Summary of 2012 in the field of document management and back-office process service outsourcing

2012 was another period of business growth for the industry of document management and back-office service outsourcing.

2012 was another period of business growth for the industry of document management and back-office service outsourcing. The increasing number of contracts compensated a slight drop of the number of handled documents in the industries that historically have used the outsourcing services most often, such as banking, telecommunications or insurance industry.

Clients from new sectors

The document management outsourcing is used by more and more companies which previously have not recognized the need to implement such solution. It particularly relates to the entities operating in the field of public utility, power industry and administration. In case of the public sector, the main incentive to cooperate with external partners were the union subsidies designated for facilitation of access to information, which means for changing to an electronic document flow. We are also dealing here with the snowball effect – positive experience of smaller administration units was the best encouragement for commencement of such cooperation by larger entities. Only in the last quarter, ArchiDoc realized 4 significant projects in the field of document digitalization for public sector institutions for the total amount of almost one million PLN.

More and more advanced services

In 2012, expansion of the orders by the previous clients was a noticeable trend on the market of scanning, data registration or electronic archiving. The last year brought definitely more projects focusing on permanent service – apart from scanning credit documentation, the financial institution requires also complementation of appendixes, supplementation of missing documents, data verification in the Credit Information Bureau, but also contact with the borrower via call center.

The greater scope of cooperation within outsourcing contracts more and more often conditions also the necessity to conduct IT systems’ integration. It consists in connection of the software of the client and the supplier in such a way that the applications can mutually use their resources, such as images of documents or information on business partners. In 2012, ArchiDoc realized advanced IT implementations improving the data flow for five clients, mainly from insurance industry.

Greater maturity of the back-office process service market is reflected also in outsourcing of the tasks that are more and more advanced in substantial terms. 2012 brought the first contract on the Polish market, in which the outsourcing company was entrusted with complex service of loss adjustment process. Under the contract with Compensa, the insurance company, ArchiDoc is responsible for service and flow of documents connected with loss adjustment, which means for activities previously realized internally by the insurer itself. Contract innovativeness consists in the fact that this is a service initiating the process of handling the cases that flow in from the clients of Compensa with the use of various data carries, such as: traditional mails, CDs and DVDs, faxes and e-mails. No company has decided to commission performance of services in such a wide scope to the outsourcer before.

The potential and technological sophistication of the Polish outsourcing companies start to be noticed by the world’s players rendering back-office services. Instead of building their own operating infrastructure for service of Polish branches of foreign companies, they start to think about establishment of strategic cooperation with a specialized entity operating on the local market. Last year, ArchiDoc for the first time became the subcontractor of a global back-office service project realized for one of international banks.

Growing competition

The segment of document management and back-office process service has attractive growth prospects. Every year, there emerge new entities which offer very low prices to the clients, wishing to enter the market. This situation is dangerous because of the fact that quality and industry experience start to be replaced by financial calculations, due to which credible suppliers are subject to increasing price pressure. As a consequence, services valuated at a cheaper price flood the Polish market, increasing the risk of unreliable realization of the projects.

Stable growth prospects

There are a lot of indicators of the fact that 2013 should bring the next good signals for the companies operating on the back-office outsourcing market. The clients which already know the benefits resulting from separation of these processes plan further development of cooperation. New industries, such as power industry and public administration, should make another important and long-awaited step towards external service providers. Even the expected slowdown of consumption and the entailed slowdown of commercial operations should not disturb the positive trend.

Konrad Rochalski,

President of the Management Board of ArchiDoc