I listened to Customer Service Director Adrian Posteraro present how MEDRAD, Inc. won the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in both 2003 and 2010. This prestigious award is the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence in the U.S. and the only formal recognition of both public and private U.S. organizations performance excellence given by the President of the United States.
Investments in people, process and technology (specifically for order processing) led MEDRAD to a 7.5% increase in customer satisfaction and enabled a 16% growth in revenue. What makes customer satisfactions just as important as revenue growth? Gartner predicts that customer experience is often the main determinant in which company wins a deal.
Adrian shared insight, based on his experience, as to what a company can gain by quitting paper:
- $265k cost savings in labor over 4 years
- Productivity gain equivalent to 5 FTEs
- 10% growth in disposable market share
- $433k total annual savings on paper and related costs
These statistics challenged thoughts I’ve been carrying around about whether the term “Quit Paper” excites the c-suite. Ultimately, the advantages gained by quitting paper with an automated solution leads companies to achieve outcomes the c-suite care about and cannot deny — so why wouldn’t they sponsor such a project?
The Impact of Manual Processes
Current manual processes tied to paper often hide root cause issues such as: maverick (non-PO) spending, delayed approvals, missed discounts, and short pays/credits when SLAs are not met and the customer refuses to pay freight fees.
Research from PwC in 2016 indicates that 7.5% of documents are lost and the cost to find a single lost document is $122. Even something as seemingly small as a filing cabinet is cause for concern — costing only $300 to purchase but a whopping $25k to fill!
My new realization is that document filing and retrieval costs alone add up enough to make the “Quit Paper” business case motivating. When enterprises factor in the knock on delays in processing orders, resolving customer issues and their reputation with customers and suppliers, the value of automation is truly realized.
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