In a recent e-mail survey I conducted, sent to over 700 SMB companies in the Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville corridor of Ontario Canada we found that document filing and retrieval was a serious problem.
The image above summarizes the data for a question on how their experience is when finding files. Over 50% found this a disruptive process and 45% found it frustrating.
Of survey respondents about 1/3 indicated their company had a document management system and less than 24% of those who did not, had considered obtaining one. It indicates that the potential to improve filing response is not yet seen as a high enough priority to make a solution investment.
35% of the respondents indicated that they had made a significant effort to reduce the paper burden in their business but the balance still depends heavily on paper for their document processes.
98% of the respondents had access to document scanning with the preponderance - 90.5% using a multifunction device for this work. Fully 30% had multiple types of scanning devices including MFP's, desktop scanners and dedicated production document scanners. It is clear that scanning is a required capability in any office.
What is done with scanning?
69% use scan to e-mal. 45% use scan to a workstation and scan to a central hard drive respectively. 28% scan to a document management system.
Finally, I asked how document intensive their company was. I was seeking to understand if other workflow processes had been initiated to reduce the dependency on "documents" to manage transactions and customer interface.
Less than 1/3 indicated they had a low intensity system having found ways to reduce their document workload. The other 2/3 answered very intensive (highest response) or quite intensive. Clearly there is a long way to go to build collaborative systems that are not so document based to run our businesses.
The data from this survey indicates that SMB's have lots of room to improve their productivity and processes by building better ways to manage their documents, paper and transactions.
What does your business process look like? Is it document intensive? Are you still paper dependent?