The remote work revolution has turned mailroom automation from a CTO pet project into a core function of the modern hybrid or fully distributed organization. With staff more likely to be scattered across the world than sitting in cubicles, making sure critical correspondence reaches the right hands quickly and securely has never been more important.
Here we’ll take a look at what mailroom automation is, the reasons it’s proving popular with so many businesses (it’s not just the pandemic) and some specific short- and long-term benefits an outsourced digital mailroom can offer your organization.
What Is Digital Mailroom Automation?
Digital mailroom automation turns your company’s physical mail processing function into a virtual workflow. Instead of gathering, opening, and in many cases manually entering incoming correspondence, an automated digital mailroom takes your physical mail and incoming faxes and converts them into electronic form, such as PDF, for efficient storage, processing, and internal distribution.
More and more companies are opting to outsource their digital mailroom operation to specialist companies like ILM Corp. Outsourcing lets your company reap the full benefits of expert mailroom automation without the considerable cost and risk of having to invest in its own advanced digitization equipment and specially trained staff.
Here’s how a typical digital mailroom service works:
- Gathering: ILM reroutes your mail to a dedicated PO Box and collects check payments, faxes, and even FedEx and UPS deliveries off-site.
- Digitization: Each document is digitized, converting it into a PDF or other electronic format. Documents can also be made full text searchable or by adding tags for indexed fields such as date or invoice information.
- Delivery: Digitized, tagged, and archived data is securely shared with your company for internal distribution, processing, and response.
Automated mailroom services allow you to store critical business information on-site or in cloud-based repositories, keeping your data both secure and accessible and freeing your staff from tedious and inefficient paper-based processing work.
Why Are Digital Mailrooms So Popular?
While remote and hybrid work has helped turn digital mailroom services into a critical business asset, increasing numbers of companies have opted to automate their mailrooms in recent years because they recognize it makes good business sense. Here’s why:
Focus on What You Do Best
Few people start a company in order to spend increasing amounts of time sorting, managing, and storing mail. Outsourcing mailroom automation and other back office functions like accounts payable to a document management specialist like ILM Corp frees up you and your staff to focus on core tasks like serving customers, driving innovation, and building a better company.
Improve Efficiency, Reduce Costs
Advanced data extraction techniques and intelligent document processing reduce the time and cost of receiving, tracking, and responding to mail. Mailroom automation software and cloud storage reduce paper and make it less likely that critical correspondence will go missing. Mailroom automation boosts productivity and cuts costs for bottom-line savings.
Skilled, experienced staff are hard to find and expensive to train. By handing off tedious and repetitive mailroom tasks, you reduce your back office staffing needs and free up your valuable on-site administrative staff to focus on more pressing matters. Not to mention it is often difficult to have someone on staff consistently and reliably be checking the mail every day.
Improve Customer Service
Faster response times, fewer mistakes, and more accurate data help you serve your customer better. From requesting, scanning, and returning personal documents for the Department of Homeland Security to managing valuable donor relationships for a children’s hospital, working with an experienced automation partner like ILM Corp can help keep your customers happier.
Benefits of Mailroom Automation
Mailroom automation creates an audit paper trail for every document your organization receives—but without the paper. Here are just some of the benefits mailroom automation brings your company.
Incoming mail such as invoices or payment checks often need to be reviewed and approved before taking action. Having a PDF or image electronically routed to the right people using a smart workflow is a faster and more secure method than old school inter-department envelopes with the rope string ties.
When mail arrives in digital format, it’s much cheaper and easier to store than paper documents. You don’t need bulky filing cabinets or physical access control measures to maintain your digital data. It’s all handled in a compact format that can be easily stored on an existing on-site hard drive or server or through a secure cloud storage service.
Lower Personnel Costs
In-house mailroom management requires dedicated personnel, especially if you’re a customer service organization handling hundreds or thousands of pieces of mail daily. Allowing a responsible outsourced mailroom services company like ILM to automate and manage this critical function means less time and money spent, hiring, managing and training mailroom staff.
