Quality Progress - March 2017 - 37


FIGURE 3

Back-end digitization process

Document
source
Vendor
provides
invoice

Business
units

Shared
service center

Collect and sort
By expense type

Collect
Open and
andsort
Opensource
mail packages
By
and
expense
sort envelopes
type

Copy
Unit retains
copy onsite
Stuff
Invoice types
go into unique
envelopes

Mail

Prep
Invoices prepped
for scanning
Scan
Invoices scanned
and indexed

Consolidate
Envelopes go into
single mailing
package

Import
Images imported to
storage system
Repeat weekly

as Ricoh, Hewlett-Packard, Konica Minolta,
Océ and Sharp achieved great success by
introducing photocopy devices designed
for large groups of networked users. Their
price range was $10,000 to $60,000. For
smaller user groups, there were devices
that focused solely on printing and had
slower speeds than copiers. They were
priced as low as $60 to $350.4

only 60,000 organizations in the world
were potential buyers.⁶
While Xerox enjoyed its perch at the
high end of the market, and Japanese
products occupied the low end, the middle strata-where mountains of paper are
produced every day in the normal course
of business-was essentially barren of
innovations.

A ton of innovation

Service centers and microfilm

In 1990, an entirely new document management tier was created when Xerox
introduced the DocuTech Production
Publisher. It was a first-of-its-kind, multifunction device (MFD) that launched
the print-on-demand era. Weighing in at
2,000 pounds, the DocuTech consolidated
three previously disparate technologies:
laser imaging, scanning and xerography
(copying).5
At $220,000 per unit (more than
$400,000 in today's dollars), the DocuTech's toolset was encased in hardware
and marketed to large-scale print providers that previously relied on the offset
print platform. The DocuTech was so high
end and exclusive that Xerox forecasted

The service center I worked with provides
administrative support to business units
across the United States that are embedded in their customers' facilities, providing
various outsourced services. Those units
purchase goods and services regularly.
While they use web-based purchasing
systems that manage invoices electronically, other purchases result in hard-copy
documents. In those situations, these
documents must be digitized for electronic storage.
To facilitate this process, documents
were initially mailed to the shared
service center, which used microfilm to
photograph and develop the images on
rolls of film. If you wanted to retrieve

an image for review, you had to visit a
library, find the correct roll of film and
thread it onto a microfilm projector.
Given the lack of accessibility to other
technologies at the time, this was the
best solution.

Existence vs. access
As technological innovation continued
to progress, digital storage eventually
became more cost-effective than paper
storage.7 To capitalize on the latest innovations, the shared service center purchased
and installed high-capacity scanners to
replace the old microfilm platform.
This upgrade dramatically improved
the productivity of the records retention
team, and the obvious question asked at
the time was whether the business units
should use this technology to scan their
documents.
The problem was that customers-for
various reasons-had not universally
invested in the latest scanning technologies, which highlighted the difference
between the existence of a new technology and access to it. This was why the
service center remained the only available
resource able to provide digital document
management support.
To support this process, business units
had to perform a series of tasks, which
included:
++ Sorting invoices by expense type.
++ Making copies of the invoices in case
anything happened to the originals.
++ Storing the copies locally (usually in file
cabinets).
++ Placing the sorted invoices into specially
labeled envelopes so the service center
team could presort them quickly when
they arrived in the mail.
This prep work by the business units made
things efficient at the service center, which
received thousands of mailings every month.
But it also created nonvalue-added activities
for the only stakeholders that generated
revenue for the organization by providing
on-site services to their customers.

qualityprogress.com ❘ March 2017

QP 37


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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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