We recently sat down with David Fathers, Regional General Manager, to discuss the digital journey, and how it works in real life:
Do you think there are still companies out there which need to go digital?
“Absolutely. According to the Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM), fewer than one in five organisations have fully automated their core back-end processes, despite two decades of business process management. That means everything that businesses do is still not as efficient as it should be.”
“We saw a real change in mindset during the pandemic as people began to work from home. It means employees are now producing more electronic documents and storing them, but not in an organised way. So, finding information can be difficult and businesses waste a long time searching for information and not knowing where it is. They’ve got it electronically, but they don’t know where.
“There’s going to be a desire from businesses to put that right now – and there’s a big opportunity for us to serve that need.
Companies started to look at workflows and automating their processes a long time ago but now the need is more urgent, and it’s being taken to a new level.”
Does it mean the end of paper records?
“It’s very unlikely that we’ll ever get rid of paper entirely. There will always be something that needs to be retained, such as historic data archives.”
“But these days we talk about removing paper at source, before it even gets created. You shouldn’t be sending anything to print, and you shouldn’t be receiving physical documents. You should be receiving electronic documents and it’s about how you manage emails and attachments.”
Do you feel it’s a big moment of change for Crown Records Management, too?
“I do. We’re not going to turn our back on our legacy document management but there is a lot of work around digital transformation of workflow and Information Management out there.
To help clients, we’ve put together the Crown Digital Office suite of products and services, which is everything from digitisation, through physical document management into all of these workflow solutions tailored to different industry sectors.”
Where are new clients coming from?
“Existing clients who store boxes and are now looking to go digital are very interested – and that’s a big pool for us, people we already have relationships with.” “But there are also a lot of new opportunities with new clients across many business sectors, and that’s exciting.”
How do you approach the sales aspect? Is it a matter of scaring businesses into going digital to avoid data protection fines?
“For me and the Crown team, I think it should be all about the positive aspects. What will the benefits be for the client?
“Of course, you need to make sure you are GDPR compliant. But these are solutions which will help streamline costs, saving time and effort.
Going digital can make life simpler for your business and your people as well as reducing costs. That’s essentially our purpose at Crown, to make complex things simply for our clients.”
What are you currently doing to offer a wider range of digital services?
“We’ve recently partnered with ELO Digital, a German company who offer specialist software on managing and supporting digitally transforming the management of both physical records and data, and we’ll be working closely with them to refine these solutions among our clients.”