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

Ricoh recommends several approaches to help businesses take advantage of
the revenue-generation potential of document processes

TOKYO, September 5, 2012 — Ricoh Company, Ltd. 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 — in fact, a potential increase of approximately 10 percent to the top line based on a recent IDC white paper sponsored by Ricoh.

The reasoning? Improved document processes can enhance the overall experience of a customer’s interaction with an organization. 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, “Organizational Blind Spot: The Role of Document-Driven Business Processes in Driving Top—Line Growth (September 2012).”1 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.

1 IDC White Paper sponsored by Ricoh, “Organizational Blind Spot: The Role of Document-Driven Business Processes in Driving Top-Line Growth,” September 2012

Deficient document processes may cause customers to defect, the research revealed. 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 optimizing 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 prioritize business process improvements,” said Sergio Kato, Deputy General Manager, Ricoh’s Global Marketing Group/Services Business Center. “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 organization (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 optimize communication in the supply chain, closing gaps that may cause customers to flee.
  • Although process is paramount, results are what matters most. Optimized 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 Optimize) helps Ricoh pinpoint an organization’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, organizational change management, information worker (iWorker) productivity, information optimization 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 realizing the resulting benefits as soon as possible.

About the Process Imperative
Ricoh’s Process Imperative is an on—going initiative to promote understanding of new document and information processing paradigms that help enterprises leverage the collective wisdom embodied in their organizations. This initiative will fund research and provide resources, like those found on this site, which combine Ricoh’s document and information process expertise with that of industry visionaries, our partners and our customers. The insights gained through this work help businesses transform their business processes to improve productivity and drive out cost by delivering the right information, at the right time, in the right form.

Related Subject Business