Lessons in Space and Time
When financial climates take a turn for the worse, businesses look for ways to reduce overheads, maximise resources, and increase profitability. So, what are the biggest overheads a company has? Staff and premises. Reducing overheads sounds very ruthless though. But it isn’t necessarily a case of cutting staff or downsizing premises. No, it’s really more about getting the best possible use and return on the assets and facilities at a company’s disposal.
So that means using staff as effectively as possible. Be sure that the time paid for them is used as productively as it can be, and that, wherever possible, the whole workforce is contributing as much as possible to revenue-generating or business enhancing work. Less admin, less paper shuffling, more selling, more making. That may mean investigating the tools and resources that staff have at their disposal, and looking at what options are available to improve efficiency and productivity.
So what about that other big overhead – the premises? Recent surveys suggest that in central London, around 10% of office space is taken up by filing cabinets. A Fujitsu/PWC report recently concluded that for every 12 filing cabinets in an organisation one additional employee is required to maintain them. That works out at around £1,500* or more per year for each cabinet in staff costs alone, and doesn’t account for the cost of the floor space it takes up.
Filing cabinets have been around since the 1850s. But their days are numbered. Four filing cabinets in your office, for example, cost something like £6,000 a year in time and rent, as well as an immeasurable amount in terms of lost opportunity. Twenty minutes looking for an invoice is not just twenty minutes of one person’s working day wasted. It’s also twenty minutes of each of the people who needed the information from that invoice.
So clear out that filing room, put a couple of desks in it and create new, more productive space for extra sales staff or for someone to gain space and privacy to do their job more efficiently. It’s not hard to do. A good computerised archiving system is all it takes – a solution that scans in all paper documents and makes them readily accessible on a PC screen in a couple of clicks. Unfortunately such systems come with overheads of their own. Hardware costs, software costs, consultancy fees, annual maintenance, training costs, someone’s time to manage the system. Hang on! What about reducing overheads?
What about a real alternative. Archiving and document management systems can make financial sense. They save time and free up resources. But by making a significant investment in the system in the first place means it takes much longer to see a financial return. With tight purse-strings at the moment, it’s hard for a business to justify investing up front in a system that won’t really pay for itself for four or five years.
What’s needed is a solution that delivers all the benefits of a Document Management system, without any of the expensive start-up and running costs. The latest Instant Intelligence Archiving (iiArc) is an online service that does just that – it scans, stores and files paperwork into a flexible and efficient archiving system that is stored, managed and backed-up online. With no startup costs, no installation hassles, no training and no ongoing management costs, iiArc is simply paid for as a regular monthly service. So the benefits and cost efficiencies that the service brings are immediate.
Not only that, but using Instant Intelligence Archiving provides a business with effective disaster recovery too. If paper gets destroyed, it’s gone forever, so the sensible option is to scan it and store it on computer systems. Then again, computers are as susceptible to fire, flood and accidental damage as the original paper is; and what’s the most valuable thing a thief finds in an office? Probably the computers. When storing sensitive information on a computer, put that computer somewhere safe and get it backed up as regularly as possible.
So that should the worst happen, the business can be up and running again in as short a time as possible. With iiArc all data is heavily encrypted and stored off-site at BT’s prestigious data centre in Cardiff – so there’s no need to worry about office disasters striking the server. The only worry is what to do with the extra office space gained by ditching those unsightly filing cabinets. By providing such a service to customers, Instant Intelligence partners benefit from the power of one of the leading online archiving solutions, providing a practical, justifiable, cost effective way for a business to operate more effectively.
For more information on the latest Instant Intelligence Archiving or details on how to become a partner, contact Chris Morgan on 020 8971 6800. www.instantintelligence.com
* Based on a salary of £18,000 pa, average for general office
workers – Office of National Statistics.