Can businesses afford to continue operating with ineffective document management processes?
No business leader will have missed the recent news about G4S' recruitment process and its shortfall in providing security staff for the London 2012 Olympics. For all organisations, it is a stark reminder of the negative impact to an organisation's reputation when a business process does not measure up to the challenge. Business critical document processes such as human resources, financial management and reporting, procurement, accounts payable and accounts receivable are at the heart of all businesses. Without regular audits and optimisation, business leaders run the risk of a disconnected business - where business strategy, people, technology and processes are not operating in tandem.
reveals that the costs associated with ineffective document processes are far greater than commonly believed. Not only is the percentage of companies affected incredibly high - three out of four companies - but the consequences can contribute to loss of customers, loss of key employees, lawsuits, fines and major audits. It is estimated that 36 per cent of organisations failed to meet compliance requirements, 30 per cent saw key employees leave the organisation and 25 per cent lost major customers.
Some reports have suggested that incidents of document loss played a role in the process delays at G4S. For many businesses, effectively capturing, storing and streamlining the growing amounts of information is an increasingly difficult task. With the big data trend set to continue indefinitely, it is critical that organisations review and optimise their business critical document processes. Optimised processes in turn will enable them to react more quickly to customer needs, support employee knowledge sharing and ensure an agile and flexible business structure.
Business leaders can start with an audit of the business critical document processes, assessing the journey critical business information travels before it is turned into knowledge or is adding business value. Employees should be able to access the right information quickly to support their core business roles. It is also essential to challenge the traditional way of doing things. There is no doubt the processes were efficient when first implemented, but are they meeting business needs today? Questioning the status quo will enable organisations to uncover bottlenecks that are impacting business agility.
The workplace will continue to change but ongoing audits will mean that businesses information processes are led by business needs and can change with the organisation. This preventive approach can also reduce any unnecessary overheads created as a result of outdated document processes and improve information flow as well as ultimately driving savings across the entire organisation.
The process problems currently in the headlines are not unique to G4S, they exist across the European business community. Although not all process problems will appear under the microscope of media scrutiny, business leaders should take radical action to prevent uninvited impacts upon their organisations.Edward Hamilton is vice president of information technology firm Ricoh Europe
If one believes in capitalism and market forces then an incontrovertible lesson is that this contractor was not paying its prospective staff enough money to a) successfully recruit enough of them, and b) ensure that those it did recruit turned up to work.
I am sure the directors of this company would be first to defend their own salaries and bonuses on the grounds of market forces. What's sauce for the goose ss sauce for the gander! Hence: G4S, if you truly believe in market forces then pay your junior staff more money. P.S. Adam Smith rules, ok.
Pugg - Blighty