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The general manager of Version One, a document management and imaging company, has highlighted the importance of implementing document management systems to survive the recession.

This follows the publication of figures by the Office for National Statistics revealing that the British economy shrank by 1.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year – the worst slide since 1980.

According to Lynne Munns, document management can act as a powerful catalyst in helping businesses to streamline their operations and cut costs so that they can operate more efficiently and cost effectively during times of economic instability.

She believes that, with the latest UK unemployment figures hitting 2.03 million in January 2009, the highest since 1997, and with this expected to rise to more than 10 per cent by the end of 2010, the future remains uncertain.

Munns said: ‘There’s no doubt that many organisations are struggling to stay afloat.

‘Most of these would acknowledge that improving cash flow, while keeping costs low, is fundamental to surviving the recession.

‘However, how many recognise that investing in key systems, such as integrated document management, can be the most effective means of achieving this?’ Using electronic document management technology integrated into their accounting/ERP systems, businesses can automate and streamline their procure-to-pay and order-to-cash processes, she claims.

Munns believes that, by replacing the production, circulation and duplication of paper documents with automated processes, businesses will be able to cut costs, facilitate swifter cash collection and avoid late-payment penalties.

In addition, costly document storage space will be freed up and staff will no longer be occupied with time-consuming administrative tasks such as producing and posting copy invoices, enabling them to be redeployed on more value-adding tasks.

Munns said: ‘It is more important than ever for organisations to run a lean operation and ensure costs are kept in check.

‘Using integrated document management, businesses can save as much as GBP5 per transaction for processing outgoing documents, such as purchase orders and sales invoices, and as much as GBP50 for processing incoming documents such as purchase invoices,’ she added.

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