With the rise of hybrid work and the evolution of the customer relationship, public and private companies have understood the need to go further in the digitalization of their documents. Quickly identifying flows, capturing data and exploiting them are a considerable competitive advantage. In this quest for productivity, digitization is a real ally.

The 100% digital, a planned future ?

In a post-Covid context that has standardized on-line exchanges and the 24/7 service, the digitalization of documents and business processes now seems unavoidable within organizations. For banks, service establishments, public and private administrations, which face large and diversified flows of documents (invoice, bank account details, expense report, certificate, cheque, contract, loan application, account opening, etc.), digitalization is even strategic. 

With challenges in terms of organizational agility, ecology, reduction of delays and security of flows, organizations have every interest to evolve in a dematerialized ecosystem. The convergence of 3 trends highlights its inevitable deployment:

Yet, according to an Archimag survey conducted among 160 professionals in the French private and public sectors between December 2021 and January 2022, 69% of organizations have not yet set up a digital mailroom and continue to manage incoming mail manually. More to the point, one organization in two does not have a scanning system that can recognize or extract data from their document.

On average 31 pages are printed per day per employee in Europe. 28 pages for France.


With an average of 70 to 85 kg consumed per year per employee, paper is still the first office consumable in France.


In view of the growing expectations of clients, patients and users for the rapid and secure processing of their requests, organizations in all sectors must review their document management model. It is now necessary to be able to manage hybrid document flows in ever shorter timeframes, while complying with applicable regulations and protecting sensitive customer data. In the face of this complexity, smart digitization is the first step in fostering customer engagement and satisfaction. 

What are the advantages of digitalization?

Whether for sharing, filing, signature or archiving purposes, digitization provides efficient and sustainable responses to document management and data exploitation.

58% of organizations are already equipped with a dematerialization solution for supplier invoices. 11% intend to do so in the near future (thus meeting future regulatory obligations).


More than 1 in 2 organizations have already digitized all or part of their heritage archives, and 14% are considering it.



What are the main reasons why organizations digitize their documentary flow?  


➡️ Reduce paper traffic: with the launch of the “Public Action 2022” programme, which aims to make as many administrative procedures as possible accessible online by the end of 2022, digitization meets regulatory challenges (electronic invoice obligation, for example) and economic (reduce paper spending by between €10,000 and €25,000 per year),

➡️ Gaining space on physical archiving: by decree no. 2016-1673 of 5 December 2016, a digitized document has the same probative force as its original paper. Thus, companies can now destroy their original documents after they have been digitized. For documents at risk, reliable copying allows us to respect legal retention deadlines and protect the rights of the organization in the event of litigation,

➡️ It is strongly recommended that documents be kept longer: in order to prevent the deterioration or illegality of paper records, that they be digitized in order to prolong their longevity,

➡️ Disseminate and share information more easily: in the age of hybrid work and digital workplace, many organizations seek to centralize all their resources on a single document base, accessible everywhere, all the time. A company’s sources of information are retained and usable by all employees,

➡️ Limit margins of error: manual management of incoming mail is a time-consuming, low-value-added activity where each error can lead to costs (such as late payment penalties). Digitization will make it possible to extract, convert and obtain usable data faster by limiting read or input errors,

➡️ Secure flows: if the paper version tends to decrease, it most often concerns documents with sensitive data (invoices, contracts, purchase orders, etc.) that must be protected. Scanning removes the steps of handling mail and addresses privacy and compliance issues.

➡️ Increase efficiency and performance: by removing the countless steps of document management, companies boost their productivity through faster and more reliable data processing (up to 230 digitized pages per minute!) Clients experience up to 10 times faster processing times and significant cost savings,

➡️ Refocus on the customer experience: by optimizing document processing with automated processes, erroneous information is better supported and information exchange becomes more accurate and seamless. Managers save time, which they can devote to the client relationship.

