Survey: ninety percent of businesses believe they are inefficient

Date: Fri, 08/12/2011 - 17:29 Source: Iron Mountain Incorporated press department

Despite near unanimous agreement that improving core business processes like contracts management, accounts payable and order fulfillment make more successful organizations, few companies understand how to improve these data-intensive processes. That’s according to a recent survey of 5,500 company records managers

Survey: ninety percent of businesses believe they are inefficient C. Richard Reese, CEO, Iron Mountain Incorporated

Conducted by Iron Mountain Incorporated, the information management company, the survey on business efficiency asked respondents to weigh the importance of improving processes through better information management against the current state of those processes in their organizations.

The results reveal most are unhappy with how their core processes run, despite having formal programs for how their companies should manage information. The key findings include:

• Efficiency is “mission critical” – 90 percent of respondents rank process efficiency as imperative to their business goals and to the overall success of their organization;
• Most aren’t happy with their present processes – 93 percent of respondents are dissatisfied with their revenue-generating and business-support processes and/or are actively trying to improve them;
• The urgency for improvement isn’t there… yet – More than half of respondents (58 percent) have not yet experienced a “trigger” event like an audit or lawsuit that would spur improvement of records and information management processes;
• Structure is in place, but not everyone is following through – Three-quarters of respondents are managing their records and information themselves, but only 35 percent of the respondents believe their program is being used by everyone in the organization.

“Information drives businesses today and can be a real competitive advantage if managed properly and efficiently,” said Sue Trombley, director of consulting for Iron Mountain. “It plays a vital role in the revenue-generating and core operational processes that keep organizations running. And it can provide valuable insight into not just your own organization but your customers, your industry, your partners and your competitors. The right policies and procedures, implemented across the entire organization, efficiently executed and regularly enforced, can give you a tremendous opportunity to unlock this advantage.”

In response to these findings, Iron Mountain offers the following information management tips to unlocking records and information management efficiencies:

• Eliminate obstacles to sharing information – Consider the utility of a piece of information within the organization: Does it need to be accessed by multiple departments? How often? Breaking the silos and single-ownership habits of information creation and management allows for easy sharing and ensures it can move freely in the organization;
• Take paper out of the equation when you can – Digitizing or even removing paper from traditionally paper-heavy processes (such as travel and expense reimbursement) can streamline your business, making it easier to share and improve revenue-generating operations like accounts payable or billing;
• Don’t be a “copycat” – Look for areas where redundant copies are slowing down your business and consider centralizing information for better access;
• Be prepared – A defining characteristic of an efficient organization is a comprehensive disaster recovery and litigation readiness plan, ensuring that if something does happen, you have access to the critical information that keeps your business running;
• Keep it simple, for agility’s sake – Simplifying your information management policies and procedures (e.g., reducing the number of “touches” and approvals needed for a document), will make it easier to adapt core processes in times of change or growth.


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