Stop moving at the speed of paper.
The copiers and printers we sell, lease, and service aren't just for making copies and printing documents (though those features ARE important). Using your copier to scan paper will improve your business workflows (servicing your customers faster, speeding invoicing, and more) as well as saving storage space and being able to find information faster (our document management director, Lane LeBahn, has explored many of these document management issues, click here to read )
Digitizing your business documents is the first step. A combination of imaging, workflow, and/or document management software can supercharge your business.
You might be thinking, “I'm just a small business, that's more than I need.”
It's easier and faster to find a document on your computer than by digging through a manila folder. That's true whether you're a two-person startup or a Fortune 500 company.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
- An invoice is sitting on someone's desk while they're out sick. When they return, the early payment discount has been lost.
- A customer has submitted an insurance claim and calls to check on the status. It's not yet in adjudication so customer service can't help the customer.
- A new homeowner is waiting for their mortgage approval, but the fax – which the customer sent successfully – is nowhere to be found.
Better Processes = Customer Satisfaction
Businesses know they need to do better. In Adobe's Document Disconnect research, 72% of businesses surveyed say improving their business processes would increase customer satisfaction and brand value. Marketing automation company HubSpot's research reinforces this point; 65% of customers have said they've cut ties with a brand over a single service experience.
Here are two examples of efficiency:
- A network of insurance agents eliminated the physical printing and mailing of 4,000 pieces of paper per month through an electronic process that saved 200 working hours each month. This allowed them to add three new sales positions.
- An engineering company implemented a paperless process and saved 15 hours of filing each week – that's half an hour of filing time for each employee every day. (Extra-long coffee breaks for everyone!)
Reasons to Move Beyond Paper
Why automate? AIIM research outlines a number of ways process automation benefits companies:
- One-third of organizations have seen a decrease in their review and approval cycles and 62% say they have gained benefits from better routing to and between individuals. For 42%, the benefits come from greater organizational agility and routing between processes.
- Faster processing of business-critical activities has provided the biggest value for 53% of respondents. 45% cite their biggest value from fewer errors and exceptions processing.
- Payback has been realized within a year for 41% of respondents of which 17% cite ROI within 6 months. For 25%, ROI was within 18 months.
Use those copiers for more than copies! I'll end with two tips and a critical thing to remember when it comes to business processes. First, the two tips:
- Document your business processes. This doesn't have to be complicated; simply write down the steps involved. This will help you identify both redundant steps and opportunities for workflow to automate the process.
- Identify bottlenecks. Where do processes come to a standstill? For example, is too much work and responsibility landing on one person in your organization?
And, THE most important thing to remember – NEVER automate a bad business process, you'll just make an ineffective process faster. As always, first identify business goals and objectives, THEN identify the technology you need (copiers, scanners, printers, document management, etc.)
- The Document Disconnect
- HubSpot's Inbound Marketing online training
- Process Improvement and Automation 2016 – A look at BPM (Executive Summary)
- Is Paper Silently Killing Your Business in the Digital Age?