Canon Solutions America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., Inc., cautions automobile dealers considering "paperless" technology for service department document archiving to be sure their decision will deliver true paperless benefits.
"Dealers are learning that using paper processes in fixed operations is wasteful and unproductive, and so the paperless service department is a trending buzzword these days," said Mark A. Sinanian, senior director in Canon Solutions America's Enterprise Services and Solutions business unit. "Dealers considering this technology should be sure they understand exactly, and to what extent, the so-called 'paperless' solution they're considering is truly paperless."
"Not all paperless systems provide truly paperless results," Sinanian added. "This is in part because alternative methods can require printers, scanners, their supplies and trained labor. These costs may negate some of the expected savings from such hardware-based systems."
Two primary types of paperless electronic document system models are marketed today: print-and-scan workflow models, and those delivering automated capture of digital documents from multiple sources. This latter option includes end-to-end digital capture solutions such as Canon's Intelligent Dealer Electronic Archive System (IDEAS). IDEAS uses Scanless Automatic Filing Engine (SAFE(TM)) technology, which reduces or eliminates paper repair orders (ROs), signature authorizations, and other supporting documents as well as their storage costs.
In the first type, paper documents and records are printed and then scanned into digital format. In the second, service-related paperwork is captured automatically in digital format and as data is entered it is captured, indexed, archived, and when needed again, retrieved. For more information about the different models of archiving solutions, visit paperlessIDEAS.net.
Where a service-drive tablet device with digital signature capture is used, SAFE technology paperless systems provide total digital document integrity, from service write up and RO creation to later-date document availability for OEM warranty audits.
"The unfortunate fact is, only a true front-to-back electronic document management system gives dealers a thorough hands-off workflow experience from customer sign-in to completed RO indexing and filing," Sinanian said.
"When all service documentation is digital and stored digitally, the dealership benefits from reduced labor costs and gains in billable technician time. True paperless technology means techs no longer waste time assembling paperwork to satisfy customer billing and customer questions. SAFE technology-driven paperless solutions also help dealers better satisfy OEM warranty audits and limit chargeback risks."
According to Sinanian, "print-and-scan" systems, while delivering some benefits, fall short in key areas:
Less positive impact on service department productivity, as documents continue to be printed and handled by technicians.
Less reduction in printing costs (paper, toner, and equipment maintenance and service).
May not be as effective at mitigating security risks, as exposed paperwork may be viewable by the public.
A SAFE-type paperless document archiving system helps to:
1. Reduce OEM warranty chargeback costs: Reductions to less than 1 percent -- a huge reduction -- have been reported.
2. Improve productivity: Fewer paper documents being handled by technicians can save 30 to 50 minutes a day, improving tech productivity and service bay utilization.
3. Reduce workflow: Document printing, scanning, copying and handling are virtually eliminated, reducing paper handling, storage, filing and archiving.
4. Improve security and compliance: Keeps sensitive customer financial information away from prying eyes and helps auto dealerships comply with consumer protection laws.
5. Reduce costs: By freeing up staff, SAFE-driven paperless systems reduce document handling, filing, and archiving costs. Elimination of paper storage frees space for profit-centered uses and eliminates document destruction expenses.
The paperless service department is a trending evolution in service workflow processes. Dealers who wish to gain the most advantages from paperless promises would do well to objectively consider the available technologies. A true paperless workflow system that totally eliminates print and scan costs and labor use is a more advantageous solution for the dealer, its OEM and its customers.
About Canon Solutions America, Inc.
Combining the strengths of the former Canon Business Solutions, Inc. and Oce North America, Inc., Canon Solutions America provides industry leading enterprise services, advanced production print technology and large format solutions supported by exceptional professional service offerings. Canon Solutions America helps companies of all sizes to improve their business by increasing efficiency, controlling costs and becoming more environmentally conscious. A wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A, Inc. Canon Solutions America is headquartered in Melville, NY and has nearly 7,000 employees in over 150 offices across the country.