Physical filing systems need to be secured with on-site access control and security measures, which need to be maintained, repaired, and replaced. Keeping digital documents secure requires few physical assets. Encryption, two-step password control, and other measures keep digitized correspondence secure but also quickly accessible to you and your authorized staff.
Physical mail can also get lost or otherwise compromised between receipt in your office and delivery to the right department. By digitizing all mail upon receipt, backing everything up to secure servers, and improving searchability—the odds that important correspondence will get lost diminish significantly.
With fewer work hours spent sorting and storing incoming mail or searching for lost documents or missing data, both on-site staff and remote workers have more time to focus on the core business processes that drive your revenue streams.
Faster Response Times
Customers expect you to keep your promises. If you’ve committed to responding to claims, applications, or requests in a given time, mailroom automation can help you meet your targets by helping to get correspondence into the right hands faster and by linking new documents with existing customer records as well.
Centralized Document Management
Automated mail services are just the start. With accurate digitized correspondence now instantly accessible across your organization, it becomes much easier to integrate more of your workflows into a company-wide digital document management system. An end-to-end document management specialist, ILM is here to help you at every step of your company’s digital journey.
Industries That Use Digital Mailroom Automation
If you think your business can’t benefit from digital mailroom automation, you’re likely mistaken. These industries are already benefiting from the enhanced productivity, increased security, and lower overheads that a digital mailroom can bring.
Manufacturers can simplify their operations and maintenance processes by streamlining their correspondence. Mailroom automation allows them to handle purchase orders, shipping documents, bill of materials, bill of ladings, and payments quickly and accurately.
Retailers rely on documents to track purchase orders and payments, as well as communicate with customers. Mailroom digitization helps commercial entities keep track of purchasing, stock management, receipts, packaging slips and marketing correspondence.
Banks, credit unions, and brokerages process huge volumes of highly sensitive documents every day. Documents such as credit and loan applications, contracts and payment requests require immediate attention. A fast and consistent workflow helps maximize security and maintain customer satisfaction.
Hospitals and doctors must adhere to strict HIPAA rules regarding the privacy of patient data. Managing data and payments transmitted by mail without exposing sensitive information is critical to ensure patient confidentiality and limit your liability. Creation of CMS forms to submit for payment or incoming health care forms that are dense with patient information.
Sensitive client data, payments, and other communication are a major part of a law firm’s operations. When it comes to handling it all as securely as possible while lessening the burden, mailroom automation is an excellent solution.
Insurers must make sure their correspondence is both processed efficiently and handled securely. Mailroom automation helps insurance companies protect their customers’ information while quickly processing premiums, bills, and so forth.
The massive amounts of mail that flow to and from government organizations can be handled more efficiently with the use of a comprehensive digital mailroom solution. The result is a faster turnaround for correspondence, payments, and service provision.
Nonprofits and Associations
Nonprofits and associations provide critical services to their communities while maintaining relationships with donors, members, vendors, and local government entities. The Automated mailroom services can help you serve your clients while keeping your stakeholders in the loop. Additionally, outsourcing secure lockbox services allows you to receive reply devices and checks for faster deposit times.
Discover the Benefits of Digital Mailroom Solutions
Unlock the true potential offered by comprehensive digital mailroom automation by partnering with a specialist who offers end-to-end document management services, industrial-strength processing capabilities, and experience serving companies in every major sector.
ILM Corp will work with you to deliver the mailroom automation solutions you need to reduce overheads, minimize losses, guarantee security, and make the most of your staff’s valuable time. ILM’s digital mailroom services include:
- Dedicated PO Box routing, fax processing, and UPS/FedEx receiving
- Digitization, mail forwarding, and customized data delivery
- Lockbox/payment processing services
- Data integration and enterprise document management solutions
- Outbound print and mailing solutions
Whether you’re looking to roll out a digital solution to power your remote or hybrid workplace or just a business owner ready to spend fewer work hours opening envelopes and stuffing mailbox cubbies—ILM has a customized, affordable digital mailroom to suit your needs.