Recommended Reading: Designing a Document Strategy by Kevin Craine


Kevin Craine knows document management.  He has worked for over 30 years in the field of information processing and is currently the manager of document services for Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and Regence BlueShield in Washington.  He is also the editor of Document Processing Technology magazine and a respected speaker and authority in the disciplines of process improvement, document processing and business technology.

Designing a Document Strategy is a small gem of a book that everyone involved in document management should read.  I was attracted to it because it succinctly summarizes many of the things we help our clients with every day.  It begins with a discussion of the strategic and tactical importance of documents in business:  documents convert information into action and they are a liability if they fail to do so.  It is also loaded with facts that illustrate how documents are increasingly impacting our lives at work such as the following:

  • Thirty billion original documents are used each year in the United States
  • The cost of documents to corporate America is estimated to reach as much as 15 percent of annual corporate revenue.
  • Documents claim up to 60 percent of office worker’s time and account for up to 45 percent of labor costs.
  • 85 percent of documents are never retrieved, 50 percent are duplicates, and 60 percent are obsolete.
  • For every dollar that a company spends for a final document, ten dollars are spent to manage the process.

Given these figures, it’s no surprise that a quintessential charter of any document strategy must be to cut operating costs, reduce labor and eliminate waste.

Digital document management is being rapidly adopted, but the author acknowledges that, at least for the foreseeable future, many people will still need to work with physical as well as virtual documents.  But the momentum is changing:  In a recent poll of 371 chief financial officers Duke University reports that 56 percent of the executives surveyed plan to sell their products over the Internet, up from 24 percent in 1998.  Additionally, breakthroughs in speed, hardware costs, mobile computing, bandwidth costs, software as a service and cloud computing are making paperless solutions more compelling and affordable than ever before.

This book offers a handy guide for implementing a digital document strategy in your organization.  You’ll learn how to create a base line assessment, measure the net present value and internal rate of return of document management solutions in your organization, present the plan to upper management, control project implementation and manage change.

Craine also offers classroom and computer-based training in document process management.  You can learn more at

| John Queen

Digital Designs helps people automate document-driven business processes, eliminate paper, reduce labor, and save time and money.  Learn more about Digital Designs at