Today organizations try to gain competitive advantage in industry through outsourcing their business processes to third party service providers. This helps them to reduce operational cost and focus on key functional areas. Organizations use a large quantity of information in daily business operations which are stored in the form of files, blueprints, invoice and mail orders. The maintenance and storing of these valuable documents requires more space and is costly issue for any organization. Hence organizations try to convert and store these documents in digital format in order to save cost and space. Organizations opt for document outsourcing services where third party service provider transforms typed and handwritten text document into electronic or digital information. This electronic information can be stored in computer or server and used directly for future purpose. Document outsourcing involves a combination of intelligent character recognition (ICR) and optical character recognition (OCR) method to convert hand-written documents into electronic information. In some cases, important paper documents are converted to electronic format by experienced data entry clerks. Traditional document outsourcing services include data and content scanning, mailroom and print management. However, due to increasing demand for outsourcing in organization, document outsourcing service providers have tried to solve customer business challenge by providing value added services. Today, document outsourcing service providers provide a wide range of advance services apart from delivering traditional document outsourcing services. Document outsourcing service providers focus on providing value added services such as cross-media service, digital mailbox services and marketing analytics.
Today organizations are finding problem in providing quality information to their customers due to lack of expertise in quality writing. Hence, document outsourcing providers are providing email writing service where content writers provide relevant information based on customer query. Document outsourcing is also used in creating technical brochures, product specifications and repair manuals. Document outsourcing is also used in creating both printed and digital marketing communication documents to promote brand image. Thus, the role of document outsourcing has increased in many areas of a business.
Many financial institutions too, such as banks and insurance, favor document outsourcing for delivering accurate and complete archiving of financial information. Thus, document outsourcing providers are becoming strategic partners for organizations through providing value added services. Document outsourcing also helps to improve process as well as distribute risk between the organization and the service provider.
The major challenge for document outsourcing service provider is the flexibility in service level agreement (SLA). Organizations which do not plan on future business strategies, may not include relevant clauses in the service level agreements. These may later result in problem for document outsourcing service providers in providing service to organizations as the service requirements would vary as per the clients they cater to.
The demand for document outsourcing market will increase in coming years as organizations will try to reduce operational cost and gain competitive advantage among its competitors. Although, the document information may be critical for organization, document outsourcing solutions such as marketing analytics can help organization to use information in order to improve organization operations. Document outsourcing service finds its application in the area of financial services, insurance, healthcare, legal, telecommunication and manufacturing.
Some of the key document outsourcing service providers are Hewlett-Packard Company, Lexmark International Inc, Integreon Inc, Ricoh Company Ltd, Xerox Corporation, Canon Inc, Konica Minolta Holdings Inc, Swiss Post Solutions AG, Kyocera Document Solution Inc, Williams Lea Holdings Plc, Firstsource Solutions Ltd, Formost Mediaone, Pitney Bowes Inc and Toshiba Corporation.
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