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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Good Workflow Kills Paper - The Once and Future Managed Print Services

From The Imaging Channel.

Passing notes in class used to result in a disciplinary action. Back then, the most efficient method of conveying information or querying a prospect was to scratch a simple question on a scrap of paper and ask your neighbor pass it along. “Do you like me? Do you want to be my friend? Check yes or no." In the early days of business, like those notes in third grade, sales orders were hand written on paper with a pen.

As time went by, more advanced order-entry processes developed around carbon and carbonless paper and forms. One instance of data entry, writing information down on the order, would create three or four copies, which you’d just peel apart and forward a copy to the appropriate department — original into daily sales, yellow to the warehouse, goldenrod over to accounting as an open order, and the pink gets thrown away. (As an aside, do you remember how challenging it was for some copiers to make a copy of a yellow background, carbonless form? That’s right, we were making copies of copies.)

"While some reported the beginning of the Paperless Age, the paper glut expanded and the salad days of copiers and printers ensued. Life in the imaging industry was grand."

I’m sure you remember the days when a piece of paper followed an order around your company, ending up in shipping. Back then, when CRMs were Rolodexes and the USPS was profitable, every department had a copier and rows of filing cabinets. Most processes, optimized as much as possible, required human interaction and moved at a slower pace. Acceptable lead times of weeks or months were normal and follow-up meant mailing a handwritten letter. Our expectations rarely rotated around instantaneous response.

Computers changed all that.

Read the rest, here.

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