Embrace outsourcing to drive business transformation

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Embrace outsourcing to drive business transformation

Martin Hurley, VP and General Manager Outsourcing at Ricoh Europe PLC

Optimising business critical document processes can play a major role in improving overall business performance, helping to increase profitability and enabling an organisation to respond more quickly to customer needs.  Yet still more than half of those in the legal sector, increasing to 64 per cent in Financial Services* admit that they could increase the efficiency of their existing processes. 

Furthermore, over one quarter of all business critical documents are still being processed in hard copy in both legal and financial services. Inevitably this leaves them more susceptible to errors, processes are unnecessarily labour intensive and the efficiency of client service levels is impacted. So, isn’t it time to outsource?

The outsourcing market rose to a record level in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the third quarter of 2011 – with an increase of 99 per cent year on year**. More and more organisations are realising how outsourcing complex processes will have a positive impact on business productivity, enhancing information flow and freeing up staff to focus on areas of the business that create more value. 

For example, in Belgium alone, an international HR services group outsourced management of its document chain to Ricoh, and as a result 20 members of staff have been re-deployed from administrative roles to focus more on core business activities.  It has also achieved on going savings of more than 30 per cent.

InfoTrends also positively forecast CAGR growth of the business document outsourcing (BDO) market at 16.1 per cent***, and over one third (33 per cent) of European business leaders told Coleman Parkes Research* that they would, or already have outsourced their business critical document processes to improve efficiencies*.  In Spain the number increases to 44 per cent and to 36 per cent in the UK.

So what is holding the other businesses back?  61 per cent of those who aren’t considering outsourcing cite security concerns and 34 per cent said they do not want to lose control of their processes*.

It is clear that further education and awareness is needed to help businesses determine the most efficient routes to process optimisation.  Security concerns can be easily overcome by implementing software that will protect, track and audit how valuable information flows across the organisation.  Also, organisations and outsourcers need to work together to overcome such concerns by establishing a partnership approach, instead of simply focusing on one-off efficiency gains.

A business document outsourcing company should have an in-depth understanding of how they can optimise business critical processes and how they fit within their client’s wider business activity.  Also key is to understand the way their employees work, and the IT service requirements of the organisation. This approach needs to be matched with an internal collaborative effort between the CIO, CFO and COO in the boardroom.

By embracing outsourcing and working with a partner they trust, companies really can transform their business.  They can also reduce any unnecessary overheads created as a result of outdated document processes, improve information flow and ultimately driving savings across the entire organisation.

*    Research conducted by Coleman Parkes.  Ricoh Process Efficiency Index. www.ricoh-europe.com/thoughtleadership 

**  3Q11 EMEA TPI Index 

*** Infotrends.  Western European Document Outsourcing Market Forecast 2010-2015

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About Ricoh

RicohCompany, Ltd. (Ricoh Company) is a Fortune Global 500 company specialising in technology and services that transform high volume, document intensive business processes into more efficient ones.  This is achieved through Ricoh’s expertise in Managed Document Services, Production Printing, Office Solutions and IT Services.  By working with Ricoh, businesses can streamline the way they work, become more efficient and profitable, and share knowledge more effectively within their organisations. With a global workforce of 109,014, Ricoh operates in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, China and Japan.

Ricoh Europe Holdings Plc is a public limited company and the EMEA headquarters of Ricoh Company with operations located in London, United Kingdom and Amstelveen, the Netherlands.  In the fiscal year ended 31 March 2011, revenues from Ricoh's EMEA operations totalled JPY413.9 billion (approx €3.5 billion based on the US Federal Reserve exchange rate 31 March 2011). Ricoh group’s worldwide sales totalled JPY1,942 billion (approx €16.4 billion based on the US Federal Reserve exchange rate 31 March 2011).

About the Ricoh Process Efficiency Index.

The Ricoh Process Efficiency Index was conducted by independent research firm, Coleman Parkes, and commissioned by Ricoh Europe. Survey respondents held full responsibility for managing the processes surrounding the critical business documents inside their organisations and were employed within: Financial/accounting, sales, HR or payroll, customer or client information, legal, warehouse and supply chain. The research consisted of 458 telephone surveys within large (1000+ employee) organisations, located in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, The Nordics (Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark), Spain, Switzerland and the UK.  The organisations are based within the education, legal, utilities, healthcare, manufacturing and financial services sectors.  Qualitative interviews were also completed with European CIOs to gain further commentary about their business critical document processes.

For further information, please contact:
Ricoh Europe PLC
Janice Gibson/Louise Yarrall 
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7465 1153
E-mail: press@ricoh-europe.com
Homepage: www.ricoh-europe.com
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