Decision math is something business managers use every day. There’s nothing like cold, hard, inarguable math to help decision-makers who are faced with multiple solutions. Decision math lets you analyze and compare the costs associated with each solution, and choose accordingly. Straightforward, right? But it can be trickier than it seems, especially when comparing in-house processes versus outsourcing. When it comes to highly complex processes like document imaging, the equation factors are far-ranging.
First, take a look at your resources:
- Office space – Do you have sufficient room for the imaging equipment, the personnel, and the workflow? Or will you need to spend money on extra space?
- Materials – Do you already have scanners, servers, and software license subscriptions, or will you have to procure those?
- Labor – Do you have trained personnel you can deploy for a major imaging project, or will you need to hire and train additional staff? If it’s the latter, what is the current labor market?
- Time – Do you have an unlimited time horizon for your imaging project, or is there a need to complete it sooner rather than later?
If there are resources lacking in any area, calculate the costs of eliminating the deficiencies. Add those costs up.
Then consider your utilization. Is this a quarterly archiving project? A project to convert a warehouse of old documents? A high-volume every-work-day process? And what is the likelihood of relatively quick equipment and software obsolescence?
Continuous full-time utilization is, of course, the most cost-efficient. Idle resources cost money. Most imaging projects, however, are infrequent.
And finally, your mission. Unless you’re in the document business, your business mission is something other than piles of paper. Distractions slow down achievement. What does it cost your business to lose focus, even temporarily?
So… is it a good decision to pay for everything above — additional space, increased head count, expensive equipment and software licenses, and loss of focus – for an infrequent project?
That’s a rhetorical question, of course. Every enterprise is different, and each one has its own unique volume of documents for imaging. But for the great majority of businesses, outsourcing your document imaging is always the right answer.
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Counterfeits are big business. A global analysis estimated lost sales of $1.82 trillion in 2020. And it’s not just the sales lost to counterfeits. Jobs are lost. Even lives are lost. And brand trust – intangible and invaluable – is damaged, perhaps forever.
Fake products aren’t confined to luxury goods like handbags and watches. They include:
- Pharmaceuticals – Whether they are ineffective sugar pills, or contain dangerous toxins, counterfeit medications have been estimated to kill as many as 1 million people annually.
- Art and Antiquities – Reputable museums and private collectors paid a grand total of $80 million for counterfeit works from one New York forger, as documented in the film “Made You Look.”
- Consumer goods – From consumer electronics to vintage wines, fake labels and fake contents cost the U.S. $600 billion per year.
- Manufacturing components – Falsely labeled components and materials were reported to cost the automotive industry alone $3 billion per year.
Adding insult to injury, counterfeits destroy brand trust. A Harris Poll of 2018 found that if Americans learned that they had purchased a fake product, 73% would stop buying from the company that sold it.
Technology comes to the rescue in the form of RFID. RFID assigns a unique identifier to every element of a product. It starts at the very beginning of the manufacturing process and continues through product completion, shipping, warehousing, and retail sale. The authenticity of each finished product can be certified. Its RFID-managed and controlled “history” is unimpeachable. Your brand’s reputation is enhanced though the use of anti-counterfeit technology, and customers trust your brand more than ever.
RFID has many benefits, from inventory management to operational security and more. But perhaps none is more valuable, in the long run, than protecting your brand.
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It’s no secret that the nature of office work has been permanently changed by the covid pandemic. WFH has been confirmed as a viable alternative to large, expensive in-person offices. Hybrid offices have evolved into a productive balance of part-time WFH and well-scheduled in-office work. And for workers and managers who rely on in-person collaboration, new office designs are making it safe to work together again.
Flexibility is the new standard for the post-covid office. And that flexibility includes a variety of technologies, with employers providing:
- High speed internet and home office furnishings, for the WFH work model;
- Collaboration and scheduling software to manage work time and location, for the hybrid workplace;
- Safety-conscious touchless technology controlling entry, lighting, and climate, for the fulltime in-person office.
Some of these technologies overlap workstyles. For example, both WFH tech and in-person office tech fit well in the hybrid office. But there is one technology that is common to every workplace model: document imaging.
Document imaging supports productivity in any workplace.
- In the in-person office, imaged documents save valuable space, letting managers convert document storage space into additional room for safely-spaced workstations.
- In the WFH office, imaged documents can be accessed from anywhere, keeping productivity high even when physical documents aren’t accessible.
- In the hybrid workplace, imaged documents support collaboration whether in person or remotely.
As employers seek to fill post-pandemic jobs, workers have a new-found leverage to state their preference for WFH, hybrid, or fulltime office work. The Harvard Business Review states that today’s recruiting challenges won’t be solved by the solutions of the past. Adjusting salaries to the cost of living, recruiting overlooked talent like older workers, and setting up satellite offices to reduce commutes all make it easier to recruit and retain top talent.
But for employees and employers to be successful, the workplace technology should be matched to the preferred workplace model. And for all workplace models, document imaging technology is a productive match.
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Integrity means your words and your actions align. You walk the talk. You deliver on your promises. In a competitive business environment, brand trust and integrity are paramount.
“A brand is a perceived relationship between stakeholders and a company.” That’s a fancy way of saying that the way you treat your customers IS your brand. Sometimes promises to clients are broken, through no fault of your own. It’s a deeply uncomfortable feeling. You and your brand pay the price in your client relationships. How can you make sure you deliver what you’ve promised?
Proactive, accurate information and communication go a long way to preserving brand integrity and mitigating the effects of any broken promises. RFID is a supremely accurate information source allowing you to proactively make and communicate decisions. Whether it’s a supply chain breakdown or an in-house misfiling, RFID helps you stay ahead of hits to your brand integrity. And when RFID helps you fulfill your promises, it supports your brand’s integrity.
A few examples:
- Manufacturing – Your RFID-tagged inventory keeps you up to date on parts supply levels. You identify shortages before they happen, and proactively alert customers of a slowdown. Customers understand you’re part of their team, eager for their success.
- Healthcare – Your RFID-tagged equipment, drugs, and personnel badges are tracked as they move through the healthcare facility. When patients need something “stat,” there’s no time wasted in searching for what’s needed. Patient outcomes improve – a brand win.
- Practice management – Your RFID-tagged documents’ locations are updated automatically whenever they are moved from office to office, or from office to storage. When a client requires a document, it’s available without delay. Your client feels you value their time as much as they do, and the relationship is strengthened.
- Educational institutions – Your RFID-based smartphone app for students uses a form of RFID called NFC. Students use the app to access dorms and labs, check out library books, buy meals, and pay fees. Your brand delivers on its promise of the best access to training and technology.
When your brand demonstrates integrity, it’s building trust. Brand trust is the driver behind repeat business. It’s the engine of word-of-mouth sales. It’s the basis of good will in your business valuation. Choose RFID to uphold brand integrity, and enjoy the positive effects of brand trust.
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