Why The Copier Guys Need to Worry

Introducing Santiago – The future of Paperless Office

Santiago email attachment downloader

Santiago is a useful new tool which will help to change the way the modern office operates.

The Problem

People have been banging on about the paperless office for years now. Despite all of the predictions, people still love their paper and still keep printing right?

Well to a point. As someone who has been involved in the so-called paperless office for about 15 years now, I am seeing some serious game changing shifts in behaviour.

Let’s take the accounts department. It’s now more likely than less likely that a company will email you their invoices. It makes sense. No postage cost, and more of an audit trail. When you think about it, the only reason a company would post you an invoice (snail mail) is because they don’t have the technology or capability to email it. Their legacy accounts system will be all about print. Even though there is great software to convert print to email – they persevere under the false pretence that their customer prefers paper.

So in accounts let’s say on average 60% is emailed and 40% is sent through the mail. The smart accounts department will be all geared up for electronic processing – intelligent capture, auto accounts system updating, emailed approval workflows. The legacy accounts department will not only welcome the paper but print out the emailed ones as well. They know deep down there has to be a better way but the boss likes paper and the status quo is always less demanding. The metrics will tell a different story, though. Those with electronic straight through processing – STP – will have a lower cost per invoice, faster approvals, and faster payments to their suppliers.

Evoultion in the Office

But for the legacy office, the younger guys and girls coming into their business will see things differently. The Millenials have never worked with paper. They think it’s absolutely mad to print anything off. They start to ask questions and start doing their research. The complacent accounts department is under threat from within! So the 60% above will become 95% within 5 to 10 years. For the first time, the technology today is right where it should be. Affordable, accessible, easy to use and clever. Incredibly clever.

So the accounts department is changing and will continue to change and as a result, the amount of printed paper is going to continue to fall. So the poor copier guy who has been shouting about cost savings in print and scanning paper for the last 15 years, will have less of a convincing argument. They latched onto scanning as a way to sell more copiers. But what now for them if the scanning becomes less important or worse pointless?

Santiago The Future & The Solution

As a company involved in scanning, document management and capture, we are already seeing big drops in scanning volumes. Sales of high-volume scanners seem to be falling as do sales of desktop scanners. When you think about it, why do you need to scan anything if the document was emailed to you in the first place? So the challenge is different going forward.

The challenge is now how to handle the amount of documents coming into an organisation electronically. For even the most modest of business, it makes sense to start to centralise the inbound routes into the business. Accounts@yourco.co.uk or Orders@yourco.co.uk. The fewer access points into a business the less chance of anything getting lost. Once your customers and suppliers are pushing everything through the right mailbox, you can start the automation process. And where better to start than with Santiago!

The “today” and the future is about process improvement and lowering the cost of the back office function. Running the back-office automatically or semi-automatically make perfect sense. Staff can spend more time analysing and extracting the metrics that drive positive change. Everything is at their finder-tips if the information coming into the business and flowing out of the business remains electronic and never strays onto paper.

For most of us the future looks bright.

Martin Peirce is the founder and CEO of C2S – Click2Scan Ltd

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