ways people use information throughout your organization, across different locations. In addition to optimized information availability for individual workers, there should also be greater support for collaboration and sharing of information across departments and geographies.
Ricoh MDS Process Analysis begins by looking at single or multiple business information processes, understanding your company's satisfaction levels with information access and establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to measure ease of access to timely, accurate information. Ricoh MDS helps you identify stakeholders and departments (who is involved, roles, cost, shift patterns [as required], competencies and value adds), helps you map an end-to-end process (manual and automated, structured and unstructured activity), and understand your current technology.
The result is you are presented with a deeper understanding of your business information usage and flow, bottlenecks, and areas for potential information access improvement.
Ricoh MDS Process Solution Design provides quantifiable recommendations to help you improve timely and accurate information access across the enterprise. These recommendations can be designed to fully align with your information access objectives. These may include conversion and data extraction improvements, process improvements such as combining activities and elimination of bottlenecks, as well as document management technologies like classification and indexing, and use of a central information repository (e.g., in the cloud).
Accessing Business Critical Information
You want access to the business critical information imbedded in paper documents so you can empower your internal clients, e.g. Finance, Sales, remote employees and offices, and ultimately better serve customers.
Offloading some or all of the management of specific day-to-day document-related tasks (conversion, distribution, output, archival and disposal) can free up your resources — which means they could better apply information to revenue generating opportunities. Not only can your resources be re-focused, but the information they work with can be more timely and potentially of higher quality.
Ricoh MDS Document Lifecycle Services begins information optimization approaches with the conversion of paper documents into digital files, the extraction and indexing of scanned data, and information formatted for business critical information applications, e.g. enterprise content management (ECM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), or sales force automation (SFA) system. Proposed changes can include defined security protocols and quality control Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), as well as status reporting tools.
Conversion of paper documents and the indexing of scanned data is just one of the offerings in Ricoh’s Document Lifecycle Services, delivering on-demand document services for each stage of a document’s lifecycle. Others include: Mail Room Management for information capture, Document Workflow Solutions such as Central Reprographics Department (CRD) Management for information efficiency, Archiving and Storage Services, and Secure Document Destruction/Disposal Services to help ensure regulatory compliance.
These services can be leveraged to transform fragmented, unstructured, and labor-intensive information activities and facilitate optimized access to business critical information.
Distributing Business Critical Information
You probably already know which departments have the greatest difficulty accessing business critical information (for example: accurate and timely information for optimal customer service). However you do not have a handle on industry standards and Best Practices for effectively mining these assets.
The implementation of optimized information access initiatives and their related business critical document processes should be done by those with deep and broad experience. Each business function and category of documents has its own specific information access requirements, formats, workflows , and metrics that impact optimizing the value of information assets.
Ricoh MDS Document Process Optimization service focuses on timely access to more usable business critical information for different functional areas of the enterprise. Some of these areas in which Ricoh MDS has experience optimizing information value include:
- Customer-facing Documents (on-demand fulfillment processes for customer communications such as invoices, account information, updates and alerts)
- Technical Documents (production and fulfillment of technical documents, usually between business units or corporate enterprises)
- Regulatory Compliance Documents (business critical document processes designed to help ensure compliance with regulatory requirements)
- Finance/Accounting (processes for the accurate and complete capture, reporting and archiving of financial information, e.g. invoicing and payment of customers and suppliers)
Information Security in a Mobile World
With the increasingly mobile and social orientation of your workforce, you have a growing information security challenge. You need to protect your brand as well as mitigate risk from non-compliance with regulations regarding confidential employee information and other sensitive documents.
You know the importance of ensuring that your valuable information assets are secure. However, collaboration between employees, partners, and even customers is more important than ever to your organization’s agility in a global economy. A mobile workforce with easy access to up-to-date business critical information, whenever and wherever they need it, is a requirement, but comes with risks that need to be managed.
Ricoh MDS Security Management service helps you both identify and develop controls to mitigate risks to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your business critical information throughout the document lifecycle — this could include setting sensitive information to expire automatically and ensuring outdated information is made unavailable.
These controls can be designed to help ensure that security technology is deployed that fully corresponds to the enterprise’s Information Security Objectives and Policy. The controls can be further designed to protect confidential business critical information to be shared only with the appropriate employees, customers, and partners, which could provide consistent protection for sensitive documents even after they have been saved to a user’s desktop from a repository (i.e., network share, e-mail, electronic content management system [ECM]).
Knowing Where your Information Assets Are
Lost documents are indeed a serious business concern. A recent Efficiency Report conducted by Coleman Parkes Research in Europe found 36% of European organizations surveyed admit they have lost or misplaced valuable information, with 1 in 12 confessing they still do not have any protection for their business critical documents.1
Many organizations store documents in a filing cabinet or on microfiche/film, which may not be the most secure document storage method, nor cost-effective. Business risk is likely increased where business critical information is stored in hard copy only, without back-up.
