The mailroom is the engine driving paper-based communication in many organizations. What you might not expect is how mail delivery has changed for some companies that are investing in digital transformation.
For these leaders, gone are the days of a clerk delivering and picking up mail by pushcart between departments. Today, the mail has gone digital, bringing with it significant ROI improvements and customer satisfaction benefits.
Granted, digitization in the mailroom isn’t totally new. Like nearly everywhere else in the office, digital advancements have been happening incrementally over the years.
We see that paper-based processes are still the norm rather than the exception, killing productivity. Doug Miles AIIM, 2015 Forum UK
The first wave of digitization and automation in the mailroom was closely tied to the introduction of capable document scanners and intelligent document capture solutions. That’s how we think of today’s typical centralized mailroom model
In recent years, this model has been facing difficulties. The need to capture mail and documents as early as possible leads to more decentralized and hybrid models.
Central mailrooms are typically seen only in very large organizations, whereas branch offices and smaller companies tend to take hybrid approaches. Of course, each company has its own deployment needs and it depends on the industry, regional, and customer requirements driving the business.
Large service bureaus or BPOs that specialize in mailrooms are hubs of document capture and processing. This isn’t anything new, either. In fact, a significant part of document imaging, capture, and other digitization processes still happen in mailrooms today. When analysts first started discussing digital mailroom services, the discussions essentially revolved around the digitization and automation of incoming mail processes.
Going digital makes it easier to track mail throughout its delivery.
Mail is scanned when it arrives at the mailroom and can be stored in the cloud until the recipient chooses to delete it. For mail that can’t be digitized, such as packages or important letters, barcode creation and intelligent barcode reading allows mailroom operators to track each piece of mail until it is delivered.
Tracking all mail not only gives those sending and receiving the mail peace of mind, but also creates a reliable audit trail. Access restrictions can prevent confidential information from reaching the wrong hands as well.
[Related: How to Efficiently Organize Bills and Mail]
Manual mail sorting and delivery are often slow, tedious, and prone to errors. Automating this process means faster, more effective, and more accurate delivery — something both your mail operator and your customers will appreciate.
Quicker delivery, plus the fact that recipients can receive and react to their mail remotely, also accelerates customer response time.
In general, digital mailroom services enhance workflows by ensuring that mail is delivered to the right person, instantly — benefiting everyone involved.
Remote work had been steadily growing in popularity when the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly prompted a massive switch from in-person to virtual workforces. Now it’s looking as if many newly remote workers won’t be going back to their offices once things return to normal: In a Gartner survey of 127 company leaders, 82% of respondents said they plan to let employees continue working from home part-time moving forward. 47% said they now plan to let employees work from home all of the time.
Considering these drastic changes, it makes more sense than ever to transition to cloud-based mailroom services so that individuals can receive their mail from home, the office, or wherever they happen to be working. Remote access to mail is especially important for those who travel frequently for work, since missed mail could affect their ability to carry out essential tasks.
[Related: Tools for Creating a Virtual Workforce]
Digital mailroom services eliminate the need for manual processes such as mail sorting and delivery, saving your mailroom operator or clerk time. These time savings can in turn save you operational costs, or free your mailroom operator up more essential tasks.
Digitizing mail also reduces the need to physically store all that paper — and the costs associated with doing so. Likewise, you won’t need to worry about paying fees associated with misplaced invoices and overdue payments, since nothing stored in your document management system can go missing.
Down the line, you may even see cost savings from the efficiency that comes with being able to locate scanned mail instantly, without having to rummage through the storage room and manually search through files.
All of these time and cost savings translate to more money that your business can put toward increasing its competitive advantage.
[Related: Take the Complexity Out of Your Mailroom]
Ready to automate your mailroom? Kodak Alaris has everything your mailroom needs to go digital, including a wide range of document scanners and document capture software to meet your exact requirements.