Streamlining Processes - Overview
Increasing productivity is key to growing a business. Recent research reveals 85% of companies believe more fully leveraging their human capital is “crucial” or “important” to their business effectiveness.1
|Primary means of improving productivity|
And workforces — and work environments — are changing. Millennials with expectations of more mobile and social business processes will make up a majority of the workforce by 2015.2 At the same time, the volume of business information is increasing. By 2020 IDC predicts the amount of digital information will grow by a factor of 30, the number of files, by a factor of 60.3 See what searching for, analyzing, and reformatting business information could be costing you.
There is room for improvement. According to AIIM, a full 62% of those polled believe they have addressed only 1/5th of the potentially profitable business process initiatives.4 The Ricoh Process Efficiency Index of European companies shows that only 22% have a fully automated process to manage business critical documents and 42.5% of all business critical information still resides in hard copy format.5
Nature of the Document Process
Increasing employee productivity requires an analytical and comprehensive review to engineer a process to arm them with accurate and timely business critical information. Streamlining may include outsourcing some processes not deemed part of your core competence, e.g. mailroom operations, allowing your employees to not only be more productive, but focus on revenue generating initiatives and greater innovation.
The Economist Intelligence Unit recently surveyed businesses around the world to determine their approaches to improve productivity. Their report observed:
“As happens after many recessions, growth in headcount is materialising more slowly than the return to healthy profit margins. This means managers still need to get more from existing people and technologies, even as the good times return. Meanwhile, as the corporate world becomes more globalised and more interconnected—and productivity gains rely ever more heavily on people— companies will need to look to radical new ways of both engaging them and connecting them with each other.”6
Beyond cost savings, faster more effective business critical document processes can yield additional strategic benefits: improved decision-making effecting customer service, market response, and closing sales, increased knowledge sharing and collaboration that could help you achieve higher quality outcomes and less re-work, and an ability to improve focus on product innovation and increase responsiveness to competition.
1 “Gearing for Growth: Future Drivers for Corporate Productivity”, Economist Intelligence Unit, Ltd., 2011.
2 The Pew Research Center, 2010
3 IDC Whitepaper sponsored by Ricoh, Managed Print and Document Services for Controlling Today’s - and Tomorrow’s - Information Costs, January 2011.
4 AIIM Industry Watch, “State of the ECM Industry 2011 - How well is it meeting business needs” 2011
5 Page 5 Ricoh Process Efficiency Index – June 2011
6 Economist Intelligence Unit, Ltd., Gearing for Growth: Future drivers of corporate productivity (2011)
7 IDC Whitepaper sponsored by Ricoh, Managed Print and Document Services for Controlling Today’s - and Tomorrow’s - Information Costs, January 2011.
8 Getting the Best out of your Contracts: 6 Ways to Improve Consistency, Confidence and Profitability, Bigos (IBM), D., Krieger (Ziff-Davis Enterprise), M., & Duek, August 5, 2008. Available from www.eseminarslive.com: http://www.eseminarslive.com/c/a/Enterprise-Applications/IBM080508/
Streamlining Processes - Business Outcomes
Solutions for Misplaced Hardcopy Documents
Misplaced hard copy documents are time-consuming to locate and difficult to share across your organization. You have a growing concern that business critical document processes are unproductive, frustrating for workers, and inhibit growth.
Capturing hard copy documents and storing them electronically helps to facilitate easy search, access, retrieval, and sharing of information in a secure environment. Delivering the right information when they need it can help you increase your workers’ satisfaction and productivity.
Ricoh MDS Document Lifecycle Services (DLS) can be designed to deliver on-demand scanning services, converting hard copy documents and information into electronic format and storing them in a centralized document repository or content management system. This service can help you improve access, security, document retrieval and data redundancy. These services can further help you to transform fragmented, unstructured and labor-intensive information activities into centralized and automated processes that could help you increase your human capital more productively.
By providing accurate, timely and complete on-demand performance data, Ricoh MDS Management Information Reporting can be designed to give you the information you have identified you need to make sound business decisions based on real-time, accurate metrics. These reports can be designed as departmental or global, and can be aligned with local operating company metrics.
Expectations of a Mobile Workforce
Expectations of your increasingly mobile workforce are for rapid, 24 x 7 access to business information. Your current business critical document processes struggle to support different business information formats and devices.
To meet the expectations of a more mobile, geographically dispersed workforce, you are tasked with streamlining your existing business critical document processes, make them more responsive, and make them adapt to handle unique types of documents. You believe this flexibility will get information to workers in a timely fashion in the form they need.
Ricoh MDS Document Process Optimization service can be designed to focus on the execution of streamlined, end-to-end processes related to specific documents and their related workflows. A few of the business critical document processes with which Ricoh MDS has engagements include:
- On-demand fulfillment processes for customer communications such as account information, product status, updates and alerts, and general customer communications
- Regulatory Compliance document processes designed to help ensure compliance with regulatory requirements
- Financial documents processes for the accurate and capture, reporting and archiving of financial information, e.g. invoicing, accounts payable, financial statements, and payment of customers and suppliers
Increasing Reaction Time
You would like to be able to respond faster to customer inquiries and competitive challenges. Your current business critical document processes inhibit your responsiveness.