Ricoh MDS Document Lifecycle Services can be designed to securely store and archive documents for future use, legal or compliance requirements, and business continuity. Storing documents in an electronic repository or document management system can enable authorized users to access documents regardless of their physical location, and most importantly, can include an audit trail to track business critical information. This tracking of user activity can help you prevent leakage of valuable business information, and better enables organizations to comply with government regulations.
1Ricoh Process Efficiency Index, Conducted by Coleman Parkes Research, June 2011.
Optimizing Information - Best Practices
Optimizing the value of business critical information means delivering the right information at the right time. The expected results are improved business agility with people empowered to make faster and better decisions with accurate, quality data—valuable information assets that are securely protected even as they are made more usable.
Ricoh is a global leader in MPS. The knowledge and best practices we accumulate in thousands of engagements worldwide become powerful assets in our Ricoh MDS portfolio. Application of this knowledge and these best practices is the engine that drives our continuous improvement efforts.
Below are some of the best practices that focus on the benefits of successfully optimizing the value and usability of business critical information—while keeping information safe:
- Establish Baseline for Current State of Information Value and Usability
- Test Proposed Recommendations for Optimized Information Usability
- Encourage Employee Support of Information Usability
- Take a Phased Approach to Optimizing Use of Business Information
- Closely Monitor Performance of On-Demand Services
- Continue to Ensure Information Security
Click below for detailed explanations of these best practices:
Establish Baseline for Current State of Information Value and Usability
To successfully optimize the value and usability of your information you need to first establish the baseline: Define the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the business critical information access you wish to optimize. These may include departmental metrics: customer support calls, sales figures, leads generated, etc.)—but they should map directly to how well people currently have access to information they need, when and where they need it. Review current performance in these KPIs and review satisfaction levels (satisfaction survey, business perceptions, responsiveness, access, etc).
Test Proposed Recommendations for Optimized Information Usability
Investigate areas for improvement from the baseline to a desired future state, including information capture and classification, process simplification, technology improvement, mobile access, etc. Again, the goal is improved data accessibility and availability. Test recommendations using a process simulation tool to evaluate their impact on business efficiency, cost, etc. A complete cost benefit analysis and return on investment (ROI) calculation should be included as part of any recommendation along with a proposed implementation plan that shows how the proposed solution can be delivered.
Encourage Employee Support of Information Usability
Employee knowledge and use of new processes and technologies that optimize the value of information are the most important factors in fully realizing the benefits of information assets. It is important that departmental, or functional subject matter experts (SMEs) be asked to contribute to information optimization and usability requirements. All employees must understand that faster access to better information can benefit themselves as well as the organization as a whole. A systematic change management program, will help the execution of a business process transformation. A formalized training and education program will familiarize your employees with the new procedures and technologies—as well as security measures. And a regular communication plan highlighting milestones and successes will foster collaboration and encourage adoption.
Take a Phased Approach to Optimizing Use of Business Information
When re-engineering specific business critical information access and use (including the application of relevant technologies), break the implementation into two fundamental phases: 1) a Basic Phase that focuses on simplification, possibly reducing the number of steps/tasks required to access the required information, leveraging existing technology and 2) an Enhanced Phase that applies new automation technologies or additional business data to enable improved performance: faster customer service, increased revenue, etc.
Closely Monitor Performance of On-Demand Services
When using on-demand services for document scanning or mail room capture, monitor closely the performance of the service provider. Mature service providers should produce regular reports of KPIs in line with SLAs specific to each on-demand service: volumes and accuracy, turnaround time, deadline compliance — as well as regular reports that measure Customer Satisfaction.
Continue to Ensure Information Security
Increasing the usability of information assets can optimize their value to the business—but also makes it more challenging to adequately protect them. Security measures should ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your sensitive and critical information. The three areas you need to evaluate are:
- People (governance, awareness and behaviors that impact processes)
- Processes (information security policies and procedures to manage sensitive and critical information)
- Technology (solutions that protect sensitive and critical information at rest, in transit and in use)
Optimizing Information - How We Solve This
The Ricoh MDS Services Delivery Portfolio offers all the services required to be able to design, construct, maintain and optimize a highly efficient information infrastructure that is aligned with your need to optimize your information assets. Examples of Ricoh MDS service offerings are:
- Process Analysis
- Process Solution Design
- Document Lifecycle Services
- Document Process Optimization
- Management Information Reporting
- Optimization Consulting
The Process Analysis and Process Solution Design service offerings help support the planning and design of more efficient business processes, including establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and ROI analysis. Document Lifecycle Services and Document Process Optimization help you implement improved information optimization, whether internal to your organization or leveraging on-demand services from Ricoh. Finally, Management Information Reporting and Optimization Consulting can be used to provide true end-to-end performance metrics against Service Level Agreements (SLAs) or KPIs — the fundamental measures of continuous process improvement.
While every Ricoh Managed Document Services Engagement is unique and tailored to your environment, you can see examples of Ricoh MDS services that address Optimizing Information.