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New Survey Reveals Top Three Challenges SMEs Face When Managing Multi-Channel Communications

by david.nunes

New Survey Reveals Top Three Challenges SMEs Face When Managing Multi-Channel Communications

Neopost introduces new cloud-based communication tool to help SMEs overcome time-wasting, human error and lack of visibility when handling outgoing communications

Neopost, a leading provider of mail solutions, today announced the results of a recent survey that explores the difficulties small and medium businesses (SMEs) have when managing multi-channel communications. This coincides with the launch of NeoPreference, its new advanced cloud-based communication management tool, which automates document handling, enabling SMEs to handle physical and digital outgoing communication more effectively. The research, conducted by Opinionway, revealed that, on average, SMEs generate 641 documents every single month, and that over half of them use both physical and digital channels for general correspondence (59 percent) and invoicing (53 percent). However, there appears to be a lack of know how when it comes to managing these methods effectively, which results in time-wasting, human errors and a lack of traceability.

As well as having to manage different communication channels, the survey also revealed the extent SMEs handle multiple document formats. In fact, SMEs use Word for less than half (49 percent) of all outgoing communications, while over a quarter (26 percent) use Adobe and 15 percent use Excel. The process of managing these multiple formats is disjointed and many SMEs seem to be struggling with over engineered-routines, leading to confusion and traceability issues.

With this in mind, NeoPreference has been designed to streamline document management. Through the automation of document processing, the solution enables SMEs to simplify and centralise the preparation, delivery and archiving of both paper and electronic documents, driving processing efficiency and consistent customer experience without the price tag of an enterprise-class solution.

“Multi-channel communications pose many problems for small businesses and it’s clear that a lot of them are struggling to adapt their communication strategy,” said Erwan Kernevez, Digital Solutions Director at Neopost. “The number of SMEs choosing to send outgoing communications electronically highlights the growing popularity of the paperless process; however doing this completely is all too often a daunting task. We’ve developed NeoPreference to help businesses take this step without feeling overwhelmed by the complexity a multi-channel communication strategy can bring. Indeed, as the office becomes increasingly digitised, it’s essential that organisations fully incorporate digital thinking and working into their everyday life. NeoPreference enables SMEs to maintain a productive, organised business that manages paper and digital channels, as well as the many different types of documents. Presently, there seems to be a huge lack of understanding on how to do this – why else would so many overlook the benefits of producing invoices, which make up nearly a third of all communications, in batches, but apply this to a document that makes up less than 10 percent? Ultimately, using mail management software certainly has its benefits, but these can be negated if not applied correctly.”

According to the survey, time wasting, a lack of traceability and human error are the top three challenges small businesses face when managing their outgoing communications. SMEs often end up spending additional time manually editing documents, including adding attachments (76 percent), merging with other documents (74 percent) and adding further information (74 percent). It’s therefore unsurprising that 47 percent of SMEs consider time-wasting as their biggest challenge, followed by the risk of human error (45 percent). With regards to traceability, SMEs rarely track their sent invoices or contracts, with 51 percent admitting that they find it difficult to record communications across all channels.

“The challenges highlighted above are incredibly common amongst SMEs who don’t utilise a document management system,” continued Kernevez. “Small companies waste far too much time manually preparing documents, and the chance of human error is simply too great. Compliance is also a big problem, with over half of SMEs unable to track their communications, which means they will only face problems when asked to show, or provide the status, of specific documents by the tax office or auditors. NeoPreference solves this problem by automating the preparation of important documents, such as, invoices, credit notes and statements, thus completely removing the possibility of human error. The tool also contains an advanced search engine, allowing SMEs to search and retrieve their electronically cloud stored documents in an instant.”

 “SMEs that incorporate more centralised processes into their outgoing communication strategies will quickly see their document handling efficiency increase, “continued Kernevez. “By automating processes and providing a traceable pathway, all documents can be created, sent and stored in a format agreed by both the sender and recipient, enabling SMEs to spend time on more productive business tasks. Indeed, the goal of any small business should be to streamline its processes, whilst decreasing costs. An advanced cloud-based communication tool, such as NeoPreference, provides them with a way to do this. As the workplace increasingly embraces the multi-channel approach, it’s imperative that companies implement an effective mail management solution that does all the hard work and administration for them – by doing this they will see a big difference in terms of efficiency, customer satisfaction and, ultimately, sales.”

280 UK SMEs were surveyed by OpinionWay on behalf of Neopost. The full findings can be found here: www.slideshare.net/secret/t2WPx0ibaICn2Y

About Neopost
Neopost is a world leading supplier of mailing solutions. It has a direct presence in 31 countries, with 6,200 employees and annual sales of €1.1 billion in 2013. Its products and services are sold in more than 90 countries, and the Group has become a key player in the markets for mailroom equipment and logistics solutions. Neopost supplies the most technologically advanced solutions for franking, folding and inserting and addressing as well as logistics management and traceability. Neopost also offers a full range of services, including consultancy, maintenance and financing solutions. Neopost is also progressively building a portfolio of new activities to enhance its offering and support its clients’ needs in the fields of Customer Communications Management, Data Quality and Shipping Solutions.Neopost is listed in the A compartment of Euronext Paris and belongs notably to the SBF 120 Index.

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