Four reasons MSBs need to drive automation to the top of the agenda
By David Mills, CEO, Ricoh Europe
Ricoh Europe, 22 November 2016 – In competitive environments, speed is crucial to success. Superstar footballers separate themselves from the rest with their ability to make controlled decisions at pace. To achieve this, they put in countless hours – and repetitions – in training to ensure that when they are on the field, their technique is automatic.
Mid-sized businesses (MSBs) don’t need to spend countless hours practicing to achieve the automation required to outpace their competition. Digital technology allows them to automate repeatable movements and focus on more complex tasks and decision-making.
Europe’s MSBs aren’t lacking in ambition - new Ricoh research reveals 38 per cent plan to go public. But in reality, few MSBs actually step up and become large enterprises. In fact, 93 per cent report that they encounter barriers that prevent them from reaching their full potential.
Some firms prioritise speed and agility, and work hard to surpass their competitors. Yet, often an element of control is missing, leaving them unprepared for future challenges.
Automation allows firms to stay in control while moving at pace. It enables them to prioritise innovation and beat their competition.
Here’s why office automation is the answer:
- The ability to accelerate the speed at which you do business
Financial services is an industry where the need for speed is patently clear. Large banks and stock exchanges work tirelessly just to shave a fraction of a second off the speed of a trade. Lower costs of production and innovative new ways of doing business mean it’s never been easier to be quicker.
Automation can cut the time spent on tasks which previously proved extremely time intensive. This puts businesses not only in a position to be more agile, but it frees up one of their most important resources, their employee’s time, for use on more business critical tasks. Additionally, employees can accelerate decision-making by facilitating the fast, accurate flow and exchange of information.
- Gain more control over invoicing and finances
Confused about where in the business to start with automation? Look no further than your finance department. Responsible for reporting the bottom-line, it’s vital all processes into and out of finance run as smoothly as possible. By automating cash flow and replacing paper invoices with electronic invoicing, businesses can almost immediately speed up receipts and payments all without incurring significant capital expenditure.
Ricoh research into the cost of traditional paper invoicing found that electronic invoices could potentially save the European public sector €40billion annually alone! If we extend that saving out across all verticals the potential capital freed up for investment into growth is astronomical.
- Being able to reduce waste by managing the entire lifecycle of a document
Straight-forward office tasks which started out as word processing, data processing and email are now far more complicated. Advanced copying, scanning and printing processes that integrate front office and back office systems and processes are all increasingly seen as fundamental by modern businesses. Automation not only simplifies these processes, but has the added benefit of cutting down on waste, too.
- Improve access to your archives
Employees require immediate access to the right information at the right moment. By automating scanning and archiving services, employees can access the right information when they need it. This efficient system saves time and money. It also cuts down on the time spent building and maintaining business records.
An electronic repository not only simplifies searching for and extracting data but allows for secure shredding and end-of-life management. Document flows can also be simplified for easy management, for example, when a document needs to be signed to authorise the next stage of a process.