Quality Progress - March 2017 - 36


F E AT U R E

INNOVATION

FIGURE 1

Disruption examples
Classic
disruption

High-end
disruption

Sustaining
innovation

Empowering
innovation

Market-creating
innovation

A small
organization with
limited resources
introduces an
innovation that
challenges
established
incumbents.

New, expensive
innovations
overtake existing
ones and are
difficult for
competitors
to imitate.

At the upper
tiers of a market,
improved
innovations are
introduced to
replace older
ones, sustaining
market share.

Complicated and
costly products
are transformed
into simpler
and affordable
products and are
widely available.

Complicated and
costly products
are transformed
into affordable
and accessible
products,creating
new markets.

In a service center I worked with, there
were workflows in which hard-copy
invoices and other financial documents
were centrally digitized and stored in a
repository system for retrieval. This was
for accounting and audit purposes. As a
back office service to thousands of business units across the country, this design
was a better option than having those
business units retain the documents on
their own.
To provide some perspective on the
scope of these types of workflows, consider the results of a recent InfoTrends
report that showed, despite efforts to go
paperless, "... the overwhelming majority
of companies maintain hard-copy files
..." for much of their day-to-day financial
administration (see Figure 2). 2 For this
reason, the labor time and material costs
associated with these processes are
important to organizations of all sizes.

of compliance, and reduced postage
expenses and labor inefficiencies. At first
glance, a change like this seems counterintuitive: How could breaking up a fully
functional, centralized workflow be a
good thing?
What made this improvement possible
was the late-stage maturation of something that was originally considered a
disruptive innovation-digital storage.
It was introduced decades earlier by an
industry leader and upended an entire
market.
Digitally storing documents was at
first grossly expensive and inaccessible
to the general population, but competitors later built upon the technology
and made products that are common in
most organizations today. This post-disruption phase made it possible for my
team to reconsider the design of its

Counterintuitive
transformation

FIGURE 2

Despite the inherent benefits of a
shared-service model, a team I worked
with-consisting of experts from accounting and records management-identified
an improvement opportunity that required
the decentralization of its records management process and allow business
units to manage the digitization of their
documents.
This solution accelerated the endto-end workflow, improved the quality

36 QP

March 2017 ❘ qualityprogress.com

document-management workflow and
realize opportunities that had not been
possible before.

Foundations of disruption
Advances in document management can
be traced back to the creation of storage
system technologies. Introduced in 1956
by IBM, digital storage was originally a
high-end and expensive product.
Affordability and capability, however,
improved over time, and by 1980, digital
storage costs started to tumble at a rate
of "about 2.5 orders of magnitude," while
at the same time, storage capacity per
unit was doubling every year. 3 Combined, these advances became building
blocks for other products that would
redefine the document management
industry.
During the 1980s, manufacturers such

Percentage of hard-copy documents
maintained by organizations
93%

Purchasing

86%

Accounts
receivable

86%
Accounts
payable

85%
Expense
reporting

Source: Nathan Eddy, "Businesses Find Need for Printers, Even in the Digital Age," eWeek.com,
Jan. 25, 2016, http://tinyurl.com/print-digital-qp.

80%

Sales
operations


http://www.eWeek.com http://www.tinyurl.com/print-digital-qp http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - March 2017

Seen and Heard
Expert Answers
Progress Report
Mr. Pareto Head
Field Notes
Innovation Imperative
Hard Wired
Propel Forward
Life After Disruption
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Statistics Spotlight
Standard Issues
Marketplace
Footnotes
Back to Basics
Quality Progress - March 2017 - cover1
Quality Progress - March 2017 - cover2
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 1
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 2
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 3
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 4
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 5
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Seen and Heard
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 7
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Expert Answers
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 9
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Progress Report
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 11
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 12
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Mr. Pareto Head
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Field Notes
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 15
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 16
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 17
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Innovation Imperative
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 19
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 20
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 21
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Hard Wired
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 23
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 24
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 25
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 26
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 27
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Propel Forward
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 29
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 30
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 31
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 32
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 33
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Life After Disruption
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 35
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 36
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 37
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 38
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 39
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Work Smarter, Not Harder
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 41
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 42
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 43
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Statistics Spotlight
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 45
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 46
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 47
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Standard Issues
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 49
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Marketplace
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 51
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Footnotes
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 53
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 54
Quality Progress - March 2017 - 55
Quality Progress - March 2017 - Back to Basics
Quality Progress - March 2017 - cover3
Quality Progress - March 2017 - cover4
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