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Overcoming the IT Resource Gap in Document Management

A lack of IT resources can significantly impact a business’s ability to operate effectively and efficiently. IT personnel are necessary for businesses to manage operations, communicate with customers and partners, and process and analyze data. When businesses do not have access to enough IT resources, they may face a range of challenges, making it difficult for businesses to communicate and collaborate. This can lead to delays, misunderstandings, and reduced productivity.

Document maintenance has always been low on the list of IT priorities. Companies can wait months for the IT department to make simple changes to existing documents. The pandemic, the great resignation, and quiet quitting trends have made the situation even worse as it became more difficult to recruit and retain valuable IT employees.

Instead of waiting for the technical resources necessary to modify software and change documents, companies can use a post-composition document re-engineering solution. This software can allow user departments to make necessary changes to documents at once, without touching the original computer code. Companies will no longer have to wait for their IT requests to bubble to the top of the list (which may be never).

Why Document Management is Often Overlooked by IT Departments

Document maintenance has always been low on the list of IT priorities. You won’t find any document management projects included on the list of top CIO priorities for 2023. The CIOs have more pressing matters on their agendas.

Document management may be essential to Line of Business user departments, but organizations often push maintenance requests, which they perceive to be low-value, to the back burner. IT departments are typically focused on more complex and critical endeavors, such as network security, software development, and data analysis. They view document maintenance as a routine and mundane chore that shouldn’t be taking time away from other corporate IT initiatives.

The IT perceptions about changing documents are genuine. Modifying the legacy code that creates documents can be time-consuming and requires a significant amount of resources. IT departments often do not have the bandwidth to handle document maintenance requests on time, especially if they are dealing with other high-priority tasks. As a result, document maintenance requests may be deprioritized or delayed, leading to frustration and inefficiencies for the business.

The age of some document-generation software can also be an issue. IT departments may not have the necessary expertise or tools to manage an organization’s documents efficiently. The software that creates the documents is often old and full of patches applied over the years. No one wants to touch the code for fear of breaking it. Programmers fluent in older computer languages may have retired long ago, leaving IT departments lacking the skills and knowledge needed to work on legacy document systems.

Post Composition Document Re-engineering

As a key component in an organization’s Enterprise Communications Processing (ECP) software suite, document re-engineering software eliminates many of the roadblocks that prevent organizations from making beneficial changes to critical documents, including bills, statements, notices, correspondence, and claim forms. By changing the documents after they are composed (often by outdated software) the company avoids the risk of unintended consequences from altering legacy code.

Business line staff members or others in the corporation can often perform document re-engineering. IT specialists may not be required. The latest AI-enabled document mapping software makes the job even easier. This software puts the power of modifications right in the hands of the user departments. They can avoid the wait and move forward according to their desired schedules.

Document re-engineering software to change legacy documents has many benefits:

  • Immediate Updates: With post-composition document re-engineering, waiting for IT resources is a thing of the past. User departments can make changes instantly, on their own. This makes the business more agile.
  • Increased Productivity: Less time waiting means more time doing. No more bottlenecks, no more delays.
  • Frees Up IT Resources: With user departments handling document changes, the IT team gets more breathing room. They can focus on more complex issues that require their skills. 
  • Reduces Errors: With user departments in charge, misunderstandings with IT are eliminated. 
  • Better Collaboration: With faster user-friendly document management, teams can collaborate more effectively. 

Reaping the Benefits of Document Re-engineering 

Besides making minor changes to documents, companies can leverage their investment in document re-engineering software. Products like Operations Express from Crawford Technologies enable improvements in areas such as print/mail production productivity, operating expenses, material costs, and quality control. Companies are using these tools to increase the value of the documents they produce. Here are some examples:

  1. Optimize Document Page-Counts
    Use document re-engineering software to decrease the number of pages required for printing and inserting through a variety of methods, including font size reduction, narrowing margins, removal of unnecessary text and graphics, or altering line spacing. A reduced number of processed pages can shave hours from the total time needed to complete production steps, and reduce both printing and postage costs.

  2. Job Consolidation
    By redesigning documents to print mailing addresses consistently in the same location across various applications, document operations can use a uniform outbound window envelope. This standardization, whether it’s a single-window or double-window design, enables multiple applications to be mailed in the same envelope, thus permitting the merging of several smaller printing and inserting jobs. Document re-engineering software excels in facilitating such data relocation.

    Implementing this tactic significantly reduces idle time typically consumed by paperwork, material staging, and machine set-up associated with job change-over. As a result, machine operators can churn out more mail pieces per hour, with throughput boosted by fewer interruptions. Organizations also stand to gain by slashing material costs through ordering a single style of envelope in bulk, rather than multiple small orders of customized envelopes. The ripple effect of this standardization can be seen in reduced warehouse and inventory expenses. The headaches of transporting, storing, and accounting for a variety of envelopes are significantly reduced. 

  1. Postage Savings
    Combined jobs can also allow an organization to increase postal presort density, resulting in lower postage expenses. Besides creating higher density mailings by combining jobs, document re-engineering software can also handle the tricky tasks of extracting address data for processing by postal software. This simplifies operations such as address standardization and presorting.
  1. Distributed Processing
    Document re-engineering software offers the convenience of printing portions of jobs at geographic locations nearer to the mail destination. Companies may also opt to distribute the production across multiple pieces of equipment stationed at a single site. They can balance the work among all available machines and more consistently meet their Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
  1. Quality Control Measures & Mailpiece Tracking 
    Technologically advanced document re-engineering software allows companies to add features to the pages, enabling more robust quality control. Items such as barcodes or sequence numbers, batch control pages, or inserter control files allow businesses to raise quality in the print/mail operation and account for every page they process.
  1. Personalized Messaging
    Onserts printed directly on the document pages present unlimited possibilities. Companies are no longer shackled by inserting machine limitations because of limited insert stations. Every transactional document can now include advertisements tailored specifically for the account owner. These onserts can include personalized details like the last order date, account level benefits, special offers, etc. 
  1. Colorization
    The transition from monochrome operations to full-color inkjet systems is commonplace in many print sectors. However, this shift leaves a multitude of legacy documents languishing in black and white. To leverage the full potential of their new color capabilities, document producers are employing document re-engineering software. This post-composition tool can imbue text, form elements, or marketing messages with vibrant color. The resultant colorization not only breathes new life into old documents but also highlights crucial information, facilitating customer comprehension, and reducing customer service calls. 

Document Re-engineering to Reduce Reliance on IT

IT departments prioritize other complex tasks over document maintenance, resulting in delays, frustrations, and inefficiencies. Post-composition document re-engineering software offers a promising solution.

By utilizing this software, businesses can empower user departments to change documents without relying on scarce IT resources. Immediate updates, increased productivity, and improved collaboration are among the benefits of this approach. Furthermore, this approach allows IT teams to focus on more complex issues that demand their skills, while reducing errors and eliminating misunderstandings between departments.

Document re-engineering offers broader benefits as well, such as consolidating jobs, reducing postage expenses, enabling personalized messaging, and adding color. By leveraging these capabilities, businesses can maximize the value of their documents and streamline their print/mail operations.

Post-composition document re-engineering software offers a practical and efficient solution to overcome the IT resource gap in document management. It empowers user departments, improves productivity, and enhances collaboration while enabling businesses to optimize their document processes and achieve cost savings. By embracing this technology, organizations can bridge the IT resource gap and unlock the full potential of their documents.

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