By Chuck Brooks, Vice President and Client Executive, Department of Homeland Security
The U.S. government serves more than 316 million citizens – and growing. In order to keep track of that many citizens and families, you can imagine the amount of documents and federal municipalities must organize and store for reference. Document management plays a critical role in the way federal government operates, and when done well, can increase productivity, constituent satisfaction and trust in federal government agencies.
Document management seems like a simple process that every organization – public or private – should understand, however many still don’t have the right tools to manage and store documents for easy retrieval. In fact, in a study performed by PricewaterhouseCoopers, it takes a worker an average of 25 hours to recreate a lost document and 25 percent of misplaced documents will never be located . As you can see, poor document management can cost agencies a lot of time and money.
While the paperless office remains nothing more than an aspiration of many knowledge workers, many industries have been progressing toward a paper-light work environment thanks to digital document storage and streamlined document workflows.
Government agencies are no exception. In fact, according to a recent GovLoop article, 90 percent of government leaders believe reducing paper would save their agency money and 72 percent say reducing paper would enable better constituent service.
Even more specifically, an effective document management system can help agencies:
- Become more adaptable –Document management technology helps agencies gain insights into specific workflow processes and allows them to create custom forms and routing processes to securely analyze and store documents for increased efficiencies. And because the solutions are scalable, agencies can easily adapt to process changes as they grow without disturbing workers’ productivity.
- Increase compliance – With programs like Xerox’s Master Control Program (MCP), document imaging and workflow processes are analyzed at a very granular level to enforce required business rules and quality level measurement to meet all federal data security and compliance requirements.
- Improve mobility – As with any industry, mobility is very important to workers’ success. Agencies need to make sure they are giving their employees the right technology to work securely and effectively from their mobile device, with the same connectivity as they would from their desktop. Incorporating document and workflow capabilities into smartphones and tablets is one way to give employees access to information whenever and wherever they need. Advanced document management solutions now allow employees to securely create, edit, view, share and send files within mobile content management solutions. Some companies, like Xerox, are going as far as implementing mobility projects to allow employees to snap images from their mobile device to automatically extract data to add it to an agency’s workflow.
- Be smarter – While creating digital documents is important, being able to analyze and understand them and the relationship between documents is invaluable. Through systems like optical character recognition (OCR), agencies are able to gain more actionable data to inform strategic insight and improve workflow processes, productivity and customer satisfaction.
The implementation of document management strategies is happening quickly. To date, Xerox has worked to digitize billions of pages for many federal agencies. We processes 12 million images per day for clients, deal with 3,400 different forms and process an estimated 8,000 forms per day. One particular client produces up to 2 million images per day and we are able to analyze, extract pertinent data and return it to the customer in less than seven minutes so they can operate more efficiently. When it comes to implementing document management practices you should ask yourself, what is your agency waiting for?