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Issue of July 2005 

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Document management—a hidden cost

LV Sastry, Associate Director, Xerox Global Services, talks about the hidden costs of document management and the benefits of outsourcing these services.

What are document management services?

Document management is the integration of document functions, such as imaging, storage, archiving, and retrieval, with an organisation’s critical business processes. It provides ready access to digital document-based information while managing that information through its entire life cycle.

This service provides complete office document management and results in greater savings by better asset management and optimisation. It helps organisations choose the right kind of print technologies and bring down the costs significantly, thereby increasing employee productivity. It enables objective decision-making by providing a professional method to identify and analyse office requirements with data and knowledge collection.

Can any organisation benefit from this service?

Organisations which would benefit from this service would have large white collar staff strength, many printers and heavy document work. These would primarily be in financial services (insurance and retail banking, investment banking), graphic arts, industries like aerospace, automotive, petroleum and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications.

How will this service help Indian organisations?

The major challenge faced by these services in India is that most organisations currently do not measure and monitor their output device-related costs in the areas of copying, printing, and faxing. These include asset acquisition, maintenance, and running costs. Documents, being a hidden aspect of business cost, productivity and IT infrastructure, have to be measured otherwise you cannot manage them.

The findings of a recent survey on office document management indicate that searching for documents accounts for more than four hours a month for an average employee, and the time taken to recreate lost documents is more than six hours a month. More than 75 percent of enterprise data is unstructured. For instance if we take e-mail alone, enterprises generate close to 10 billion messages annually of which 50 percent are printed. Billions of new documents are added everyday.

—Vertika Yadav

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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