Data Dimensions

What is a Digital Mailroom

A recent article on listed some of the obvious physical benefits of digitizing your mailroom, including reduced document storage space and less need for photocopying and paper handling. But, as the article points out, there are other benefits that are less obvious but much more important in transforming how a company does business. These include:

  • Improved ability to search and share documents
  • Improved audibility and compliance
  • Enablement of remote working

That last item has never been more important to business success – and survival. Remote work situations have made physically managing inbound mail and critical business documents more challenging than ever, and with continued COVID-19 outbreaks every day, it’s impossible for businesses to plan for any sort of return to “normal” working conditions.

That’s why now is the time to digitize your company’s mailroom operations. Not only is it more important than ever for organizations to be able to have their teams focused on the most critical aspects of their business, but the current reduced volume of incoming mail and critical documents also presents a prime opportunity for organizations to shift their mailroom operations to digital with minimal business impact.

Some of the key things to look for in a reliable automation provider:

Experience: Rather than invest in costly mailroom equipment and software, as well as time-consuming training that keeps your employees from their regular duties, it’s important to select a provider with mailroom management as a core competency. Consider the various types, formats, and volumes of documents your company currently manages; a quality provider should have proven experience in document and data management to ensure the ability to manage for all those variables. For a true and comprehensive mailroom solution, outsource providers that can also manage your outbound mailroom activities offer the most value.

Business continuity: Having access to documents on-demand is vital, whether it’s during a pandemic or whatever “normal” business conditions turn out to be. When digitizing your mailroom services, you need to be certain you will have accelerated access to information that allows for effective collaboration, and better communication and gives you the ability to make faster business decisions. A reliable provider will have a comprehensive plan for back-up/redundancy and disaster recovery, ensuring not only that your data is secure, but that you are provided the business continuity you need in times of crisis.

Technology: As we know all too well, technology is evolving at a rapid pace. The tools and software that were considered high-tech 10 years ago are now antiquated and even sometimes obsolete. Document management is no exception; today’s digital mailroom providers must be committed to continually evolving, leading-edge technology. Optical Character Recognition (OCR), once considered the standard, is now the bare minimum. The use of AI has greatly improved barcode technologies, data indexing, and exception management – look for providers that excel in these areas in order to realize the biggest gains in cost savings and efficiency.

As the AIIM article noted; reduced storage space and less photocopying is an obvious benefit. But in order to get the most value, search for document and data management experts that can not only get you through times of crisis but ensure your continued success after the storm has passed.