Study shows that European businesses are missing out on potential €46bn profit increase.
Research published by Ricoh Europe reveals that European businesses could be missing out on potential profit increases of €46 billion due to the existing, inefficient methods used to process information.
The study shows that employees across Europe responsible for managing business critical document processes spend approximately 362 million hours of their time per year on the function, which amounts to an overall business cost of €147 billion.
The Index examines how European organisations are managing their business critical document processes; those that occur regularly and repeatedly and have a direct impact upon businesses interactions with clients and employees. The study also identifies the areas for improvement and the economic return that those improvements could deliver.
Despite available technology advances, the Index shows that many document processes are unnecessarily labour intensive and manual. 43% of all business critical document processes rely on hard copy data and only 22$ of respondents reported that their organisation utilised a fully automated workflow.
European businesses are often reluctant to adopt time saving initiatives, such as outsourcing, due to security concerns. However, one in 12 European businesses revealed that their existing security procedures do not protect confidential documents with 36% admitting that either they themselves, or their staff, have lost or misplaced important information.
Room for improvement
Carsten Bruhn, Executive Vice President, Ricoh Europe said: "The Index clearly illustrates how outdated, manual processes have multiple impacts on the business. For example, if critical information is processed using traditional hard-copy methods, business risk is enhanced as they are less likely to be backed-up. They are also easier to lose, making them more prone to security breaches. It is also inevitable that employees are spending unnecessary time processing business documents, instead of focusing on the core business transactions and customer service."
And despite the significant time and investment processing business critical documents, European businesses overwhelmingly acknowledge that there is still room for improvement. Respondents said that their top three priorities are to increase knowledge sharing (67%), improve security (67%) and drive workforce effectiveness (65%). The main barriers to making these improvements are lack of time (45%) and lack of resources (35%).
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