The first step is a thorough understanding of current business critical document processes. This involves focusing on three components: the people and culture of information usage, the processes themselves, and technology.
Ricoh MDS Process Analysis can be designed to look at single or multiple business information processes, understanding the parameters around information access (such as time surveys), and establish Key Performance Indicators (KPI) — all with the goal of helping to improve not only access to timely, accurate information but productivity. Ricoh MDS can be designed to deliver a map of your end-to-end process (manual and automated, structured and unstructured activity), and current technology.
Working from this map, Ricoh MDS Process Solution Design can identify quantifiable recommendations to help you improve response times and agility across the enterprise. These recommendations can be designed to fully align with your productivity objectives. These may include process improvements such as combining activities and elimination of bottlenecks, as well as document management technologies like integration with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems.
Improving Mailroom Operation
Your mailroom operation is inefficient and costly in terms of the number of steps in receiving, sorting and delivering mail, and the many exceptions that characterize mail processing.
Streamlining mail routing and processing, as well as shipping and receiving, and fulfillment operations can help you increase efficiency and improve your response times. Scanning mail can help increase error detection and resolution, consistency of service and supports electronic delivery and archiving. Productivity can be enhanced when resources are freed for revenue generating opportunities.
Ricoh MDS Document Lifecycle Services (DLS) can be designed to deliver on-demand Mail Room Management Services that you can leverage to optimize mail routing, processing, and delivery in both hard copy and digital formats. These services can help you transform labor-intensive mail processing activities into a centralized, automated process. Digital mail room services can also be designed to enable integration with document management systems and third party software for Enterprise Content Management (ECM).
Streamlining Processes - Best Practices
Streamlining business critical document processes can help you with your efforts to increase iWorker productivity and facilitate corporate growth. Faster, more effective processes can be created that help you empower your human capital to better respond to customers, shorten sales cycles, and increase knowledge sharing and collaboration for better decision-making. Additional strategic benefits include freed up time which can be repurposed to focus on revenue generating initiatives, product innovation and improved competitive positioning.
Ricoh is a global leader in Managed Print Services (MPS) and Managed Document Services (MDS). 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.
Listed below are some best practices that focus on increasing productivity through streamlined business critical document processes:
- Focus on Most Paper Intensive Processes First
- Design and Test Streamlined Processes
- Take a Phased Approach to Implementation
- Enlist and Encourage Employee Adoption of New Processes
- Closely Monitor Performance of On-Demand Services
Click below for detailed explanations of these best practices:
Focus on Most Paper Intensive Processes First
The first step in successfully streamlining your processes is to identify the most paper-intensive document processes. Evaluate and rank these processes in order of importance, quick wins or overall impact on the company’s business objectives. Define the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the processes you wish to optimize; they should map directly to how quickly and easily people have access to what they need, when they need it. Review current performance in these KPIs and review satisfaction levels (satisfaction survey, business perceptions, responsiveness, access, etc.).
Design and Test Streamlined Processes
Re-engineer processes to eliminate excess paper and shorten process cycle times. Where appropriate, automate manual processes (think e-documents) to reduce human error and add value like automatic indexing and classification. Electronic processes better support scalability. For example, use scan-to-email technology to distribute increasing volumes of documents electronically and store them securely in an electronic repository.
Test recommendations using a process simulation tool to evaluate their impact on process efficiency, cost, etc. A complete cost benefit analysis and return on investment (ROI) calculation should be included as part of any recommendation along with an implementation plan that shows how the proposed solution can be delivered.
Consider the benefits of on-demand services for all or portions of the process. Mature managed document service providers can leverage deep experience and best practices in operational areas such as reprographics management, scanning, mail room management, archiving and storage, and secure document destruction.
Take a Phased Approach to Implementation
When planning the re-engineering and/or automation of specific document processes (including the application of relevant technologies), break the implementation into two fundamental phases: 1) a Basic Phase that reduces the number of steps/tasks required to complete a process, leveraging existing technology and 2) an Enhance Phase, applying new automation and workflow technologies to enable improved, streamlined business critical document processes.
Enlist and Encourage Employee Adoption of New Processes
Employee behavior is perhaps the single most important factor in the successful optimization of business critical document processes. It is important that employees be given the information to understand that streamlined processes can benefit themselves, and by increasing productivity, benefit the organization as a whole. A formalized training and education program will familiarize your employees with the new procedures and technologies—as well as security measures. A systematic change management program, will help the execution of a business process transformation. And a regular communication plan highlighting milestones and successes will foster collaboration and encourage adoption.
Closely Monitor Performance of On-Demand Services
You should monitor closely the performance of the service provider when using on-demand services for your print output environment or reprographics, mail room, document scanning or archiving and secure destruction operations. 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.
Streamlining Processes - How We Solve This
The Ricoh MDS Services Delivery Portfolio offers all the services that can help you design, construct, maintain, and optimize a highly efficient information infrastructure that is aligned with your need to streamline your business processes. 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 support the planning and design of more efficient business critical document processes, including establishing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and ROI analysis. Document Lifecycle Services and Document Process Optimization help you implement improved business critical document processes, whether internal to your organization or leveraging on-demand services from Ricoh. Finally, Management Information Reporting and Optimization Consulting can be designed to help you identify 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 Streamlining Business Processes.