Published on October 12th, 2015 | by Louella Fernandes0
Managed Print Services: 5 Ways To Enable Digital Transformation
By Louella Fernandes • on October 12th, 2015 • in Articles • 5,583 views • No Comments
Digital transformation can help enterprises streamline processes, increase productivity, improve services and reduce operational costs. Today many leading organisations are turning to managed print services (MPS) providers to support their digitisation initiatives and gain competitive advantage.
To drive digital transformation, enterprises not only need to make their products and services accessible anywhere, from any device at any time, they also need to make their internal business processes more efficient and secure as well as support an ever increasing mobile and collaborative workforce. Yet, this still represents a major challenge for many enterprises. There are many hurdles – not only cost but also technology maturity, legislation, internal silos, staff education and company culture.
The first step to any effective digital transformation strategy is to eliminate the paper bottleneck through digitisation. Today many key business processes are still burdened with paper – think loan origination, claims processing, accounts payable and human resources. There is certainly an appetite for accelerating digitisation initiatives – a recent Quocirca enterprise MPS study revealed that over 75% of those using MPS were looking to digitise further business processes. And those using MPS are clearly most satisfied with the integration of their paper and digital workflows. Overall 77% of those using MPS believed their organisations were effective or very effective compared to 56% of those not using MPS.
MPS already offers opportunities for cost savings and productivity improvements through minimising wasteful printing and better utilising advanced multifunction printer (MFP) hardware and solutions for intelligent document capture, routing and archiving. Eliminating the inherent inefficiencies of manual, paper-based work streams can also improve operational excellence and accelerate the benefits of MPS. Here are five key ways that MPS providers can deliver services and solutions to support an organisation’s digital transformation journey.
- Document workflow assessments
Leading MPS providers are expanding their assessment services to evaluate the entire information lifecycle – analysing not only print usage but also document workflow across enterprise business processes. Recommendations are made for areas that will benefit from workflow enhancement or automation. Most leading MPS vendors, including HP, Lexmark, Ricoh and Xerox offer comprehensive workflow assessment services along with a range of enterprise content management (ECM) solutions.
- Leverage investments in Smart MFPs
Smart MFPs play a critical role in supporting digitisation initiatives. With sophisticated document capture and routing capabilities, these devices can effectively bridge the paper to digital gap, integrating directly with enterprise content management (ECM) and other enterprise systems. For instance, paper invoices or expense receipts can be scanned and routed directly to an accounts application from the MFP interface panel. Certainly, those organisations that are maximising utilisation of MFPs are most likely to be effective in their workflow integration, as revealed in Quocirca’s study. Overall, 85% of organisations with a “well-defined MFP strategy” stated their workflow integration to be effective or very effective, compared to approximately 40% of those without a clear MFP strategy.
- Implement intelligent document capture solutions
An Intelligent Data Capture solution can extract intelligence from unstructured or semi-structured documents like invoices, sales orders and inbound correspondence – be it scanned images, email and other unstructured data using sophisticated document and character recognition software. Ensuring data quality at the point of capture is a vital part in the digitisation process. Smart MFPs are clearly part of the document capture process, but a true enterprise capture solution must support the ability to capture documents throughout the organisation, from branch offices, distributed offices and field offices – using centralised scanning, distributed scanning or ad-hoc scanning – whether it is using MFPs or business scanners. Look for an MPS provider with the industry expertise and third party partnerships to advise on the best hardware and software solutions to support specific business document capture needs.
- Provide a digital mailroom
A digital mailroom solution automates the capture of all incoming mail, whether delivered on paper, in an email, via fax, or from other sources such as the MFP or mobile device. With advanced scanning technology, information is digitised and classified ready for delivery to business processes and systems, with full traceability. With a digital mailroom, documents can be securely stored and any chance of losing a document is greatly reduced. Automating the entire process means a reduced need for manual intervention and so a lower risk of errors. With digitisation, there is also a lower compliance risk. Most MPS vendors offer digital mail room services as part of their broader MPS offerings.
- Implement multichannel communications
Customer Communication Management (CCM) products enable the creation and distribution of structured, interactive, and on-demand communications across multiple channels including, print, email, fax, web and mobile phone. Based on the defined rules, they deliver customer communications via the customers’ preferred delivery channels. Printed communications can also be made dynamic and interactive through the use of QR codes, pURLs (personal URLs) or augmented reality (AR), driving customers to online and mobile channels. For example, adding a pURL to a statement or invoice to cross-sell other financial services or products. CCM enables more effective customer communications leading to improved efficiencies and increased customer loyalty as a result of personalised communications. Many MPS vendors offer CCM solutions – including Canon, HP, Lexmark, Ricoh and Xerox.
Ultimately, the opportunity to improve operational excellence for many organisations is linked to the ability to transition from paper-based to digital business processes. Many MPS providers have decades of experience of understanding document processes and are augmenting this expertise with broader workflow services and solutions. Although a manged print service is not a panacea for digital transformation it provides the capabilities to accelerate and optimise document digitisation. This is an essential first step to unlocking the value in paper documents and setting the stage for broader digital transformation.