Welcome to our next post in our Scanning Series. With complexity being the number one challenge on the minds of today’ CEOs this post explores where scanning can help cut some of the complexity fat.
In my previous post, Picking the Right Place to Reduce Complexity in Your Business, we recommended you look at your core processes and unstructured data when seeking ways to reduce complexity in your business.
I’m oversimplifying but the illustration below represents where complexity may lurk in your organization. Each core process produces unstructured data in the form of physical and electronic records. There’s evidence that suggests that as much as 80% of all information in your organization is unstructured.
Where complexity thrives, is in areas where there is intense manual processes and an abundance of unstructured data in the form of physical and electronic records.
A record can be either a tangible object or digital information: for example, birth certificates, medical x-rays, office documents, databases, application data, and e-mail. In other words it exists physically or electronically.
Scanning of physical records that tie to core processes reduces complexity by systematically gathering, indexing, storing and archiving key pieces of information that reside in physical documents.
Below are three examples of physical records including a form filled out by hand, a letter from a supplier and an invoice.
Scanning does two important things. First, it introduces process automation and second it records key data and puts it where you need it. The document is scanned and data is automatically added to key information systems and business line applications used to generate sales, bill customers, provide service, measure profitability etc.
There are two key complexity busters that scanning tackles. It improves visibility to key information and automates key process activities. This is important because in the 2007 Aberdeen “E-Payables: Advancing Accounts Payable Automation" Benchmark Report” lack of visibility and manually intense processes were cited as key causes to complexity.
While the study is three years old I would venture to guess that many organizations still have some of these visibility “blind spots” identified below.
In fact, the most popular scanning projects implemented that yielded the greatest return, according to AIIM’s 2009 Document Scanning and Capture Report, were process and document intensive in nature.
While every business is unique a simple approach to reducing complexity is to isolate core processes that are manually intense and generating a lot of unstructured data. Ascertain if scanning can automate some of your process tasks, improve visibility to important information and overall productivity. In my next post I'll introduce the first key phase in putting in place a scanning strategy: Conducting a "Document Inventory".
Do you have any questions or insights on how to take complexity out of your business? Feel free to leave a comment below. Feel free direct message me via Linkedin if you’d like to discuss this topic more.
Alfredo De Vanna is CTO of Yakidoo. He has over 10 years of international experience deploying over 80 critical information technology and enterprise content management systems. He is fluent in English and Spanish.