Recent studies from the Aberdeen Group show that best-in-class companies are four times more likely to contract out business processes that may have been previously performed internally, in order to reap the benefits of greater budget flexibility and control. So why do some companies resist outsourced document management services? How can we account for the disparity between best-in-class companies who use outsourced document management services and others who do not?
Here are five myths of outsourced document management:
We won't save money
There are many costs to the successful implementation of a document management process. Labour is the largest, followed by hardware, software, maintenance, training, space, consumables, etc. You also need to factor in implementation costs that can include expensive outside consulting firms. The notion that a company can utilize existing staff resources to manage their own document imaging needs falls short as existing staff may lack the required skill sets or might not be suited to the job function required. In fact, new labour as well as additional resources for IT are often needed.
An outsourced solution will offer an “all in” cost per transaction solution that will be in direct balance to your volumes. If you compare labour alone, the advantage of a transaction based fee versus payroll costs include, the ability to manage volume fluctuations with no additional cost to manage peaks/valley, sick days, vacations, training etc.
In addition, your outsourcing company should offer you best-in-class in terms of process, technology, hardware and security. Based on your overall account size, you may negotiate all or some of the upfront implementation costs.
If we outsource, we will have less control and visibility of our company records
Based on recent industry surveys “visibility” was cited as the number one benefit of document management solutions, even before cost savings. Often the misconception with outsourcing is it will reduce the visibility and control of documents and document processes. Companies believe that being within their own brick and mortar ensures greater control over document access and processes. The reality is outsourcing companies have invested significantly in their processes, technology and security standards and their clients reap the benefits of this without needing to invest themselves.
You don't understand our specific application or environment
No one has a good and intimate knowledge of your own environment like you. However, the saying “can’t see the forest for the trees” is often very true! Knowing your environment and really seeing it are two different things. Breaking down your business process into manageable parts is part of the consulting we do with our clients. We also bring the experiences of hundreds of others which can only be gleaned from an outside view looking in.
There is no flexibility - it is all or nothing
Many still view outsourcing as an all or nothing approach. Today’s best-in-class outsourcing companies understand that consumers want choice. Gone are the days of proprietary service offerings and locked down contracts, that don’t allow for any flexibility. Our best customers are the ones we work with to provide a mix of services and solutions that address their specific requirements, in a way that provides the best possible outcome for both parties. The document management industry is addressing services in a way that allows clients to easily blend in-house and outsourced services such as, mailroom automation, conversion, data capture, hosting and archive. Look for a service provider that has strong development and integration credentials.
We won't be able to easily change suppliers or bring the application in-house
Often in-house solutions are pushed onto people or departments that don’t want them or are overworked and overwhelmed. Effective outsourcing employs service oriented staff that are fully trained, engaged and 100% focused on the task they are working on.
This could be a legitimate concern if you don’t do your due diligence upfront. Part of the initial scoping process is to document and understand how your application would transition in the future, if need be. Not all outsourcing companies are cut from the same cloth. The good ones will ensure that whatever service, solution and technology you have contracted with them allows you to easily migrate to another provider or in-house. Most often, change comes about from a change of requirements which may or may not result in a move away from your existing supplier. Good outsourcing companies look to their client relationships as ones that are always changing and evolving. They will become a resource to your company for the long term.
Octacom is a SOC 2, Type II Audited enterprise software and services company focused on document and data automation solutions, including automated data capture. Founded in 1976, Octacom specializes in accounts payable automation and automated invoice processing, among other digital / automated business process outsourcing services.
If your organization is looking to learn more about our solutions and services, please contact us and we would be glad to help.