☛ Want the latest procurement and supply chain news delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the Supply Management Daily
20 September 2012 | Anna Reynolds
European businesses are struggling to manage the large amounts of data created by multiple suppliers and emerging markets, increasing the focus on risk management.
In the Ricoh Document Governance Index 2012 91 per cent of firms cited the challenge of managing multiple vendors as having the most impact on their business.
The study identified providing documentation in the form of contracts or e-invoicing for various partners means businesses are spending a lot of time managing these processes. Additionally, 90 per cent said emerging high-growth markets have increased the amount of data that they are required to manage. It suggested organisations are struggling to keep up with the changing pace of the European business market.
As a result of these trends, business priorities have shifted compared with results from the same research three years ago.
In 2009, the study found the targets for European businesses were costs, efficiency, performance and the environment. In 2012, the main priority was business risk, with 65 per cent of respondents saying they have now set targets for risk management in relation to managing their document processes.
The report stressed the importance of managing ‘business-critical document processes’ within areas such as procurement and finance. The report said these activities “drive every organisation, keeping employees on board, cash flowing, and making sure organisations are meeting legal and compliance requirements”.
The study recommended businesses develop a long-term strategy to manage document processes efficiently and carry out regular reviews to improve they way they operate.
The research was commissioned by printing and document managing firm, Ricoh Europe and was based on more than 1,000 interviews with senior staff and employees at a range of organisations across Europe.