Resellers can help SMEs manage document complexity

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The increasing complexity of information management, together with the growing digital maturity of smaller entities, has been driving growth opportunities in the document management space for office automation and technology resellers.

Lockdowns caused by COVID-19 sent many South Africans home to work, which saw an increased reliance on accurate and flexible process management solutions.

The ability to pass paper documents, such as leave and approval forms, around the office may at least for a while be a thing of the past.

Kevin Reaper, scanning and document management solutions business unit manager at Tarsus Distribution, says: “Obviously the South African economy needs to recover from the effects of lockdown and the resulting economic downturn and many businesses will be focussing on survival in the short term. However, to fulfil the needs of the document management space, resellers will need to build strong solutions-selling capabilities and embrace a philosophy of partnering.”

According to him, SMEs are more interested than ever in digitising information flows and streamlining document management – particularly those in more regulated sectors such as doctors' rooms and financial advisors as well as those in paper-intensive sectors such as legal practices.

“These organisations and practices are now, for the most part, working from home or have a large portion of their staff working remotely,” he adds.

Reaper says many organisations are drowning in paperwork today. Capturing physical and digital information, storing documents and incorporating all of this into workflows is a headache for all organisations.

Many businesses are looking to streamline document management to ensure compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) and help the workforce functioning remotely during lockdown.

Avoiding paper chaos

If document management isn’t done properly, paper chaos ensues, including misfiled or lost paperwork, time wasted retrieving documents from multiple sources and remote locations, inefficient collaboration, and slow customer service, he explains.

SMEs are looking to keep records secure, to manage the e-mails and paperwork associated with offboarding an employee, making it faster and simpler for customers to sign up, and more.

Increased fibre penetration and innovations such as cloud software and scanners that can capture information in the right format and deliver it to the right systems and workflows without the need for a PC are now available, as are solutions that can be implemented with little to no physical interaction.

He says there’s an opportunity for resellers to help small businesses here, by taking a consultative approach.

“In some cases, they’ll need to work with other specialists in areas such as information security or HR software to really add value. We’re seeing multiple solutions converge on the information management space, and small businesses are looking to the channel to help them manage the complexity.”

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