In today’s competitive business environment, companies of all sizes are looking at increased efficiency and improved productivity. One of the key areas where organisations can gain such benefits lies in the digitisation of paper-intensive processes and the streamlining of their document workflows. Achieving this will significantly improve their productivity and save them both time and money.

By Ronnie Oeschger, divisional director: Xerox indirect channels at Bytes Document Solutions

The majority of businesses that are still running on paper-intensive processes are well aware that an incredible amount of time is wasted. In particular, according to a recent international survey from Xerox, 46% of respondents reported that they waste time daily because of these processes, with billing/invoicing, business/financial reporting and HR forms named as the most common.

More than 80% of the businesses polled want to cut paper out of these processes, and it is no wonder. Digitisation will not only help cuts costs but also simplify the processes themselves.

MPS is a significant component of digitisation. Forty-two percent of survey respondents have MPS in place, while another 40% plan to adopt MPS within 12 months. More than print, the right MPS starts with device optimisation to save costs and then leverages capabilities, innovation and automation for better document security, productivity and sustainability.

Further findings from the Xerox survey focused on the top-ranked business priorities for SMBs (percent ranking each priority in the top three out of eight priorities):

  • Growing the business – 47%;
  • Increased productivity through improved workflow/business processes – 47%;
  • Reduced printing costs – 42%;
  • Improve customer service/response times – 39%; and
  • Improve security/disaster recovery – 34%.

While it is clear that an effective digitisation strategy will play a crucial role in helping to drive down printing costs, there are other factors to consider when adopting such an approach. The expansion of the digital world means work is no longer solely confined to the office. Instead, it happens anywhere and everywhere and at all hours of the day.

According to figures from the International Survey, 66 percent of SMBs currently include mobile printing in their mobility initiatives, while 27% plan to within the next year. The primary drivers include increasing the productivity of mobile workers, meeting customers’ needs for remote information and improved and faster customer service.

When implementing a digitisation strategy, security should not be forgotten, since printers need to figure prominently in any encompassing security strategy your company implements, and MFPs offer many security advantages in this respect.

In addition, you should ensure that a roadmap is in place that will allow you to integrate mobile devices with your workflow processes either now or in the near future.

In the end, successfully pulling off an effective digitisation strategy requires many different parts to work in synch. This is why the first and most crucial step in any such approach is to find the right MPS partner, which can assist with the ongoing optimisation required while at the same time helping you to plan your future print roadmap.