Traditional mailrooms are a thing of the past. Digital mailrooms are efficient and easy.
Digital mailrooms are quickly becoming the new standard for many businesses. This is because, unlike a traditional paper-based mailroom, digital mailrooms can improve business processes and save money in time and resources that would otherwise be wasted. They allow companies to more easily share documents throughout their organisation, and with the correct people without the risk of information being seen by people that it’s not meant for.
Many UK companies are making the switch to using a digital mailroom service to help manage their businesses much more effectively.
Before we can explain the benefits of going digital for your mailroom operations we first need to explore what a traditional mailroom’s role is within a business and the potential problems with old paper-based mailrooms.
What is a mailroom?
A traditional mailroom is usually a kind of hybrid paper-based system with a low level of email handling. The role of a mailroom in business is to handle all incoming and outgoing mail within a business. Mail (and emails) are sorted and then distributed to the correct departments or people within an organisation. These are usually manual processes where businesses employ mailroom clerks to do the physical work of sorting documents and delivering them.
Email has dramatically reduced the workload for paper-based systems, but emails only work if you know the correct email address to send a document to.
There are some inherent problems with a manual, more traditional mailroom set-up. A few of these issues are as follows:
- Sorting and distribution of documents can be a slow process, depending on the volume of paperwork needing to be worked through.
- Mistakes can happen, it’s human nature. Sometimes the wrong documents can end up in the wrong department or being sent to the wrong person. This can cause documents to get lost, ending back at the mailroom after a period of time.
- Sensitive documents aren’t as secure as a physical paper-based copy, they can easily be read by anybody within the business, and seen by people who don’t have the required management level to receive them.
- Document storage, paperwork can take up huge amounts of space within a building. Once the paperwork has been delivered they tend to clutter up office space, being kept in bulky storage boxes or filing cabinets.
- Finding and retrieving information once it’s been delivered, relies heavily on the organisational skills of the person or department the documents are intended for.
As you can see from these few examples, more traditional paper-based mailrooms with multiple different manual processes are extremely inefficient and also can be putting your business’s data at risk.
So what is a digital mailroom?
A digital mailroom is a more modern equivalent, it still handles all incoming and outgoing mail, but done in a much more secure and efficient way. There are still requirements for mailroom clerks to work within a digital mailroom, however, their workload can be much more streamlined and even automated in a lot of cases. This helps to save time, reducing the number of staff required to run a mailroom. Ultimately saving the business money and time.
All documents within a Digital Mailroom are often stored within a cloud-based document management system, or in some cases in a central computer system within an organisation.
What are the advantages of going digital?
Any paper-based documents coming into the digital mailroom are scanned and digitally stored. The original paper document can then either be archived (usually offsite) or shredded and disposed of.
A digital mailroom is much more than simply scanning and archiving documents, however. Modern digital mailrooms are run by sophisticated computer software systems, by making use of the software the following advantages are frequently seen from businesses:
- Using technology any data can be captured as soon as it arrives in the mailroom, this data is then validated against a predetermined set of data handling rules and automatically emailed to the correct department or person at the point of scanning! This alone removes one of the more traditional manual processes of physically sorting the documents and then delivering them.
- Incoming emails can be sorted and redistributed automatically, rather than getting lost in a sea of spam emails or non-business related emails.
- All documents can be stored in a central location, they can be date stamped when they arrive, making the retrieval of information much more streamlined and efficient.
- Documents can be password protected and only the relevant people can gain access to the information they contain. Improving data protection and compliance.
- Documents can be accessed by more than one person, reducing the need to create multiple copies to be sent to all team members in a department.
- Delivery of documents is instantaneous, at the click of a button the right people have access to any relevant documents they may require.
- By not retaining paper-based copies of documents on-site, the office environment can benefit from less cluttered workspaces. Physical floor space can be utilised for other things, such as additional desks for employees.
- Less risk of data loss – As digital mailrooms often store their data in the cloud a company’s data is much more secure. If documents are kept onsite this can cause a huge data risk in the event of a fire or flood, where traditionally documents may be lost and irretrievable.
By going digital, businesses can save huge amounts of time and money with the reduction of manual processes seeing multiple benefits of using a digital mailroom over a more traditional set up. They can become more compliant in the way they handle their data and documents. All documents are quickly and instantaneously accessible by whoever has the correct access level. Customer services can see benefits too, where customer information can be accessed much faster.
Businesses are switching to more modern solutions outsourcing their processes and utilising cloud based document management systems. Soon the traditional mailroom will be a thing of the past as more and more UK businesses embrace the Digital Mailroom technology.