View Points >> Viewpoints

Richard Pinker, Ricoh SARichard Pinker, Ricoh SA

Almost 40% of organisations worry that they will lose their competitive edge if they do not keep up with the pace of change, according to the Ricoh Document Governance Index 2012, conducted by Coleman Parkes Research. Yet it’s clear that when it comes to the document processes underpinning their business activities, they’ve already fallen behind. So what can be done to tackle these issues?

1. Business leaders need to be better prepared to connect their processes seamlessly with business technology and their employees, requiring a senior overview of how all areas of the business are working, with the most successful document governance strategies being led from the top. Part three of the Ricoh Document Governance Index 2012 found nearly a fi fth of employees are calling for higher level executive sponsorship to champion document process improvements.

2. Business leaders should consider working with an expert to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Document processes, the business technology used to manage them, and the people who work with them on a day-to-day basis cannot be reviewed or improved in isolation. Instead, a thorough review from an external partner with expertise in all areas will highlight the hidden opportunities to improve all three pieces of the puzzle. Businesses should be free to focus on their core business, safe in the knowledge that a document process expert is taking care of the rest.

3. Business leaders should listen closely to employees and ensure they take them along for the journey. As the people working with these processes everyday, and being most impacted by any changes to the way they work, it’s vital they are properly consulted, their valuable experiences and opinions acted on, and a full programme of change management introduced, to ensure any improvements achieve their desired results.

4. Finally, in addition to a comprehensive view of processes, technologies and the way employees work with them, it’s essential to maintain an ongoing process of governance and improvement. Doing so means any remaining bottlenecks can be identified and put right, and better ways of working can be identified and replicated throughout the business.

About the author: is MD of Ricoh SA.