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    Message of the week 25 - 29 March 2019

    Week 13 | 2019
    Paper with writing on it and arrow gesture

    The scenic route to digital transformation 

    t’s amazing to me that already in 1975 (well before we imagined the big Fourth Industrial Revolution) businesses, according to TechWire Asia, were talking about paperless offices in light of the nightmare of organising paper and complex information.

    Yet, in 2019, even though most businesses in South Africa have changed formats to hard drives and various cloud-based solutions, their problems remain: there is still a lot of inefficiency and disorganisation. TechWire Asia notes that in order to become “genuinely digitally-transformed, organisations must go on a step-by-step journey.”

    Offering a methodical phased approach to understand the digital ambition of our customers and partners, a phased approached or Digital Transformation Model (with our ECM Solutions Partner, Laserfiche) guides us in the process. This is a phased journey: Phase 1 involves digitisation; phase 2 requires organising content; phase 3 is when automation takes place; phase 4 is streamlining and phase 5 is the ultimate transformation.

    Briefly, phase 1 (digitisation) involves converting documents from paper to digitial, electronic record management and reducing physical paper storage. Then phase 2 (organising) is creating an organised filing system, but on steroids. Moving electronic unstructured data to a structured repository. A business-oriented filing schema will help people to locate files and media quickly so that time is saved and sanity is kept. Phase 3 is automation, automating and digitising business processes with easy to use electronic forms, -for instance HR workflows. Instead of people emailing their CVs for employment consideration, an automated application system could be set-up. Phase 4 (streamlining) is taking an honest stock about the systems and processes that can be improved. understanding where our customers can create efficiencies in business processes and be able to measure them. The final phase – Phase 5 (transform) – is the very last step for a reason: transformation may be intimidating. It involves predictive analysis and super-powered business intelligence. Always understanding our business, and always making sure its functioning at optimum level.

    A phased approach is a gentler and more efficient way. We can add value to customers by implementing the necessary tools to digitise content.

    Solutions such as multifunction printers (MFPs) with optical character recognition (OCR) software begin to streamline and simplify traditional paper-based processes. By integrating this hardware with a cloud-based document solution, businesses put the power of content into users’ hands. This helps them work smarter and faster.

    We’re in a powerful position to offer true digital transformation. Our comprehensive document solutions can improve efficiency and productivity by ensuring content can be easily searched, retrieved and assembled.

    But, we’re our customers’ partners. As our KYOCERA counterparts in the US note, the focus “must always remain on customers and what they want. If they want to pay from paper invoices instead of online, you need to make sure you provide that option. If they want to chat online with customer support and not pick up the phone, let them. If they want their refrigerator to create the shopping list for the week, allow them to do that.

    ”It's ultimately a fine balancing act and a keen desire to build and maintain relationships. I take inspiration from Steve Jobs: “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”

    Here’s to trusting your knowledge, authority and relationship skills!

    JP Lourens - Solutions Sales Manager - KYOCERA Document Solutions South Africa


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