Study Exposes the Efficiency of Paper

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Yes, I know that sounds counter-intuitive. After all, the tagline to my newsletter is “Business Trends on Converting Paper Processes to Electronic Ones.” And, why would we want to go through all the trouble doing that if not to make the processes more efficient. Hold on a minute, and I’ll explain.

Here’s a quote from a recent IDC white paper commissioned by Ricoh, entitled, It’s Worse than You Think: Poor Document Processes Lead to Significant Business Risk.  Discussing the results of a survey on ineffective document processes, “The least effective processes are also the least paper based. This exposes the myth that simply driving paper out of processes necessarily makes them more efficient.”

Basically, I think we all understand the second part – electronifying a bad processes doesn’t necessarily improve it, it just codifies it. But, read that first sentence again. It indicates that the paper-based processes are actually more effective than the electronic ones. To me, this could be great marketing material for the document imaging industry. Logistically, it would follow maybe eliminating paper processes is not the most efficient route. Rather, improving them, through strategic capture might be.

Bottom line: In many cases paper processes are more efficient than electronic ones, so why try and replace them? Why not just improve them through document imaging? Does that make sense?

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