Recover and grow your export business with digital documentation and automation


Executives and directors of export businesses need to implement a credible business recovery plan to respond to the loss of revenue caused by Brexit and the Pandemic. With UK Exports to the EU down by 40% (Source ONS) a key component of this plan should be the rapid introduction of digital processes, document workflows, and ultimately automation.

Those management teams who invest in the right digital technology and software early will be the ones able to respond and recover the quickest. Doing so will place them in a strong position to take advantage of new trade opportunities. 

The road to recovery for export

For many export businesses, it will be a long haul to get back even to where they were in 2019. With a fall in exports goods estimated to be as high as £5.6bn in the first month after leaving the EU immediate action is required. Therefore optimising export markets will be a critical part of the business recovery plan for many, let alone planning for new growth. 

The UK’s departure from the European Union should serve only to emphasise how important it will be for export companies to react swiftly. Those businesses with significant export volumes need to implement a smart and efficient way of managing the administrative burden that international trade imposes.

Clearly, if exporting is to play a part in a business’s recovery plan, the administrative burden needs to be eased. More than ever, the quality of the documentation the business produces can either help or hinder the smooth progress of its international trade.

Export businesses should focus on digital investments

Executives and directors need to demonstrate leadership. Therefore, taking responsibility by exploring the role digital transformation provides in business change and productivity. 

Digital technology can be the means through which that smooth progress is ensured. Professional, clear, and compliant export documentation, in multiple versions and languages, can be created using digital document tools. While digital document workflow management brings greater speed and efficiency to the process. The technology delivers additional benefits for companies that need to create export documentation, including:

  •   Process automation, including automatic document completion where appropriate
  •   Digital stamping, annotating and correcting without changing original documents
  •   Seamless data import from other applications
  •   Remote access for staff to work from anywhere
  •   Secure storage and transparent audit trail

With relief from the administrative strain. Staff can also be more profitably employed in other tasks around the export business.

Always seek support from an experienced digital services partner

Naturally, implementing these digital systems is not without cost. Careful consideration has to be given to how best to deploy them. Especially in view of existing IT systems within the business. There might be a short-term interruption, as well as cost and risk to the business as it claws back from a difficult period.

These are appropriate issues to raise. However, if the solution selected is “Middleware”, then the cost, the impact on IT infrastructure, and the interruption to existing export processes can all be minimal. The export business will gain an agile document management solution without changing legacy IT systems.

A path to export growth

Most importantly, with the right digital technology in place. The organisation will also be better able to optimise its export business. Ensuring its customers are happier with the service they are receiving, and more likely to buy again. In addition, its people will be more motivated and productive, able to add value to the business in other ways. And most importantly, cost and time factors will be replaced by slick efficiency and consistent accuracy.   

Underpin business resilience and success with Digital Document Management

On its own, agile export documentation delivered via a digital document management solution doesn’t result in a successfully managed and profitable export business. However, it does underpin the business with an adaptable and robust approach to export documentation. Therefore, this will future proof businesses with the necessary agility and efficiency. Subsequently, avoiding the damaging threat of incorrect export documentation. This is a massive step towards helping achieve the greater goal of being a healthy, vibrant export business.

Discover more about digital document management. Especially, how it can support an improved export documentation process.

Click to read Why you need a professional document management solution


Chris Bird
Chris Bird
chris.bird@ricoh.co.uk

Operations Director