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FEATURE


IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY


Jesse MacPherson, former BPO & Service Bureau Operations Manager now responsible for ibml’s UK, Ireland & Nordics territory, discusses the issues that all scanning operations face and how the use of technology can help resolve them.


“Show me the money!” You might remember the amusing scene in the 1996 hit Tom Cruise film, Jerry Maguire, where he screams down the phone at his last remaining NFL client that he’ll get him cash from commercial deals – a result of the eponymous sports agent being fired after having a moral epiphany about how customers should really be treated.


Managers of small to medium-sized scanning bureaus – whether in-house or external - might smile and nod sagely at this: show me the money. They live and breathe this walking a tightrope balancing what seems to be a series of mutually exclusive tasks: meeting aggressive SLAs, coping with the peaks and troughs of jobs and working to paper thin margins equating to pennies per page. It’s tough to do profitably.


This is because most bureaus are transactional volatile businesses. It’s difficult to predict when work will come in and the nature of it. Projects tend to be one- off engagements and they’re competitive to win such that many will tolerate taking on contracts which are


32 | TOMORROW’S FM


challenging characterised by complex exception handling and/or high re-scan rates.


They have to cater for a wide type of paperwork ranging from the good, the bad and the ugly. For example, one minute, legal paperwork will be scanned for a solicitors firm. This demands granular document identification, tagging and classification with meta data integrated into case management systems so that lawyers can then collaborate easily and review, find and annotate information.


The next, the same bureau might jump onto medical paperwork and process this, too. This tends to involve two areas. First, digitising legacy paper records which are typically old, fragile and often look like they have been dragged out of a salt mine. This is scanned to free up much needed physical space and save on storage costs as well as providing clinicians with historical patient data at a touch of a button via EDMS or EPR systems or both. Second, the NHS is also now relying far more on ‘day forward’ scanning where all information coming into the organisation is processed, data extracted and routed via


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