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The Survey Says! Quick Takes on a New Océ Imaging Study

Océ Business Services yesterday released some survey results that do a nice job of capturing customers’ spirits toward document imaging today. (And before you ask, no, I didn’t write it.)

Because the work has the words “records management” in the title (see below), it took me a moment to put the data into the proper context. But it’s a pretty interesting read, and it doesn’t even lapse into the kind of strong Océ commercial you’d expect until towards the end. (Or was that just my analyst filter at work?)

Here are a few highlights, each followed with my quick take on the question at hand.

• Records management is the top choice for implementing document imaging (so sayeth 57% of the 372 online respondents), but other functional areas are also being targeted, particularly accounts payable (51%) and other core processes like new customer applications and claims processing (44%). This squares completely with what I’ve found during my recent travels through the imaging space, which is more abuzz today than I can ever recall about where/how to use the technology besides as a front-end to an archiving or mailroom operation.

• A scant few (9%) reported implementing a scanning process in the mailroom. While Océ identifies this area as a solid opportunity for many organizations – citing the conversion of traditional, physical mail into digital form in the mail center – I just cannot concur. Not that it’s a bad idea – it’s not! But I was part of the first quantitative studies of this application well more than 10 years ago, and I still believe so much mail is ‘pre-sorted’ into lock-boxes that the need just isn’t as compelling as it often is made out to be.

• The records management function today regularly reports either to the legal department (37%) or to IT (28%). I have noticed that many organizations are actually now shuffling the function around, and where it ends up can say a lot about the priority it is being given, and the nature of the prism through which it is being viewed.

• Most companies engaged in records management have records retention schedules (95%), a dedicated records management staff (94%), and a paper records repository (91%). However, significantly fewer (70%) are using an electronic records repository. Since I can’t decide if this figure is too high or too low, it’s probably is about right, and it dovetails nicely with my regular discovery that many executives still do not realize it’s possible to manage paper-based documents with an electronic system.

Océ’s report “A Winning Formula: Achieving Top Performance in Records Management” is available here, and I’d be keen indeed to hear what you think of it. So leave a comment below or drop me a line – all of our inquiring minds want to know!

If you’ve got imaging on the brain, get your copy of Holly Group’s high-value, low-cost guide 26 Key Questions for Scanning+Imaging Projects – and if you have a favorite ‘key question’ for records management, submit it here and qualify to win our upcoming new Key Questions guide on that critical subject!

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