Output management is a subject that does not draw a lot of enthusiasm from most people.
But what makes it increasingly ‘sexy’ and worth paying attention to is the potential for significant cost savings it holds. Taking advantage of this potential is a good strategy for C-level managers – who tend to be in charge of OM – to make their mark.
When it comes to the Internet of Things, the cloud and big data, any company is eager to join the bandwagon. However, when looking beyond current trends, there are still ‘bread-and-butter’ topics that have a significant impact on the quality and cost situation of the core business. Output management is one of them. Organizations with a high document throughput need to ensure that various information – including invoices, contracts, orders and customer mail – is correctly generated, distributed and archived in an audit-compliant manner both internally and externally.
All C-level managers are familiar with this, as they are generally in charge of finding a suitable solution.
Perhaps this won’t attract the same attention as working out a major big data strategy. But it most certainly represents a key opportunity for implementing customer-oriented workflows, secure business processes and cost savings.
Output Management Is Evolving
Given the mix of print, web, mobile and social media common in the modern IT landscape, output management is becoming more and more diverse. This adds weight to the matter and calls for high-quality solutions. After all, the system must supply documents to recipients both adequately and according to their respective needs. In order to live up to these expectations, modern output management systems need to be able to process, group and output a broad range of file formats.
In the case of large companies that have been doing business for a long time, output formats used for decades, such as AFP, are still relevant and must be supported, in the very least when it comes to document searches and viewing historical data.
Multi-Channel Output Management
Moreover, it is imperative for companies to ensure correct output across all channels. If no data reconciliation is performed among data sources and with the final data output, this can have dire consequences, both financially as well as regards the public image of the entire organization. In particular in the financial services sector, delivering erroneous data on account statements, for example, is certain to draw a lot of detrimental media attention. The message is this: C-level managers would do well to assign top priority to the definition and implementation of routines that check output before it is released.
Output verification across all channels is also closely tied to the matter of data security. Here, too, major corporations keep making negative headlines because confidential output was hacked and thus made publically available. Taking ample measures to secure data is of the essence in the finance industry. Handling user rights and access to sensitive information in an overly carefree manner can ruin the reputation of an entire nation’s banking system. As the quantity of output and number of channels continue to increase, the need for output management to safeguard data quality and access is certain to keep rising.
Output management carries the potential for vast savings. Taking internal and external communication digital allows you to save the costs associated with traditional print, mailing and dispatch processes. For example, display internal reports/lists via a web viewer only! Along the same lines, switching to digital invoicing, sending invitations to shareholder meetings in digital format only, etc. represent modern output management strategies for communicating with external parties.
Choosing the right storage medium for archiving depending on the creation date of the output is yet another way to reduce costs.
At the same time, functions for intelligent full-text searching across the entire output are becoming increasingly important. The high-paced world of the web and mobile devices has made customers take powerful and far-reaching full-text search capabilities for granted, in addition to quick and well-structured data visualization. In order to meet these expectations, companies must get their back-end infrastructures in shape. So, as a C-level manager, you should give some serious thought to implementing a modern output management solution that can handle today’s challenges. The investment will pay for itself quickly and will bolster your reputation with the executive management.
Real-Life Cost-Saving Example:
A bank relying on output management technology from Beta Systems achieved cost savings of up to 50% and improved their eco footprint thanks to a reduced printing load.
Project ‘ZERO Paper’ results in 50% reduction of the total print volume