Digital mailroom projects offer a quick and simple solution for companies who want to adapt to hybrid working practices. These projects also accelerate the digital transformation and innovative potential of an organization. But what is a digital mailroom, actually? And how do you find a digital mailroom solution that best suits your organization?
What is a Digital Mailroom?
Digital mailrooms accelerate the flow and processing of incoming documents to your organization. Those inbound documents can include invoices, claim forms, proofs of address or identity, bank statements, time-sensitive legal documents, customer correspondence, etc.
A traditional mailroom would handle these documents physically, through a laborious sorting process. This involves the transportation of documents in trucks, trolleys, inter-office envelopes, and physical mail trays.
On the other hand, a digital mailroom digitizes the physical documents at their arrival. The digitized documents can then be routed and rerouted electronically, with each document tracked, and all interactions audited.
Secure dialogue between mailroom teams and mail recipients is also supported with digital mailroom solutions. For example, mail recipients can attach requests to individual documents if they require further information from the physical document, such as “Please deliver physical copy.” Advanced digital mailrooms can even allow mail recipients to gather related documents into “case folders” for greater ease.
It is important to note that a digital mailroom can drastically reduce the dependency on physical infrastructure. As a result, a digital mailroom solution may transform a company in its entirety, not just its mailroom.
How does a Digital Mailroom work?
Physical mail can be digitized in-house or redirected to a service provider which can digitize the mail for you. In either case, document scanning machines and OCR/capture software will be used. This software creates digital images of the inbound mail, classifies each document, and extracts the information contained within.
Once the mail is digitized, the digital mailroom manages the flow of the mail by routing it to the correct individual or team. They, in turn, can forward those documents to colleagues or other teams.
Digitized mail is received in an inbox which is accessible 24/7 from any location via a web browser. This ensures that recipients have a consistent, productive experience whether they are working in-office, from home, or while travelling.
All digital mail can be searched, filtered, sorted, and viewed on any device. Time-sensitive and high priority documents can be highlighted through visual SLA indicators. This guarantees that important documents are quickly seen and processed.
When viewing an individual mail item, a recipient can view the document image and information related to it. This includes the data extracted from the document, a history of all interactions with this document, and which mailroom initially processed the document. If the mail has been forwarded from a colleague, any previous notes, comments, or instructions can also be viewed.
Digital mailrooms enable communication between recipients and mailroom staff. This allows staff to send instantaneous requests to those scanning the physical mail. Some examples of such requests include the rescanning of a poor image, holding a document for pickup, delivering a physical document, and requesting that staff open and scan the contents of an envelope.
A brief summary of these features highlights the indispensable nature of a digital mailroom. Particularly, for those who require inbound documents to be received and processed efficiently in order to complete daily tasks.
What are the benefits of a Digital Mailroom?
A digital mailroom can benefit any company in any industry. Whether you start with a specific departmental focus, such as digitizing all inbound accounts payable documents, or plan to digitize all inbound documents. It is clear that the business case for a digital mailroom is now easier than ever to make.
Quantify the benefits of your digital mailroom solution in terms of the following positive impacts:
- Enable hybrid working: Employees no longer need to go into the office to receive their incoming mail. Mail is securely available to them whether they are in-office, working from home, or traveling.
- Respond faster to customers: Inbound documents are easily and instantly accessible online, so your team can respond to customers more efficiently than ever. Any business process involving documents, such as claims processing, financial management, or customer service, works faster when supported by a digital mailroom.
- Increase productivity: Eliminate manual work and the latency involved in physical document delivery. Equip mailroom staff and workers in any document-intensive process with the tools to work more efficiently.
- Improve information security: Inbound documents often contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and other sensitive business information. Remove the risk of fraud, tampering, or loss by exploiting the encryption and control features of a digital solution.
- Accelerate document flow: Transform the velocity of document flow into and through your organization and fast-track document workflows.
- Strengthen operational resilience: Ensure business continuity with a digital mailroom that will not fail in the face of a natural disaster, viral pandemic, or physical infrastructure outage.
- Ensure compliance: Reliably adhere to government regulation and service level agreements by taking advantage of the audit logging, digital alerts, archive calendars, and automatic chain of custody management that a digital mailroom provides.
- Meet green goals: Contribute to your environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals by reducing the environmental impact of paper flow, paper transportation, and staff commuting.
Can a Digital Mailroom process more than just paper mail?
Your initial digital mailroom solution will almost certainly focus on digitizing paper mail. But some organizations are already choosing to create a digital mailroom that delivers other types of documents, such as “born digital” documents that arrive as email attachments or website uploads, or photographs submitted from a customer’s smartphone.
80%+ of the world’s information is trapped in paper mail, photos, videos, text streams, and voice. This “unstructured data” is not in a digital format that can be automatically processed by current systems. Yet, people need to quickly receive and process that unstructured information. That’s the future of your digital mailroom, even if your initial solution focuses only on the digitization of paper mail. Your future digital mailroom will act as an essential flow and processing solution for all these types of content.
Get started on a Digital Mailroom Solution
Lithe transforms information velocity. We are the #1 provider of flow and processing software for unstructured data, such as the data trapped in inbound paper mail. Our goal is to unlock the business value of that unstructured data, so our customers reduce friction in document-centric workflows, increase productivity, strengthen compliance and security, and improve customer engagement.
Lithe digital mailroom solutions digitize inbound mail and other documents to create digital assets that flow friction-free to the right individual or group recipients. Digital mail is fully tracked, audited, and made accessible via a secure web-based portal, from anywhere at any time.
Our digital mailroom experts can help you define your needs better, understand your options, quantify the benefits of your digital mailroom project, and choose the right level of automation for your current and future needs.
Contact us now via the chat on this page or through our other contact options. We look forward to speaking with you.