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Products try to prove productivity links to smart compliance strategy

Lexmark is looking to prove that compliance strategy and productivity are not mutually exclusive concepts. The company is launching three new back-office solutions under the guise that automation, which improves productivity, can directly influence the level of compliance.

That’s probably a sign of things to come for the compliance market. A multitude of vendors are trying to assign value to the compliance strategy process or, at the very least, make purchasing new systems more palatable by extolling the virtues of productivity to help reduce the compliance burden.

I expect that most vendors in the compliance market will follow Lexmark’s lead and start to discuss processes instead of individual solutions.  After all, there is a lot of room to improve capabilities in the compliance market, and Lexmark seems to make some good points with its concepts.

Lexmark’s three new end-to-end, back-office solutions are designed to accelerate the flow of information and enable companies to improve compliance and productivity. This is done by leveraging the integration of Lexmark’s smart multifunction products (MFPs) and Perceptive Software’s ImageNow, which can merge generated data into enterprise systems.

The arrangement potentially reduces paper use, cuts down on processing time and automates some of the compliance requirements for businesses dealing with both printed and electronically transmitted data.

To begin with, Lexmark is focusing on solutions that are notorious for the amount of paper printouts created and the amount of data that can cross multiple desks, creating compliance concerns. The products offered include:

  • Recruitment and onboarding: Automates many of the manual tasks associated with the hiring process, making the process more efficient for managers, as well as HR staff. On the compliance strategy end, the solution automatically detects missing information such as critical forms, reports or signatures, and reduces risk associated with managing and storing hard-copy documents.
  • Invoice processing: Uses Lexmark’s MFP intelligent capture during invoice processing at the point of receipt to speed the process and reduce the cost of moving hard-copy invoices. The solution accelerates matching, approval and payment by automating manual tasks in order to capitalize on vendor discounts. It also synchronizes data with ERP and financial systems to ensure real-time visibility to payables.
  • Travel and expense: Eliminates paper and postage expenses by electronically capturing receipts in distributed locations. The solution reduces employee inquiries by providing self-service visibility to the report’s status and also eases reporting, reconciliation and audit preparation by collecting documentation in a single repository.

Ultimately, Lexmark’s goal is most likely aimed at getting enterprises to buy more Lexmark products and the associated supplies.  Compliance tinted with productivity is arguably one of the best ways to make that happen. Each of the above solutions does require Lexmark hardware and, in turn, the supplies and support that goes along with it.

Frank Ohlhorst is an award-winning technology journalist, professional speaker and IT business consultant with more than 25 years of experience in the technology arena. He has written for several leading technology publications, including Computerworld, TechTarget, PCWorld, ExtremeTech and Tom’s Hardware, and business publications including Entrepreneur and BNET. Ohlhorst was also executive technology editor at eWEEK and director of CRN Test Center.

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