You’ve probably heard the term before, but what is a digital mailroom, really? A digital mailroom is a way to process the incoming documents that enter your organization faster and more efficiently. Paper mail is processed using document scanning and capture techniques, which digitize files, to make them available electronically. Emails are monitored to extract embedded files and attachments, which are then properly formatted for automated processing.
For businesses of all types and sizes, it’s tough to keep up with the mail and email that’s constantly coming in. Not only is mail management a drain on staff resources, but falling behind with it can cause repercussions like slow customer service, noncompliance issues, and fees for late payments.
With a digital mailroom, you outsource incoming mail management to a company that specializes in it, saving yourself time and frustration, and enabling you to process important documents faster.
A digital mailroom can help you with both paper mail and email.
Here’s everything you need to know about a digital mailroom and how it can help you with both paper mail and email.
How Does a Digital Mailroom Work?
With a digital mailroom, your inboxes are closely monitored by your mailroom outsourcing partner so your mail and email can begin being processed upon receipt and get into the appropriate recipients’ hands as quickly as possible.
With nearly 60% of Americans working remotely at least part of the time, delivering files to employees has become anything but quick…unless your organization leverages a digital mailroom, that is.
Here’s how it works:
How It Works: Paper Mail
When outsourcing your mailroom, your incoming mail is directed to a dedicated P.O. box monitored by your mailroom outsourcing partner. At an interval you choose (e.g., daily, weekly), your mail is brought to a secure document scanning facility where it’s opened, prepped, scanned, indexed, and digitally routed to you for processing.
At this point in the process, digitized document images can be uploaded to workflow automation software for processing, keyed directly into your ERP or line-of-business software, or delivered as PDFs to be processed manually by the appropriate member of your team.
How It Works: Email
Outsourcing email management works in much the same way. Incoming email are received at a dedicated inbox that is monitored by your digital mailroom partner. Important documents you receive—whether embedded or as attachments—are stripped from email messages, separated if necessary, and converted into the right file format for processing. Data is carefully captured from each document. Finally, the captured data, along with a crisp digital image of each document, is delivered to you for processing.
What Are the Benefits of Outsourcing Mailroom Services?
All companies in all industries can benefit from using a digital mailroom. You can utilize such a solution to streamline several processes, such as invoice processing. With a digital mailroom, AP teams can reduce invoice processing time and costs. In fact, a report by the Institute of Finance and Management states that the average invoice costs $15 to process manually, but only $3 or less to process digitally.
And the benefits don’t have to end with your AP department. There are countless advantages of using a mailroom automation solution that can span across your organization. Here are just a few:
- Automate your business processes: Finally do away with time-consuming, labor-intensive, paper-based tasks that lead to costly errors, wasted time, unhappy employees, and dissatisfied customers.
- Boost productivity: By eliminating the manual work of opening, sorting, and distributing mail, employees can focus on core tasks.
- Improve employee satisfaction: Employees are happier when their jobs are easier. A digital mailroom ensures the information employees need is right at their fingertips, so they no longer need to search through piles of paper or emails to obtain it. This results in improved job satisfaction levels and retention rates, meaning you can navigate The Great Resignation with ease.
- Enable remote work: Your employees no longer need to go into the office to obtain their incoming mail! They can easily and securely access files from anywhere with digital mail services.
- Improve customer service: With files easily accessible online, your team can respond to customer correspondence more efficiently than ever. Employees can also locate the files they need quickly when on the line with customers, reducing the need to put them on hold and expediting problem resolution.
- Ensure compliance: By outsourcing your mailroom, you can rest assured that you’ll receive your incoming documents in a timely manner, so you can meet regulatory guidelines.
- Gain a competitive advantage: Faster turn times and a reduction in errors result in an improved reputation and better business relationships.
- Lower costs: According to a Deloitte survey, cost reduction is a primary reason for outsourcing processes for 70% of businesses. And since the mailroom is a core operational component for any business, it’s an ideal area to outsource.
- Reduce your carbon footprint: A digital mailroom can help you help the environment by minimizing greenhouse emissions. With your mail easily accessible right from your device, there’s no need for it to be transported to you.
- Reclaim office space: If you are still working in the office, a digital mailroom can help you do more with your square footage by eliminating the need for onsite document storage.
What Are the Different Types of Digital Mailroom Solutions?
In order to achieve these benefits, you need to select the right digital mailroom solution for your organization. Your options include a basic solution, a mailroom workflow automation solution, and an advanced mailroom automation solution.
A basic digital mailroom solution is the simplest option and involves outsourcing your mailroom to a trusted partner, so you can go paperless. This type of solution is great for organizations looking to take the first step toward digitization.
If you’re looking to take your efforts to the next level, consider a solution that incorporates workflow automation. By leveraging basic workflows, you enable automatic routing of incoming mail to the appropriate recipients.
And the automation – and optimization, for that matter – doesn’t have to end there. With an advanced mailroom automation solution, you can take advantage of additional technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA) and customized workflows, to further accelerate processes.
Learn more about the different levels of digital mailrooms in our solution comparison blog post.
Is a Digital Mailroom Right for My Business?
No matter your industry or business size, digital mailroom services can benefit you. receiving perfectly prepped data and digital documents allows you to process your time-sensitive documents—like invoices, purchase orders, membership and employment applications, and grievances and appeals—much quicker. You’ll be able to provide prompt customer service, take advantage of early payment discounts, and make maintaining compliance much simpler.
Need more guidance as you decide whether to digitize your mailroom? Our free digital mailroom readiness checklist will help: Is It Time to Develop a Digital Mailroom?