Companies receive many types of correspondence, including paper forms and checks, online payments, faxes, and emails. Managing these documents can be difficult and time-consuming, and it can leave a point of weakness when it comes to your data security. Fortunately, there’s a way to automate the entire process while keeping it secure—the digital mailroom.
What Are Digital Mailroom Services?
A digital mailroom is a service that takes your paper mail, emails, and faxes and sorts, digitizes, and makes them available to your personnel. Each incoming piece of correspondence can be sent directly to a dedicated contact, whether it’s one of your professional staff, a manager, or another party within your company.
Essentially, it allows a third party to handle your mail so that you can devote work hours toward tasks more relevant to your company’s core purpose.
A digital mailroom will typically follow the process described below.
First off, your paper mail, faxes, and so forth are collected by the third party. The company providing your digital mailroom services can manage a dedicated PO box on your behalf. Mail is collected from your dedicated PO box on a daily basis and prepared for digitization.
With your mail collected, they’re able to digitize any paper documents, including letters, checks, and other forms of correspondence. Each document is scanned into a digital format for easy and secure storage.
With everything converted into a digital format, it’s sent to you quickly and efficiently. Mail intended for a specific person in your company can be forwarded directly to them, saving the time it would take you to sort through the physical mail yourself.
Features & Services of Digital Mailrooms
Given how varied the needs of different businesses are, digital mailroom services are easily customized to match. Some of the features your company has available include:
Mail can be processed, sorted into different categories, and forwarded to a dedicated staff member. The ultimate result is less clutter and more expediency when managing your company’s correspondence.
Letters, mail-in forms, checks, and other paper documents can be scanned into digital format, which allows them to be indexed and sorted quickly. When scanned documents are indexed, they are made easily searchable from any device or computer you’re using in your business.
If you receive many faxes per day, fax processing services can be a great way to cut down on the amount of paper you need to maintain your company. Each fax you receive can be digitized and sent to those who need to see it.
While digital payments have become quite popular, many people and companies still use checks since they leave a convenient paper trail for use in accounting and record-keeping. Keeping scanned check images in a secure digital lockbox is an excellent alternative to maintain a financial record that would otherwise be cumbersome and risky to keep in paper format.
Advantages of Using a Digital Mailroom
Digital mailroom services can be a great advantage to companies with limited staff and resources, and they’re useful for larger companies when it comes to reducing overhead costs. Some of the specific advantages afforded by a digital mailroom include the following.
The mail you receive for your company needs to be sorted, distributed to the right people, and then processed and stored securely. The time it takes to handle these processes can pull valuable hours away from projects and processes that are far more critical to your business.
By using a third-party digital mailroom service, you’ll save yourself the time that would otherwise be needed to manage your correspondence.
Not only does managing paper mail take time, but maintaining physical records takes space. Over time, important correspondence can fill up multiple filing cabinets, and the square footage required can be a drain on your company’s revenue.
Digitizing materials and saving them to a hard drive or server is generally far more economical in terms of space utilization.
Paper documents—particularly the sensitive ones such as canceled checks—either need to be shredded or closely guarded with locks, surveillance cameras, and alarms. When they’re digitized, the amount of hardware needed to keep them secure is far less than what you’d need to protect a paper version. It’s often as simple as having a strong encryption protocol on your company’s computers and strict access control through passwords or two-factor authentication.
The result of automating your mail management with a digital mailroom is reduced overhead. Security, storage, and access are all less expensive and time-consuming, which allows you to focus more on your company’s mission rather than pouring resources into document maintenance.
Options For How To Automate Your Mailroom
Many of the processes used in a digital mailroom can be automated with software and modern technology.
Scanning and OCR
Once documents are scanned into digital format, they can be indexed with OCR (optical character recognition). This software “reads” the images of each document and translates it into a format that can be recognized by most computer systems.
Automatic routing and storage
After indexing the documents, they can then be automatically stored and routed through the use of sophisticated software solutions. Individual personnel and departments receive the correspondence that they need with minimal human interference.
Automating your mailroom with advanced technologies can make it far faster than it would be otherwise. In addition, it can limit the impact of human error in the mail management process, ultimately making it more secure and reliable.