When you start looking at how organizations manage information, the most important thing to observe is how it flows: how it comes in, how it moves within a business and how it is output. The output phase is addressed by managed print services (MPS), which has historically meant fleet management, optimizing printer and MFP assets, and managing the costs of consumables. Managed document services (MDS), on the other hand, address the entire document life cycle: how information flows through an organization and is used within processes.
Furthermore, MDS providers have evolved to offer a range of extensions to their service offerings. Their experience with the migration of document-intensive processes — from input, throughput and output to more integrated digital workflows — gives them clear insight into how information can be better leveraged. This can include intelligent capture, indexing and extraction of data for incorporation into digital workflows.
A good example of this is the digitization of insurance claims — pulling out key data and plugging that data directly into claims processing applications. This not only better integrates digital information into the process, but allows the claims adjuster to focus on what they do best: analyzing claims. The entire claims process itself is changed and upgraded through digitization: Additional claims can be handled more efficiently, and more accurately, with a digital “paper trail” for key performance indicator (KPI) reporting, compliance and continuous improvement.
Other examples of where MDS can add value include the campus mail center, handling patient records, mortgage or loan origination documents, and accounts payable or receivable applications. And there is a great deal of evidence showing that, when digital information is integrated in those areas, the benefits are considerable. The survey mentioned above also found:
The experiential knowledge of a managed service provider brings other benefits. Some can provide process optimization analysis, which help you redesign workflows so you can achieve the business benefits of more integrated digitization. They can avoid known pitfalls and apply best practices to your digitization efforts. And, significantly, assistance coming from outside the organization can in many cases help you overcome organizational resistance to change.