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ISM Article

Elevating Document Management

3 Nov, 2008 By: Editorial Staff

Elevating Document Management

We’re in the business of knowing, well, that business documents are critical
to financial and strategic decision-making. They are essential information
assets that play a vital role in the successful daily operation of an
enterprise. Yet, it’s been estimated that while 90 percent of senior executives
involved in document management agree that managing documents throughout their
lifecycle helps improve business performance, only 12 percent of the surveyed
executives actually rate their organization as highly effective in this
practice. So what gives?

Here are a few of the key findings worth repeating, highlighted from a
comprehensive survey report issued by Océ Business Services: A Premier Standard:
How Organizations can Elevate Business Performance through Advanced Document
Process Management – which links six advanced document management processes –
including document imaging, records management, enterprise-wide print/copy, mail
and shipping, automated print/mail workflows and legal discovery – with
high-value business benefits according to senior executives experienced in
document management practices.

The executives surveyed agree that of the six document management processes,
document imaging has a high impact across the greatest range of top business
goals that include reducing costs, increasing competitive advantage, enhancing
regulatory compliance, and improving customer service (along with automated
print/mail workflow and records management). Automated print/mail workflow was
seen to have the highest impact on driving faster time to market. Records
management was designated as having the highest impact on improving operational

In another key finding, a majority of survey participants indicated that
their organizations are measuring document process performance, with the highest
number of organizations measuring service level performance followed by user
satisfaction, user activity, and return on investment. Survey respondents also
specified that the key benefits of measurement include enhanced efficiency and
reduced cost of document process activities.

In addition, executives surveyed indicated that their most urgent business
goal was to improve operational efficiency closely followed by reducing costs;
they see document management processes as having a high impact in meeting these
and other goals. This is particularly the case with processes such as digital
imaging, as well as methodologies such as document lifecycle management and
document performance management. Most executives realize the potential business
benefits but rate their organizations as only moderately or slightly effective
in managing documents throughout their lifecycle. Part of this performance gap
is due to the fact that, because they are not specialists in this area, many
companies don’t integrate the management of their document processes.
Performance improvement frequently occurs in companies that integrate the
management of document imaging, print, mail, and records.

Authenticity for these results came from over 170 online surveys completed by
executives involved in document management. These include chief administrative
officers, mid- and upper-level operations managers, and chief information
officers. To review, visit
for further “enlightenment.”

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