Examples of Initiatives for Customers
Automating Complicated Document Workflows and Reducing Human Errors to Allow People to Concentrate on Their Core Business Operations
Labor shortage and work style reforms in Japan
Japanese society is facing with issues of aging and labor shortage. In a survey conducted by the OECD, Japan is in the bottom group of member countries in terms of productivity, being ranked 14th in the world. Companies in Japan are struggling to streamline administrative work and to enable employees to engage in innovative work.
However, it is not easy to realize, and invoice processing is a typical example that highlights the difficulty. All companies purchase materials and services and need to make payments for them, but invoice formats can vary depending on the supplier, and so the automatic processing of these invoices has been considered difficult. Moreover, employees in charge of invoice processing need to spend a lot of time circulating the related documents among the approvers responsible for payments and then filing the documents.
To create a society where all people can engage in fulfilling work
Fuji Xerox aims to promote “the transformation of society where everyone can enjoy fulfilling work” by 2030. To this end, we aim to provide solution services that help working people increase their productivity and demonstrate their creativity, thereby contributing to organizational and social innovations.
One of the initiatives implemented to this end is the Accounts Payable Automation Solution, which we have developed by combining the expertise accumulated by Fuji Xerox for document management with France-based Esker’s “Esker on Demand” accounts payable management service.
The Solution enables data that used to be input manually to be automatically extracted from invoices, digitizes the payment approval workflow, and reduces the turnaround time from payment application to approval by managers. Moreover, AI-based machine learning helps increase the precision of data extraction and makes data analysis easier. Users can also deal with invoices in different formats and link the system smoothly with other accounting management systems. The Solution was provided initially by Fuji Xerox New Zealand and is being introduced to Japan. It will also be sequentially deployed in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Responses from customers
Fuji Xerox New Zealand has been selling the Accounts Payable Automation Solution since 2016 and has introduced it to customers in a variety of industries, including construction, education, retail, government, agriculture, and manufacturing. “Improving AP efficiency has historically been problematic for most companies as it relied heavily on handling paper documents manually such as manual data entry for processing and circulating documents for payment approval. These complicated tasks led to incorrect amount payments and unhandled payments,” says Cameron Mount, who leads FXNZ’s Enterprise Consulting team. “In response, we combined Esker’s cloud-based AP accounting solutions with Fuji Xerox’s consulting expertise in the document domain that we have cultivated over many years. Based on our thorough analysis of the customers’ current workflows, we provide each customer with the solution optimal for them. We can thereby deliver services tailored to the customer’s operational procedures and priorities.”
An analysis after installing the service compared to the previous manual operations in the company showed a 65% improvement in processing speed of accounts payable invoices and 5.3 times more invoices processed per person.
Mr. Lee Waller, Financial Controller at Property Brokers, a real estate company in New Zealand, says, “It’s made our managers very happy as they have visibility and control of their cost.”
Selling the solution in Japan to help foster work style innovation
Japanese companies are being urged to make work style reforms. When the Solution was introduced at the expo on accounting and financial operations held in May 2019, we had a huge number of people visit the demonstration and consulting space. Through talking with them, it became clear to us that quite a few companies were still doing paper-based invoice processing and were searching for a way to increase their processing efficiency.
Amane Inoue, Executive General Manager, Advanced Industrial Services Business Group, says, “Fuji Xerox has been providing solutions by upholding “Smart Work Innovation” since 2018 and thinking comprehensively about what it could do to bring about innovation to work styles in society. We are proactively forming partnerships and alliances with other companies to help customers increase the efficiency of their workflows and foster digital transformation for higher productivity. We will continue making contributions to increasing the operational efficiency of customers and workers in Japan and across the world toward the creation of an even better society.”
We are committed to helping customers manage their organizations in an efficient and orderly manner so that they can use the time thus saved to generate new innovations. In order to propel the trends of work style innovation and provide benefits to even more working people, Fuji Xerox will continue taking on challenges.
Ensuring the Security of Communication: Providing the comfortable, secured, and easy-to-use networks for the diversification of working style.
