The Benefits of Digital Document Management Can Be Dramatic

Organizations are constantly challenged to manage an ever-increasing flow of documentation across the enterprise including mail, contracts, applications, invoices, and more. If handled manually, processing, tracking, and delivering this correspondence to stakeholders can be massively inefficient and costly.

Document management, however, also presents an ideal opportunity to leverage automation and digitization. With the right tools and partnerships, document management can hone process workflow throughout the enterprise and be an accelerant to your overall business transformation. The benefits of digital document management can be dramatic, including:

  • Cost Savings. When you automate manual tasks, it helps centralize some of the most mission-critical information in your organization. It also increases processing velocity while decreasing resource allocation for basic and repeatable tasks. Automation reduces the errors in document management that have major downstream impact in departments like risk management, customer service and business intelligence. Taken together, these benefits have shown to reduce information-related costs by as much as 92%.[i]
  • Intelligent Data Capture. Unstructured data accounts for up to 80% of your overall business information assets, and a great deal of this is data exists in documentation.[ii] Automating and digitizing document management allows for intelligent data capture, which extracts this unstructured data to make it actionable. This data can also be seamlessly integrated into workflows and reporting across the business, creating faster insights and driving better collaboration.

A critical opportunity: the mailroom

One critical opportunity to automate and digitize documentation is in the mailroom. Mail is often a chokepoint in a business and has major impact downstream — to manually receive, sort, classify and deliver your mail is labor-intensive and subject to error, all of which can be costly and detrimental to productivity across the enterprise.

A digital intake center is an automated, digital mail processing solution that addresses these challenges in several ways. One is by reducing costs. When you automate and digitize your mail intake, it reduces the need for manual interaction — hand-sorting and delivering. This means that critical information can get into the right hands and begin working for you in a fraction of the time, controlling your overhead and liberating talent for revenue-driving tasks.

A second benefit of a digital mail solution is that it can enhance efficiency. Digitizing mail helps you systematize your processes; intake, processing, classifying, and delivering happens automatically, creating a more frictionless experience across the organization.

A third advantage of digital mail is that it can strengthen security, compliance, and risk management. Digital intake centers help ensure that your mail and sensitive documentation is secure. The increased visibility afforded by digitization allows you to remain compliant with strict audit requirements, allows your organization to pivot quickly in the face of new privacy regulation and strengthens the backbone of your risk management strategy by centralizing and classifying unstructured data.

Tackling the paper chase

Automating your document management systems and digitizing mail are key drivers of transformation, but the reality is that these efforts simply cannot eliminate the need for paper entirely. And the same factors that hinder manual document management — inefficiency, inaccuracy and high costs — also apply to your paper management. Managed print services (MPS) not only help tackle the necessary evil of paper, but they also work together with your digital transformation efforts.

Such services help fortify your security by managing your printers and other physical endpoints while also reducing the risk of document theft or the loss of intellectual property. MPS give you greater visibility into your resource uses, and ensures you meet printing needs without overspending. MPS can also give you visibility into usage patterns to help you refine processes and even control your environmental footprint — which matters to your customers and employees.   

Choosing a partner

For most transforming organizations, automating document management systems is not a core competency — nor should it be. But there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to managed services providers, and choosing the wrong partner can often hinder rather than help. As one of the primary engines fueling your business transformation, it’s critical to find a provider that can meet your needs and match your ambition. Here are three factors to consider when selecting your partner:

  • Value Expertise. Your document management needs are complex, and the right services provider will understand the unique circumstances of your organization and your industry. Look for a partner who has worked across industries, especially those with a high level of controls and compliance needs like financial services, insurance, and healthcare.
  • Visualize the Roadmap. The right managed services provider will not approach your needs ad-hoc. Transformation requires a comprehensive approach to people, process, and technology — and aligning these forces requires a clear, systematic game plan. Your services partner should be able to assess your current state, quickly identify opportunities for improvement, and implement a plan in phases so no steps are missed, ensuring that capabilities grow organically.
  • Seek Flexibility. An integrated delivery model is a critical feature of the right services provider. Rapidly growing, transforming businesses must partner with providers who can meet those evolving needs and provide maximum adaptability — whether you need document management on-site, off-site or offshore.

Transformation does not happen overnight, and it requires a strong roadmap built on great fundamentals. It also requires the right partner with the right expertise. Document management driven by automation and in conjunction with an experienced managed services provider is a core building block of transformation, allowing you to reap the benefits of greater efficiency, better security and compliance, cost reduction, data-driven insight, and a launchpad for innovation.

[i] “Beyond the Bounds of Human Capability,” Conduent, 2020

[ii] “Five Steps to Reducing Your Paper Processing Costs,” Canon Business Process Services, 2019

is a certified enterprise content management practitioner (ecmp) and director of corporate communications for Canon Business Process Services, a leader in managed services and technology.