A Nintex study discovered that document-based information was among the top broken business processes in the U.S. Forty-nine percent of employees surveyed said they had trouble locating documents. Forty-one percent said they had trouble finding and pulling data from documents. If you can’t find the document you need, or find the necessary data within that document, you’ve got imprisoned information.
Business information is a powerful asset. Gartner has identified 6 distinct measures of the value of information, as the table below illustrates. The financial measures of information assets are particularly applicable to paper vs. digital documents. In thinking about your company’s paper documents, what would it cost to lose documents and all the information they contain? More important, what does it cost if you can’t access the information and use it in a timely manner? If your business information is imprisoned on hard-to-locate paper, it’s an asset with very little value.
The first step to change imprisoned information into a valuable asset? Digitize the paper documents where the information resides. A simple scan of a paper document creates a digital PDF document. But a PDF scan doesn’t transform the information into an asset. It’s not much easier to find and use information on a PDF document than it is on a paper document.
Searchability is the key to unlocking imprisoned information.
Adding searchability to scanned documents requires a complex OCR (Optical Character Recognition) process. Once the digital documents complete the OCR process, the multi-page PDF’s are searchable. The information contained in the digital documents is easy to access and easy to find.
And with easy searchability, the information is no longer imprisoned. Searches are fast and accurate. Business decisions can be made quickly, with a high degree of confidence. And that’s worth money. The information is now a valuable asset, whether you focus on foundational measures or financial measures in the Gartner method.
Like any other asset, information should be securely guarded. Paper documents are vulnerable to fire, water, pests, and pilferage. Digital documents, however, are far more secure.
Simplicable.com defines “information asset” as a body of information that is of value to a business. No matter what those bodies of information are – strategies, operations, legal, R&D, and more – they gain value when the information is unlocked via digitization. Talk to a digitization consultant about this easy way to boost the value of your company’s assets.
Art crime is the third highest-grossing criminal business in the world, according to Art Business News. Art can be forged. It can be stolen. It can even be “discounted” via price tag switching. In fact, art is subject to all the security issues of any retail product sold in department stores – but with a much, much higher price tag.
Fakery – Modern art in particular is a forger’s paradise, as portrayed in the documentary film “Made You Look.” Provenance (chain of custody) is important to art buyers, but imperfect provenance can be disregarded in the heat of an emotional purchase. In “Made You Look,” a single gallery owner was so eager to acquire works of noted modern artists that she overlooked their questionable provenance, resulting in a multi-year $80 million fraud.
Theft – Museums and private art collections aren’t the only places where fine art is found. Corporations, too, have significant investments in art. Deutsche Bank, for example, owns works by Kandisky, Mondrian, and Francis Bacon. Unlike heavily-guarded museums and private homes, these works are on office walls where they are far more vulnerable to theft. Although corporations avoid the negative publicity associated with a theft of one of their artworks, it is an unfortunately common occurrence.
Label Switching – Galleries don’t always display the prices of art works, but often a short-term exhibition will include pricing on or beside each piece. Fraudsters will distract the gallerist while confederates change the price, then pressure the harassed gallerist into a quick sale at the fraudulent lower price.
However, collectors and gallerists are increasingly using RFID technology as a way to secure their art investments. RFID excels at asset tracking, providing real-time ongoing data about an asset’s name, location, origin, age, value, components, and its movements (historical and prospective). RFID tags are inconspicuous and don’t detract from the appearance of the art. They don’t damage the artworks in any way. Most important, they protect these priceless objects from loss.
Of course, fine art authentication and asset management is just one of the many ways in which RFID serves business owners. From facilities management to inventory management, ERP, and MES, the data supplied by RFID keeps enterprises productive and profitable. Talk to an RFID expert and learn about the benefits for your business.
Two years into the pandemic aftermath, the hybrid workplace continues to shape the way businesses operate. And businesses, in turn, are shaping their offices to fit the new hybrid workplace. Return to the office (RTO) is surging, but employees are pushing back against full-time RTO. What’s clear is there is value in in-person work, and there’s equal value in remote work, and offices are being re-shaped to accommodate both workstyles.