Rise of information security risk with Work Style Reform
In Japan, companies are expanding their teleworking and work-at-home systems aligning with the government policy, the Work Style Reform. Some leading edge companies are beyond fostering the variety of working places and working hours and encouraging employees to work for multiple organizations by projects or have side businesses. While technological innovation enables people to choose various work styles and to work for multiple organizations, information security risks are becoming more serious issue. In 2017, 42.3% of corporations in Japan suffered serious damage caused by security incidents, such as the leaking of personal information and confidential information. The average damage caused by such security incidents are estimated at over 200 million yenNote 1.
Improving communication at workplaces
Fuji Xerox has been integrating paper and digital information and seamlessly connecting cloud services, mobile solutions and multifunction devices to help companies improve their communication environments and enable their employees to concentrate on core business operations anytime, anywhere. Fuji Xerox has been committed to provide the environment where all people can make the most of their knowledge for contributing to the society and fulfilling their work.
For providing various work styles and high levels of information security for employees, what can Fuji Xerox do? Large companies have their own information security departments to take necessary measures. However, it is not the case for SMEs (small and medium enterprises) that account for approximately 70% of all employees in Japan. Information security is still a big challenge for SMEs. In order to address this challenge, since 2002, Fuji Xerox has been offering the “beat”Note 2service to SMEs for securing their networking environments as well as providing a regular updating service for information security. We have delivered a total of 70,000 security devices for “beat” service across Japan today.
Top management of SMEs wants “comfortable,” “secured” and “easy-to-use” information security infrastructure, and in line with the advancement of IT and cloud-based service technologies we have been enhancing the functions and services of “beat”. In 2019, we released the option, “beat” Cloud Connection Service to help customers use the Amazon Web Services with greater safety. Anticipating security measures for encrypted information and “IP over Ethernet” (IPoE), Fuji Xerox has been seeking on even higher quality of services for secure and comfortable networking. Fuji Xerox has been providing easy-to-use, one-stop end to end support for the “beat” service from installation to management. With nationwide sales network, FUJI XEROX also provides same quality of service.
BOHSAI Corporation, a company specializing in disaster control for buildings, has a total of around 100 engineers and support staff who cooperate with the nine affiliates of the company at its 10 bases across Japan to install, check and maintain disaster prevention equipment and to inspect and survey building facilities and special structures to ensure disaster control for entire buildings. It was becoming difficult to maintain and manage the current servers as the company’s operations expanded, so they started trying to figure out a way to shift to a cloud-based environment. However, due to security risks posed to internal data, the company was unable to do it by themselves. That is when the beat Cloud Connection Service was put on the market. Knowing that the service would help connect its offices with a cloud-based environment with greater security, the company decided to deploy the service. The customer also introduced the beat Remote Access Service to allow its employees to access the intranet from outside the company. Now they can safely access internal data while on business trips to other sites or visiting customer sites. As a result, engineers can now go home directly from customer sites more readily than before and thus the company enjoys the benefit of the service that also helps the company to realize work style reform.
Makoto Kurosa, a Senior Manager of Enterprise Documents Solution Division, who has been involved with the development of “beat” from the beginning says;
“The Japanese business dynamism is driven by new value innovated by SMEs and the collaboration between them. With the progress of the Internet, the collaboration is enhanced and a system for information sharing beyond organizations is required, but it is not easy. The “beat”’ has been evolved to help SMEs address IT-related challenges such as staff shortage, and lack of knowledge and investments. Security risks have been expanding in multiple aspects recently and many companies are facing the challenges of making investments and hiring IT staff. For the next stage of the “beat” service, we have launched the Smart Cyber Security service for business of all sizes to enjoy the value provided by “beat” from SMEs to large enterprise. We will enhance the service to offer safe and secure networks to more of our customers.”
When all people exert their abilities to the fullest extent and link with people and organizations through sharing the same aspirations, they can create new value together. Based on this belief, Fuji Xerox will continuously work to provide safe, secure and easy-to-use information infrastructure services so that more and more people and organizations can achieve their aspirations by using the services.
- Note 1 Reported by Trend Micro, Dec. 2018
“Survey on Information Security in Corporate Organizations: 2018”
- Note 2 The “beat” is a secure network outsourcing service that fully supports security measures and communication network functions in office. As the key feature of the service, Fuji Xerox offers outsourcing services for a range of operations on building, maintaining and managing the communication network systems. A variety of security measures are provided based on the installation of a security device called the beat-box, and the “beat-noc” Network Operation Center monitors the networking situation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Moreover, the beat Contact Center can support quick recovery in case of network failures.