Europe’s Bosses Ignoring Document Governance to the Detriment of the Bottom Line

By Prne, Gaea News Network
Sunday, October 11, 2009

LONDON - Ricoh ( today unveiled new data that shows many organisations across Europe are neglecting document governance to the detriment of their bottom line and the agility of their business.

The Ricoh Document Governance Index[1], conducted by Coleman Parkes Research, revealed that although total spend on document governance in Europe currently exceeds an estimated EUR14 billion per year, with companies spending up to 5% of annual turnover, just over a third (39%) of companies have implemented a document governance strategy to manage this important area for the business. Putting a strategy in place or even outsourcing this area simplifies business processes and offers both short and long term benefits, for example, reducing costs and environmental impact, increasing security and applying more effective allocation of resources. This enables business leaders to focus on driving the growth of their core business.

While 77% of Senior Executives recognise that improved document governance will generate cost savings, the reality is, the management of it is sporadic and uncontrolled. Only 38% reviewed their costs ’sometimes’ and as many as 17% never review these costs at all. With the potential to save up to 30%[2], the startling findings suggest that many companies are needlessly missing out - not just on cost savings - but on making staff more productive and enhancing sustainability credentials.

The report also found that responsibility for document governance is decentralised with no single function accountable for this area. Most respondents reported that several people within their business are responsible for the document environment and 57% devolve ownership to individual staff members. 61% say at least partial responsibility sits with a variety of department heads including HR Directors, office managers, sales and marketing. The solution is to adopt a centralised approach with re-engineered processes that align directly with the specific needs of the business. The result is a simplified document governance strategy that increases employee productivity and ensures department heads can focus on what they do best, helping to grow the company.

Simon Sasaki, CEO, Ricoh Europe, said: “Although today’s economy is driving senior executives to streamline their business, many companies are allowing their printing, photocopying and faxing to go unchecked. It is concerning that despite an increasing awareness of the immediate benefits, the majority of companies in Europe do not have a document governance strategy in place. Underestimating the risks leaves them susceptible to overspending, under productivity, security breaches and a high carbon footprint. Business leaders need to take notice of this often overlooked area by allocating a senior executive to take responsibility for it and consider both the immediate and longer term strategic benefits to the business. Inefficiencies in this area are common but easily addressed and Ricoh expertise can add real business value by ensuring an increase in productivity, better security, maximisation of workflows and the ability to support the document needs of individual departments.”

Document governance in practice:

- Major European NGO employing over 2,000 people in Germany. Wanted to improve user friendliness, reduce paper consumption and automate some of the process around the supply of consumables. Ricoh standardised the printer fleet and introduced document services that resulted in up to 30% TCO savings. - One of the UK’s leading supermarkets with 502 stores and 290 convenience stores wanted to meet the growing demand for print and copy needs but was faced with an expensive and inefficient print service. By outsourcing all print services, both onsite and offsite, the company was able to make savings of GBP500,000 over three years with an additional GBP500,000 projected savings based on phase two of the project to replace desktop machines with more efficient and cost- effective print devices. - Global marketer of athletic footwear employing more than 30,000 people globally. Large supply chain drained significant resources but requires a robust, financially compliant and secure e- billing system. There was a complex and time consuming procedure to coordinate inhouse with approx EUR4million spent mailing 4.5million paper invoices a year. The company has outsourced the entire invoice management process to Ricoh to manage the transition from paper to electronic processes. Over 3 years it will yield cost savings of an estimated EUR3m

To download the whitepaper and learn more about the findings of the study visit

Note to Editors

About the Ricoh Document Governance Index

The Ricoh Document Strategy Index was conducted on behalf of Ricoh Europe by independent research firm Coleman Parkes Research and is based on 311 detailed interviews with senior decision makers (C-Suite or equivalents) of medium and large companies in the Financial Services; Professional Services; Public and Telecommunications / Utilities and Media sectors across Europe. Interviews took place in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom. All respondents are responsible for document management within their respective organisations and were contacted in July and August 2009. The survey was controlled to provide representative information across Europe and within each targeted vertical sector.

About Ricoh

Ricoh Company, Ltd (”Ricoh Company”) is a global technology leader, specialising in the office and production printing markets. Ricoh works with organisations around the world to modernise work environments and optimise document efficiency. With over 108,500 employees worldwide, it operates in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, 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. The EMEA operations comprise over 35 sales subsidiaries and affiliates.

In the fiscal year ended 31 March 2009, revenues from Ricoh’s EMEA operations totalled over YEN 523.4 billion accounting for 25.0 per cent of Ricoh Company’s global revenues. Ricoh Company’s worldwide sales totalled over YEN 2,091.7 billion during the year ended 31 March 2009.

[1] Document governance is defined as the way an organisation manages its business documents. It includes effectively managing the costs, technology, sustainability and security of documents across its operations.

[2] Ricoh customer data

For further information, please contact: Ricoh Europe PLC Janice Gibson Tel.: +44-(0)20-7465-1153 E-mail:

Source: Ricoh Europe

For further information, please contact: Ricoh Europe PLC, Janice Gibson, Tel.: +44-(0)20-7465-1153, E-mail: press at

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