Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Document Outsourcing

Source: Offshoringtimes

Rising printing costs and short of technology understanding are forcing firms to look for alternative solutions to cut costs in document production.

It has been viewed that most companies spend around 10 percent of their revenues on document production. Analysts believe the typical return by outsourcing document management to vendors is in the range of 30 percent across sectors.

Major printing vendors like HP, Canon and Xerox are offering services that allow firms to outsource their printing requirements. For example Xerox India, has already initiated Document Outsourcing service targeting companies Finance, insurance, banking, advertising and retail business. On the other hand Xerox Global Services, provides consulting and managed services to minimize costs.

Xerox introduced Intranet DOCS, software to provide access and distribution for engineering and enterprise documents via corporate intranets or the Internet. This enables enterprises to manage costs and increase returns by about 20 percent, and Xerox is expecting to raise the productivity levels by 40 per cent,"Ravi Venkatraman, director, Xerox Global Services, said.

Looking at the nature of the printing materials, Xerox offers a service called Document Advisory Office, wherein a customer can get the printed documents delivered by Xerox Global Service on a real-time basis.

While printing devices are often owned by customers, HP (Hewlett-Packard) has gone a step ahead with a contract-based model for its multi-function printers. Under this, the printers will be actually owned by HP.

HP says they targets high-volume users who need not have to pay for the printer. Its a pay-per-use-system, where the devices,and consumables like ink and print head will be taken care of by HP. The company offers managed print services so customer can outsource their document management works, including copying, printing and faxing to HP.

Document outsourcing also makes sense to customers. Most of the companies feel that if their printing work is outsourced they can very well concentrate on their core areas. Apart from that, companies will be able to utilize their manpower more effectively in productive activities.

Xerox Global Services claims to have 10,000 contracts under their belt. Their customer lists some of the leading institution and company like Karnataka High court and Airtel.

UTI Bank in Mumbai started outsourcing its printing operations to Xerox almost three years ago. They say with over 30 lakh printing work, with centralised printing, the bank reduced printing and mailing of cheques from front office thus saving time.

Most printing solution providers are introducing consulting services. HP claims to have over 15,000 of consultants worldwide and that one-third of their revenue comes from this service.

Next to follow the footstep is Canon India, who till now were providing document management contract services. Now they have geared up to provide a whole lot of services including software, hardware, training, consumables and manpower.

Canon, as part of this drive has a colour specialist in place under their business imaging solutions channel. The role of colour specialist is to provide expert advice and guidance to customers.