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Study of Decade-Long U Miami Document Management Practices Shows $10 million Savings

The University of Miami recently participated in a study that showed it has gained a 532 percent return on investment from automating its document management processes. A decade ago, the university replaced its microfiche archiving system with document management software from RSD. The study, performed by Thoughtware Worldwide, found that a $2.3 million investment had an 11-month payback and a net savings of $10.3 million over 10 years. According to the study, the transition has enabled the university to reduce costs related to paper, disposal, and document storage and has also "dramatically improved information delivery and access."

"What began as an initiative to migrate from microfiche to a digital archiving solution has become the foundation for widespread process improvements and millions of dollars in cost savings annually at over 120 departments at the University of Miami," said Jim Balter, senior business systems analyst. "For over 10 years, RSD has helped us reduce operating costs for antiquated systems, repurpose physical office space for more strategic university uses, reduce paper consumption by 90 percent, and permanently improve productivity by eliminating time lost to physical archive document retrieval."

"It makes all the difference in the world to be able to send reports electronically with RSD. With RSD, work can now be performed remotely," said Daisy McNelley, long distance services manager at the university.

Among process improvements cited in the study, the payroll and accounting department can now reproduce a W2 or a 1099 form on demand or in minutes versus a minimum of two days previously. Also, the university is now able to report donations daily upon receipt; previously this could take up to seven days.

"In analyzing the results for the University of Miami, we believe this study demonstrates the power of information governance. Using the RSD solution, the University of Miami is demonstrating how to effectively and efficiently manage the entire lifecycle of information in an exponentially growing environment. The RSD solution is providing the university with a platform for greater collaboration, reporting, and information sharing in a secure, efficient, and low cost model," said Timothy Guyre, managing director for Thoughtware.

Specific drivers of the 532 percent ROI include: $250,000 per year from elimination of the legacy archiving system; $925,000 per year from paper consumption; and $1 million per year from the reduction in off-site storage costs.

The university, with 15,300 students, has 10,800 faculty and staff members.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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