Irrespective of their size and focus area, all businesses have to deal with several forms of correspondence. These include forms, newsletters, requests from government agencies, invoices, and several others.
We can say that the success or otherwise of a business is closely linked to how well it handles its incoming mails. Due to the growth in the adoption of technology, several of these correspondences are virtual as they are sent and received over the internet and through other digital means. However, an exceeding amount of businesses still receive mail in physical form.
This presents serious challenges to the business as physical correspondences are costly, time and labor-consuming, and are susceptible to loss, theft, and damage.
Adopting digital mailrooms in a business can put an end to all of these issues and more.
The Problem with the Traditional Mailroom System
In the traditional system of processing mails, companies have dedicated mailrooms to which they send any received correspondence. From here, the mailroom clerk unseals and sorts the contents for onward dispatch to the concerned departments. The clerk also carries out a similar process for outgoing mails. However, this system presents severe complications.
First, it is costly. The company has to bear various costs in the form of printing and copying paper. They have to prepare large storage areas to keep the physical correspondence and have to also ensure that the storage space has maximum security.
The employees directly involved in the mailroom have to expend a lot of valuable time and effort to dispatch and store correspondence properly and securely.
Yet, losses or wrongful handling of mail is an almost inevitable occurrence. Furthermore, the wrong persons can easily get access to confidential documents which can hurt the company. It may also happen that the company misses out on important correspondence calling for urgent action since paper can easily get lost.
The combination of the above features and more requires that a better approach to mail handling be introduced, and this presents itself in the form of the digital mailroom.
How the Digital Mailroom Works
The digital mailroom automates both the correspondence and the procedure involved in processing it. Whenever mail is received, the digital mailroom utilizes technological devices to get digital copies, scan their contents, and classify or dispatch them appropriately while providing secured storage.
In essence, businesses get to convert their physical correspondence into digital formats, employ advanced software to read the textual contents and then sort them based on the information derived. This auto-sorting works for storing files in an organized manner digitally and even physically. This greatly reduces the work of sorting that the mail clerk would have done.
Some digital mailroom software can then automatically discharge the correspondence to the right sections of the company that they are meant to be sent to. The concerned department can then access the newly converted electronic document and begin work on it in record time.
How the Digital Mailroom Makes Your Company More Efficient
The digital mailroom brings a top-notch efficiency to work processes in any business and the specific ways through which it does this are outlined below:
1. Better and More Secure Storage
In the traditional mailroom system, the most important item that businesses have to cater to is securely storing the oversupply of correspondence that they receive. Similarly, they have to retain copies of those they send out. Leaving these correspondences in their physical form can be unsafe and less than optimal. First, no matter their quality, all types of paper deteriorate over time which indicates that they will be losing valuable business data as the times go by. Then, as the business expands, so is the need for often expensive but secure real estate to house the company’s mail.
The digital mailroom automation system fixes this by providing secure and almost permanent storage to the physical data, which has now been converted into electronic form.
This storage also offers critical information back up to the physical data. With this, there is almost no risk of loss or damage to mail implying that staff members no longer have to commit long hours to document search and recovery. The man-hours gained can be reallocated to more fulfilling tasks, thereby increasing output.
2. Instant Access
In carrying out their work, employees always need to access correspondence. In the physical storage system, businesses have created advanced systems to ensure that employees can reach these documents in as short a time as possible. Yet, the process is still bogged down by inefficiencies as the workers still have to sort through piles of documents every time they need to retrieve needed information.
Mailroom automation software scans and converts otherwise paper documents into digital ones, before storing them in an accessible database. Then, programs such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Intelligent Document Capture (IDC) are used to extract the information contained in these documents.
Anytime they need any information or correspondence, employees can simply access the database via simple web interfaces on their devices and use keywords to locate the specific document in real-time.
3. Quick and Seamless Workflow
The digital mailroom handles all the manual tasks that the mailroom clerk would have otherwise had to do.
Automatic document classification means there is no sort through each physical correspondence to be aware of its content for sorting to happen. In addition, the documents are instantly dispatched to the appropriate sections of the business without physical involvement. Employees can jointly work together on the now digitized document at the same time. If it were a physical document, they would have to wait till one person was done before the other gets access to it. Then, after storage, employees can have real-time and instant access to any documents.
In essence, the digital mailroom workflow saves financial and human resources and enables humans to engage in meaningful work rather than drudgery.
Final Thoughts: Digital Mailrooms Deliver Lasting Impact
The combination of permanent storage, hitch-free access, and quicker workflow enables businesses to get work done in a quicker time, therefore boosting productivity. Also, the digital mailroom can serve as the catalyst to a company’s digital transformation, an endeavor that has bolstered the revenues of several companies.