AIIM Study Shows Eliminating Paper from Processes Improves Customer Response Times by 300 Percent

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Swiss Post Solutions co-funds new research which takes a pulse on current business paper consumption and discovers that while companies achieve major payback with digital processes, poor habits persist.

AIIM, the global community of information professionals, has released a new industry watch research paper titled, "The Paper Free Office – Dream or Reality." The research – which was funded by Swiss Post Solutions (SPS), ABBYY, EMC, IBM, and Kofax – finds that removing paper from business continues to be challenging, despite data that shows significant responsiveness and productivity gains in customer service when paper-based bottlenecks are eliminated from business processes.

Speed of response times are also realized by employees working remotely in the field or home offices when the ability to share and search is improved by using digitized content. According to Doug Miles, director of market intelligence at AIIM, "The earlier in the process that capture takes place, the better the transparency and availability the content will have. The data is available to the process faster, and paper forms handling is eliminated."

Key findings of the research conducted between November 2011 and January 2012 show:

  • Paper is beginning to disappear, with 35 percent of respondents confirmed less paper consumption and photocopying.
  • 42 percent of scanning and capture projects achieved a payback period of 12 months or less, while 57 percent of projects achieved payback in 18 months or less.
  • Mobile and cloud services for scanning and capture are finding early adopters in the enterprise.
  • 38 percent of respondents are equipping employees with portable capture devices when not in the office, including portable scanners, smart phones and tablets.
  • 20 percent of the largest organizations are committed to a cloud deployment strategy for capture.
  • Scanning and capture can seriously improve customer response times -- typically between 2 and 3 times faster, but in many cases 5 and 10 times faster.

Despite significant benefits realized by paper-free organizations, some poor habits persist:

  • 77 percent of invoices that arrive as PDF attachments are printed, while 31 percent of fax invoices are printed and then re-scanned.
  • 45 percent of documents that are scanned were completely "born digital."
  • 32 percent of organizations reported an increase in the level of paper consumption and copying.

“As a global provider of document processing solutions, SPS understands the strategic importance of reducing paper within business processes,” stated Dan Moscatiello, CEO North America of Swiss Post Solutions. “This study validates the SPS strategy around developing service offerings and solutions that help companies transform the way they do business, increase efficiencies, and provide better service to their customers.”

The full report, "The Paper Free Office - Dream or Reality," can be downloaded from the AIIM web site at

About AIIM
AIIM has been an advocate and supporter of information professionals for nearly 70 years. The association's mission is to ensure that information professionals understand the current and future challenges of managing information assets in an era of social, mobile, cloud and big data. Founded in 1943, AIIM builds on a strong heritage of research and member service. Today, AIIM is a global, non-profit organization that provides independent research, education and certification programs to information professionals. AIIM represents the entire information management community, with programs and content for practitioners, technology suppliers, integrators and consultants.

About Swiss Post Solutions
Swiss Post Solutions, a division of Swiss Post, offers a comprehensive range of document and business process outsourcing services. With 7000 people working across North America, Europe and Asia and with access to an extensive partner network, SPS is able to provide its clients with on, near or off-shore document capture and processing options for automating business processes.


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Louis Ladehoff
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