European Businesses are Missing out on Potential €46 Billion Profit Increase

By Ricoh Europe, PRNE
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

LONDON, June 30, 2011 -


Research published today by href="">
Ricoh Europe reveals that European businesses
could be missing
out href="">on
potential profit increases of €46 billion
, due to the
existing, inefficient methods used to process information. The

Process Efficiency Index
shows that employees
across Europe responsible for managing business critical document
spend approximately 362 million hours
of their time per year on the function, which amounts to an
overall business cost of €147 billion.

The Index examines how European organisations are managing their
business critical document processes; those that occur regularly
and repeatedly and have a direct impact upon businesses
interactions with clients and employees. For example, purchase
orders, patient records or invoices. The study also identifies the
areas for improvement and the economic return that those
improvements could deliver.

Carsten Bruhn, Executive Vice President, Ricoh Europe said:
“This report is essential reading for every European CIO. It
highlights that if European businesses are to meet the challenge of
competing with emerging markets, it is essential that they look at
the efficiency of their business critical document processes.”

“The Index clearly illustrates how outdated, manual processes
have multiple impacts on the business.  For example, if
critical information is processed using traditional hard-copy
methods, business risk is enhanced as they are less likely to be
backed-up. They are also easier to lose, making them more prone to
security breaches.  It is also inevitable that employees are
spending unnecessary time processing business documents, instead of
focusing on the core business transactions and customer

Despite the significant time and investment processing business
critical documents, European businesses overwhelmingly acknowledge
that there is still room for improvement.  Respondents said
that their top three priorities are to increase knowledge sharing
(67 per cent), improve security (67 per cent) and drive workforce
effectiveness (65 per cent).  The main barriers to making
these improvements are lack of time (45 per cent) and lack of
resources (35 per cent).

The Index also reveals that European businesses are often
reluctant to adopt time saving initiatives, such as outsourcing,
due to security concerns. However, one in 12 European businesses
revealed that their existing security procedures do not protect
confidential documents with 36 per cent admitting that either they
themselves, or their staff, have lost or misplaced important

Despite available technology advances, the Index shows that many
document processes are unnecessarily labour intensive and manual.
43 per cent of all business critical document processes rely on
hard copy data and only 22 per cent of respondents reported that
their organisation utilised a fully automated workflow.  

Bruhn concludes, “A properly implemented end-to-end optimisation
strategy will  drive down business costs and also have a huge
impact on workforce collaboration and effectiveness. This includes
measuring and analysing how information arrives into the business,
what happens to it and how it is used to deliver results.
Importantly, the people involved in the processes should be also be
engaged throughout to ensure they understand and can align with the
changes. The end result is that businesses will be more agile in
responding to their customers and market needs, and be ready for
the workplace of the future.”

Download the whitepaper at href="">


About Ricoh

Ricoh Company, Ltd. (Ricoh Company) is a Fortune Global 500
company specialising in technology and services that transform high
volume, document intensive business processes into more efficient
ones.  This is achieved through Ricoh’s expertise in Managed
Document Services, Production Printing, Office Solutions and IT

By working with Ricoh, businesses can streamline the way they
work, become more efficient and profitable, and share knowledge
more effectively within their organisations. With a global
workforce of 109,014, Ricoh operates in Europe, the Americas, Asia
, China and Japan.

Ricoh Europe Holdings PLC is a public limited company and the
EMEA headquarters of Ricoh Company with operations located in
London, United Kingdom and Amstelveen, the Netherlands.  In
the fiscal year ended 31 March 2011, revenues from Ricoh’s EMEA
operations totalled ¥413.9 billion (approx US$4.99 billion). Ricoh
Company’s worldwide sales totalled ¥1,942 billion (approx US$23.4
) during the year ended 31 March 2011.

About the Ricoh Process Efficiency

The Ricoh Process Efficiency Index was conducted by independent
research firm, Coleman Parkes, and commissioned by href="">Ricoh Europe. Survey
respondents held full responsibility for managing the processes
surrounding the critical business documents inside their
organisations and were employed within: Financial/accounting,
sales, HR or payroll, customer or client information, legal,
warehouse and supply chain. The research consisted of 458 telephone
surveys within large (1000+ employee) organisations, located in
Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, The Nordics
(Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark), Spain, Switzerland and the
UK.  The organisations are based within the education, legal,
utilities, healthcare, manufacturing and financial services
sectors.  Qualitative interviews were also completed with
European CIOs to gain further commentary about their business
critical document processes.

For further information, please

Ricoh Europe PLC

Janice Gibson
Tel.: +44(0)20-7465-1153
E-mail: href="">

Home page: href="">

Register for the Ricoh media centre at:  href="">


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