Given the increasing dematerialization of physical flows, BNPP Group needed to rely on workflows and external infrastructures. With a network of 1700 branches, the challenge was to achieve a standardized management of channels and procedures. This means guaranteeing identical banking operations from one branch to another within a short period of time. By entrusting the transport and digitization of our flows to the STERNE Group, the documents are collected, delivered and processed overnight on their platforms. Our employees have access to documents in their tools, as soon as they take up their position the next morning. In 2021, 15 million of our documents were digitized by the STERNE Group.”

What about an optimal digitization chain?

Before any project to digitize incoming mail, it is essential to obtain prior approval from all the employees concerned. They will be the guarantors of the solution and its proper application. Upstream of the operations, it will be necessary to determine the types of documents to be processed, the security measures to be applied, the data to be extracted, the type of indexing and the retention period of the documents. 

📍Step 1: Collection of paper and digital documents;

📍Step 2: Identification of the document (contract, purchase order, cheque, identity card, etc.);

📍Step 3: Data recovery to trigger appropriate processing. Upstream, it will have been specified the information to be extracted (names, date of receipt, date of dispatch, etc.);

📍Step 4: Indexing and classification of documents and data in EDM

📍Step 5: Provision of scanned documents in the organization’s tools. They are usually integrated into internal workflows, fed into a SAE for secure archiving or stored in a digital safe.

By automating the key operations needed to process incoming mail, processing capabilities are increased tenfold and response times are shortened. However, the digitization chain must comply with security standards and be coupled with advanced technologies.  

■ Without data security, no viable process

While digitization contributes to better management of documentary flows, it nevertheless raises many questions about compliance with the GDPR. Documents such as contracts or account openings are full of personal information that must be secured. Established in 2018, the GDPR exposes organizations to fines of up to EUR 20 million. This is why organizations must rely on digitization providers/devices that meet compliance and reliability standards.

Thus, access or restriction rights must be redefined, especially for the most sensitive documents. Like the banking sector, which has strong regulatory constraints, special treatment must be put in place to ensure the security and confidentiality of information. Thus, the manufacturers offer several solutions to give access to only authorized persons: badge systems; data encryption; password protected PDF documents. In general, the service provider relieves itself of all liability in case of hacking or data leaks. It is up to the organization to verify that the process has been respected (secure storage of documents, destruction of documents to date, compliance with the legal deadline for response…).



Digitization is generally aimed at structures whose activities are subject to strong regulatory constraints. Underwriting a bank loan, for example, requires the establishment of a contract and supporting documents governed by law. This requires the signing of various documents and the approval of several stakeholders. Automating exchanges accelerates the process of obtaining agreements, releasing funds, and streamlining the customer journey.”

■ Without intelligent processing, no successful customer experience

According to an ITESOFT- L’Assurance en Mouvement study published in 2022, 75% of insurers offer their clients applications that allow them to file documents online. In half of the cases, they are not able to analyze in real time the support and progress of the file. The result: frustration on the customer side and abandonment of the journey.

This is why digitization must increasingly rely on tools from LAD*, RAD*, OCR* and IA*, to go further in the service provided to the customer. Objective: transform complex processes into simple workflows that make it possible to: identify duplicates; notify a user of the progress of their file; make a document a priority for faster processing; redistribute mail in case of an addressing error; add a missing piece to a file…

Today, the challenge of digitization is no longer limited to processing a maximum of pages per minute. It is now a matter of converting the data into a service with high added value for the client. With the diversification of formats (paper, electronic, sound, photo, video, etc.) and processing (document summary, suggestion of additional data, machine translation, transcription of telephone exchanges, etc.), AI-powered smart scanning seems limitless!


Ask a pro!

Automating your document management gives you a major competitive advantage. To apply a successful digitization process, it is essential to be accompanied by a partner who knows all the aspects of your documentary chain: collection of all your untouchable documents, preparation of bags with label, digitization, export to indexing platforms, archiving, destruction, transport from the first to the last kilometer, etc. With xx of experience, the STERNE Group brings you a complete digitization solution in compliance with the rules in force specific to your sector of activity (bank, mutuals, insurance, health…)

GED : Gestion électronique des documents
LAD : lecture Automatique de document
RAD : Reconnaissance automatique des documents
OCR : Reconnaissance optique de caractères
IA : Intelligence Artificielle

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