Better document processes could mean more revenue, suggests study sponsored by Ricoh

Ricoh UK is advising companies that improving document processes such as sales and marketing, customer communications, customer onboarding, service and support, developing new products, and billing and collection, which are traditionally seen as a strategy primarily for cost reduction, could yield some surprising revenue benefits. There is a potential increase of approximately 10 per cent to the top line based on a recent IDC white paper sponsored by Ricoh.
This is due to improved document processes enhancing the overall experience of a customer’s interaction with an organisation. Efficient processes, which allow for greater focus on the customer’s needs, can have a positive impact on customer satisfaction, which is critical for retention and revenue growth. On the other hand, customers may flee to competitors if confronted by inefficient and ineffective customer-facing document processes.

These assertions are backed by research reported in a new IDC white paper sponsored by Ricoh, “Organisational Blind Spot: The Role of Document-Driven Business Processes in Driving Top-Line Growth (September 2012).” The white paper is the second major product of Ricoh’s new Process Imperative initiative for improved information management. The white paper is based on IDC’s recent global study of 1,516 document-driven business process owners and information workers.
The research revealed that deficient document processes may cause customers to defect. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they would be less likely to do business with companies having inefficient or ineffective document processes. Sixty percent said they would take their business elsewhere, and 57 percent said they would tell others not do to business with these companies.
The good news is that better document processes have the potential to improve revenue. More than 8 in 10 respondents indicated that optimising customer-facing document driven business processes would increase revenue – on average by 10.1 percent. This could be achieved by improving customer communications, streamlining the sales and customer on-boarding process, and improving customer support.
“This is great news for executives who are struggling to prioritise business process improvements,” said Chas Moloney, Director at Ricoh UK. “No longer do they have to wonder if tackling document processes will yield a big enough return to justify the investment. Especially in this economic climate, any process that can both reduce costs and improve revenue is a win-win and should rise to the top of the priority list.”
Ricoh recommends several approaches such as the following to take advantage of the revenue-generation potential of document processes.

  • View the customer satisfaction experience holistically. Information flows into an organisation (input), is processed within, and is delivered to the right person at the right time (output). Where does your customer fit? How can you integrate them more deeply into the process to help them obtain the information they need when they need it? How can you do the same for suppliers and distribution partners? Process is paramount.
  • Streamlining document and information processes strengthens relationships. It keeps your employees closer to the customer, for example by empowering the mobile workforce as workers travel to customer sites. Likewise, improving document processes can optimise communication in the supply chain, closing gaps that may cause customers to flee.
  • Although process is paramount, results are what matters most. Optimised processes must absolutely deliver the right information to the right people at the right time to prompt the right business decisions. Otherwise, the effort is for naught.

Ricoh is uniquely equipped to assist its customers in executing a comprehensive strategy for document process improvement that helps reduce costs and potentially increase revenue through its Managed Document Services approach.  Its proven methodology (Understand, Improve, Transform, Govern and Optimise) helps Ricoh pinpoint an organisation’s key processes and then align them with services that will help customers achieve measurable and sustainable business outcomes. The knowledge Ricoh has gained through its thousands of implementations has also provided insight into the top business concerns that are most prevalent in today’s corporate environments including: cost control, environmental sustainability, information security and governance, business process efficiency, organisational change management, information worker (iWorker) productivity, information optimisation and strategic infrastructure. This valuable insight helps accelerate the first step in the process – Understand – so customers can begin the Improve phase more quickly and start realising the resulting benefits as soon as possible.

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