As reported in FastCompany.com, business-social media company LinkedIn is one of the many businesses adapting their office interiors for hybrid work. Their architects, NBBJ, created a “postures matrix” that guides furniture and layout choices. Design decisions are made based upon the time spent in a particular space, the type of work done there, and the associated ergonomic needs.
The postures matrix showed that the most social places are close to doorways and entries. As people move deeper into the space, work areas become increasingly quieter. Options for heads-down focused work, living room-style conference rooms, and “buzzy” co-working areas provide something for everyone, depending on their needs on any given day.
Like LinkedIn, other businesses may be trying to re-shape their existing offices to make them more hybrid-friendly. Some are concerned that they will need to expand their office footprint, and their budgets are not prepared for additional real estate costs. Luckily, there are design strategies that can support a hybrid redesign without the need for additional space:
Convert paper documents to digital documents via imaging, and reduce your document storage area. Imaged documents are productivity boosters, whether staffers are in the office or working remotely. And many of the imaged documents do not need to be retained as paper, freeing up room for interior re-design.
Exchange traditional filing cabinets for a high-density filing system, and save as much as 50% of your storage floor area. While imaging will reduce the need for much document storage, some paper docs need to be retained. Keep them in a high-density filing system and save even more space.
Add touchless smart lockers that guide in-office traffic while enhancing design aesthetics. Employees without dedicated workspaces need secure storage for personal items in the office. Touchless smart lockers’ customizable finishes make them a design feature, and they can be set up in work areas to provide sound separation and guide traffic. No extra space required.
For many companies, the traditional office is fading away and the hybrid workplace is taking its place. Office interiors will need to be revised to support hybrid work, but these smart moves help keep the costs manageable. Talk to a storage expert to find out how to do a space-saving cost-saving redesign.
Even in the midst of this inflationary period, you’ve probably seen an abundance of “on sale” advertising lately. Retailers are reducing their inventories of everything from printer paper to washer/dryers. Beginning in 2020, businesses large and small stocked up, hoping to manage supply chain uncertainties. Now they’re in an over-buying situation, riding the inventory boom-bust roller coaster as they try to balance supply and demand while inflation works its way through the economy.
Inventory management is 50% a knowledge game and 50% a guessing game. You may know what you have in stock. You may know the supply levels needed to maintain uninterrupted operations. You may know what the historic demand has been. But you have to make an educated guess at the future supply and the future demand. That’s where things get tricky. In uncertain times, you may find yourself over-buying “just in case.”
Excess inventory ties up a lot of cash. Inflation demands a lot of cash. Before turning to external funding from banks and investors, businesses are searching for internal sources of cash. Inventory reduction is one cash source, and yet it’s risky to reduce inventory while the economy is still in flux.
Better knowledge reduces the uncertainty. The better your inventory knowledge is, the better your guesses about your future inventory needs. Acquiring better knowledge, however, can be costly in terms of time and labor, just at a time when you’re hoping to spend less cash. This is the inventory management conundrum.
RFID is the answer. Better inventory knowledge is more than just having an accurate count of stock on hand and a sales or usage count over a week or a month. Better inventory knowledge means getting information in real time, on demand. Better inventory knowledge lets you make decisions ahead of a supply crisis, or respond quickly to other movements in your entire supply chain.
Better inventory knowledge gives you a competitive advantage.
The 19th century Rothschild banking fortune was established when the family used carrier pigeons to get information about events that influenced the economy – information that no one else had in those pre-telegraph days. The Rothschilds had better knowledge. They didn’t have to guess about the future.
RFID does the same thing for businesses today. With a combination of handheld and doorway readers, RFID allows you to have continuous polling. Warehouse inventories are updated in real time. You have better inventory knowledge. No other inventory information system delivers inventory data faster, as this video shows. Get better knowledge from RFID and avoid the cost of over-buying.