ArchiDoc: 2015 was the best year for the sector of document and back-office process management services
The number of companies which use document management outsourcing and back-office processes increases every year. According to preliminary estimates ArchiDoc’s income increased in 2015 by approximately 20%, which reflects the general situation on the market. Customers attach increasingly more weight to the added value which results from cooperation with an external partner. However, the ability to optimize costs is still the driving force of the sector growth.
Companies find the "paperless office" concept increasingly more attractive. The reduction in the volume of paper documentation or its complete elimination not only contributes to the reduction in the organization costs, but first of all translates into a significant operating optimization as well as improved quality and efficiency of workflow.
"In 2015 ArchiDoc gained a record-number of new customers. This number included businesses from sectors which previously showed relatively little interest in outsourcing, such as administration, power engineering and medical sectors," says Konrad Rochalski, the President of the Management Board of ArchiDoc SA.
The document and back-office process management market can be broken down into 3 segments:
- Management and digitization of paper documentation (archiving and e-archiving, RIM – Records and Information Management).
- Management of back-office business processes which are based on the recording
- Design and implementation of the electronic document flow as a replacement for the paper flow (workflow systems or BPMS – Business Process Management Systems).
The majority of telecommunications, financial and insurance companies have been familiar with the first area for many years. For large, as well as frequently medium-sized companies, the use of the support provided by an external partner in this scope became an obvious solution. On the other hand, for public administration units, power engineering and medicine this outsourcing area is something new. However, year 2015 was a breakthrough in this regard and it should establish a good trend for the sector and main players. Archiving and digitization services are relatively cheap compared to the costs of investment and maintenance of one’s own archives as well as a document scanning and recording center. Setting a price boundary below which the provision of high-quality services which guarantee the appropriate safety level is impossible is becoming a challenge for the sector. This deepens market polarization. By using economies of scale several large suppliers are able to offer exceptionally advantageous prices while maintaining good quality. The others are trying to keep up with the leaders, but it is very difficult without large investments in the building of big volumes.
"Being able to guarantee the customers date safety and efficient management of processes is key in the sector of document management services. The effectiveness of information flow affects key areas of operation of an organization, e.g. the end customer service. This is why providers of outsourcing services whose only competitive advantage is the low price are unable to establish a position on this market", adds Konrad Rochalski.
The development of services which cover the management of business processes is a good signal for the market after 2015. For the last several years BPO has been associated with huge international success for Poland. Global concerns from the United States, Europe and Asia have their processes implemented in Poland and send in billions of electronic documents and pieces of information which require processing. On the other hand, local companies still distrust this type of solutions and as a principle handle the majority of processes on their own. It is a market with enormous potential for Polish BPO companies.
"As far as prices are concerned, the offer of international BPO centers which operate in Poland is very attractive for global concerns. However, this solution is not as cost-effective for Polish companies. This is a great opportunity for Polish BPO suppliers. 2015 saw a number of interesting agreements between ArchiDoc and costumers, both domestic and from abroad”, says Konrad Rochalski.
Unlike archiving and digitization, the offer in the BPO area must be to a large degree custom built for the needs of a given industry. For example processes of verification, validation and checking of agreements concluded with customers as well as the management of their subsequent amendments and complaints are crucial for the telecommunications sector. On the other, the most important matter for an insurer is the management of insurance policies and the creation of electronic claim files, which make it possible to pay the money quickly and as a result to ensure customer satisfaction. Switching the strategy from the universal and simple selling of archiving to the management of specific processes is an enormous challenge. As a result Polish companies have a limited selection of solutions. This creates enormous possibilities for the growth of the sector.
More and more clients are also interested in services related to the electronic flow of documents. Until now the market has been dominated mainly by IT companies which offer systems designed for such services. Nowadays customers are willing to use the service-based model of the implementation of BPS and workflow solutions.
"Companies in our sector are perfectly familiar with process of the flow of paper documents in offices. Thanks to that they know how to build hybrid models and deliver IT applications related to services, e.g. mail room, scanning of documentation and the construction of the electronic and/or paper archives", adds Konrad Rochalski"
2015 was a year of significant growth for the back-office and document management market. Both on the side of services and customer groups there are very mature areas such as archiving and digitization on one side, and telecommunications, finances and insurance on the other. We can hardly expect revolutionary changes in these segments. The biggest room for growth in 2016 is present in the area of business processing management and automation of the flow of cases in organizations. It is up to the main players on the market to use this opportunity in the coming years.