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Make Your Operations Really Slick!

11 Aug, 2008 By: Laurel B. Sanders imageSource

Make Your Operations Really Slick!

These days, oil and oil-related costs are generating a buzz everywhere. 
Although some companies tapped into automation to reduce their carbon footprint
prior to the skyrocketing prices, today’s higher costs provide a good reason for
more companies to seriously consider it.  Effective technology use delivers a
solid return, including considerable savings on oil-related expenses.  As you
look for ways to improve your revenue stream as a dealer, consider how you can
improve it for your customers.  Quicker delivery of revenue-producing paperwork
and reduced costs are a double win. What company can say ‘no’ to helping the
planet when it also improves the bottom line? 

Minimize the Need for Storage Facilities

Paper production and storage requires fossil fuels; from felling trees to
building and heating storage facilities.  Rising oil prices mean costly paper,
space, and heat, not to mention expenses for off-site retrieval.  Duplicate
paper copies result in added costs of toner and ink cartridges.

Document imaging of existing files doesn’t eradicate past paper production,
but it helps businesses minimize storage costs.  Better still, on-line capture
of data via e-forms eliminates the need for paper production. Digital
information means faster, more secure, and less expensive access.

Reduce Shipping and Mailing Costs

Many documents are still created as hard copies (especially contracts) and
travel extensively, like circulating dollar bills, being copied and sent through
the mail to branch offices, remote staff, and customers.  Paper documents and
contracts are sent out for signatures and returned, doubling the fuel
expenditures used.  Items subject to deadlines and service level agreements
require prompt attention, adding stress along with priority shipping costs. 
Even when an imaging system exists, too often it ends up an electronic filing
cabinet to archive PDFs of the original documents instead of additionally using
the electronic “send” functions as well, failing to abolish the initial shipping
of the original paper copy, resulting in related costs that could easily have
been avoided.

Although some regulations mandate specific documents must be printed, most
files can be sent to simultaneous parties for processing, approvals, electronic
signatures, and other actions without printing (and subsequently mailing) a
single piece of paper.  Web-based document imaging, or a capture system
integrated with document management and process automation software, eliminates
costly delivery.  Companies in document-intensive industries (such as finance
and insurance) have eliminated 90% of paper production and shipping costs and
more, generating five- and six-figure savings.  Fossil fuel demands and
oil-related expenditures fall dramatically in tandem. Processing times improve,
often decreasing from days to minutes, and satisfying customers more quickly.


Businesses that are ready to take full advantage of automation need to set
aside time to manually optimize business efficiency. Document inventories,
indexing plans for diverse organizational needs, and streamlining of manual
processes for consistency are all vital.  Poor organization of information and
inconsistent handling of routine processes do not improve with the best office
equipment, hardware, or software solutions.  The same chaos results – only

Take time to understand the document process, from the creation of data –
regardless of its form – to its eventual archival as a record.  Consider your
customers’ itinerant files and the costly adventures they take throughout the
document lifecycle, as varied as a circulating dollar bill (but far more
expensive).  Use the rising cost of oil to your customers’ advantage. By helping
them to optimize, image, and leverage their data with technology, you will help
them to offer better and faster service while engaging in eco-friendly
operations.  That’s pretty slick!

Cut Courier and Staff Deliveries

Despite commendable service, the luxury of fast and dependable delivery
offered by companies such as DHL, FedEx, and UPS has a cost to businesses and
the environment.  Cars, trucks, and planes expend significant fuel.  Rising oil
prices mean increased delivery costs.  Your customers will reluctantly pass the
costs on to their clients, but an informed reseller can offer them an

A business that has converted to digital capture – whether through a
multi-function device, scanner, bar code reader, or digital imaging system –
experiences real savings when process automation is added.  Offered by many
vendors either as part of an integrated document management system or as an
add-on option to existing software, process automation leverages data your
clients own, putting electronic courier service and control at their
fingertips.  Time-sensitive documents requiring expediency ( some requiring
action within a day or even hours of receipt)  are no longer subject to the
challenges of fuel-based delivery.  Documents missed in daily pickups can be
sent digitally within seconds, surpassing even the service of the best courier

Laurel Sanders is the Director of Public Relations and Communications for
Optical Image Technology, Inc., developers of the DocFinity suite of imaging,
document management, and workflow products (www.docfinity.com).
She can be contacted at

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