Speedy access to critical information separates the winners from the losers in today’s information economy. And just as everyone organises their documents in some way or another – even if it’s a ‘home made’ naming convention of always including the client name or a keyword – then, everyone who is not using document management software spends far too much time looking for “lost” documents or trying to work out which is the most recent version.
We would like to think that DM has finally gained full acceptance in the business world; but the truth is that some businesses still remain stubbornly unconvinced despite the facts and figures that support the business case.
Why Wouldn’t You?
According to Deutsche Bank and Gartner research, no less than 95% of the 30 billion invoices processed across Europe in the year 2010 were still done so in a way that involved manual data entry. Think about that for a minute – that’s over 28 billion invoices still being moved around from person to person, desk to desk, sometimes with as many as 10 steps to complete the whole process. The truth here is that manual processing can push the cost of processing that invoice by a factor of 20 over doing it electronically. That equates to £80,000 for 20,000 invoices at £4 each (done manually) versus the much lower £4,000 if they were done electronically (so at 20p each). And 20,000 invoices isn’t really a lot if you are a multinational.
Another statistic has it that the average office worker in the UK uses 15,000 sheets of paper every year with a cost implication of approximately £170 per person. At roughly 10 million UK office workers, that amounts to nearly £2 billion pounds being spent on possibly unnecessary paper.
A 2012 IDC report (‘The High Cost of Not Finding Information’) found that information workers spent up to 20% of their time filing and searching through paper documents. On top of that, they wasted over 10 hours a week searching for, but not finding, documents, recreating lost documents and other time-consuming tasks. IDC has gone so far as to cost out three scenarios – Time Wasted Search, Cost of Reworking Information and Opportunity Costs To the Enterprise – that can help companies estimate the cost of not finding information and the productivity gains that can be achieved when they do. Using these three scenarios, IDC estimated that an enterprise employing 1,000 knowledge workers wastes at least $2.5 to $3.5 million per year searching for nonexistent information, failing to find existing information, or recreating information that can’t be found. The opportunity cost to the enterprise is even greater, with potential additional revenue exceeding $15 million annually.
Plans, ideas, and thought processes have to be reinvented and recreated because an original document cannot be located and retrieved or – as sometimes happens when people retire or move on – other people are unaware of its existence. These figures, and many more like them, can all be attributed to the problems inherent in hardcopy document management – problems that have been known about for a long time.
This is something that should concern everyone in business, as despite all the cheerful headlines about a recovering UK economy, most businesses are still not increasing their spending – which means that money spent carelessly like this if there really is no need is not really on.
There is no room, then, for complacency. Until DM software is on everybody’s ‘must-have’ list, there is still work to be done. The DM market is still a very healthy one and there is great scope for selling more of the sector’s wares. But unless we start working with customers – new and old, frankly – on the need to get the efficiency beyond the Finance office to the rest of the office, making the internal handling of the payment cycle a much slicker process and close out the situation where invoices can spend three quarters of their time in a company doing nothing, then we don’t have time to relax.
Source: Document Manager
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