The Digital Mailroom
August 16, 2020
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The Digital Mailroom: What It Is, Why It’s Important and How to Get It
digital mailroom: a modernized mailroom that centers on automation and combines hardware, software and online solutions to reduce costs and improve incoming and outgoing mail processes
Tools to help you save money on mailing and shipping; Solutions to help you get the mail out faster, reduce errors and decrease payment time; The power to send customer communications through multiple channels and from multiple locations; Software that can be used by anyone and everyone in your company; Employees overseeing the mail process—not the paper, the invoices, the sorting and stuffing.
That’s not the digital mailroom of the future. That’s the mailroom of today!
The way businesses process mail is changing and advancing, opening up new and valuable opportunities for companies that are able to evolve and automate. No matter shape, size or form, the mailroom is still the hub for sending and receiving customer communications—everything from invoices and payments to financial and benefit statements. Today, the average medium-sized company processes as much as 100,000 pieces of mail a month. In the United States, nearly 75% of invoices are still sent by way of the mail. Companies send about 77 billion pieces of direct mail each year. And 73% of American consumers say they prefer direct mail because they can read it whenever they want.
So, we’re sending a lot of mail. But how are we preparing it?
When mail is prepared manually, without the use of automation and digital tools, it is opaque and highly prone to error. About 61% of late invoice payments are caused by compliance or administrative problems, errors and missing invoices. On average, businesses say that more than a third of all their invoices are paid late. That’s a lot of unpaid cash management. According to Intuit’s 2019 State of Cash Flow Report, the average small and mid-sized enterprise has at least $50,000 in outstanding receivables. That’s not all! According to the USPS®, businesses spend more than $20 billion annually on mail and packages that can’t be delivered. The real cost of undeliverable mail can be as much as $25-$50 per mail piece or shipment.
A digital mailroom can make a positive impact on mail deliverability, the invoicing processes and overall cash flow.
Manual mail preparation often relies on all the extra hands at the office. To make incoming and outgoing mail processes more efficient, companies are adopting automated processes that are fully supported by a digital mailroom.
The impact of the novel COVID-19 pandemic has only made the digital mailroom even more necessary. In normal times, there are three key factors responsible for driving digital transformation of the mailroom from just another room in the office to a fully automated system, accessible by every employee from anywhere:
The Benefits of a Digital Mailroom
Using mail automation reduces postage costs and the costs associated with errors, lost mail and resending invoices and notices.
Speeds Up Production
For many companies, getting the mail out quicker and with less error means they’ll get paid faster. Adding a digital mailroom solution like e-invoicing can dramatically reduce DSO. According to Forbes, having the option to send an invoice the same day you complete service means a business is 1.5x more likely to get paid on time!
Companies with a digital mailroom use online tools and access mail solutions in the cloud. That offers immediate insight into when mail communications are delivered and advanced tracking capabilities, something customers have come to expect.
Protects Customer Data
Today, companies are responsible for protecting their customers’ personal identifiable information (PII), everything from social security numbers to health information and account details. It’s not only important to protect the privacy of your customers, but it’s also required. Almost every industry has set regulations and guidelines for handling PII sent through the mail and online.
Future-Proofs Your Business
This year made the digital mailroom even more valuable. The option to mail remotely using online tools made a huge difference for many companies. Don’t wait for unprecedented times. Be sure you have a hybrid mail process in place for whatever situation may arise.
How to Create and Customize a Digital Mailroom
There are four simple steps you can take to create a digital mailroom that will improve mail workflow with minimal disruption to your organization.
Step 1: Assess your current outgoing mail processes
A digital mailroom is attainable for all businesses—small or large, local or global. To start, identify your top business needs and compare to the strengths and weaknesses of your mail process.
Step 2: Identify manual processes that can be automated
Go to the source: the people at your company who work hard to get the mail out! Ask them to make a list of the repetitive, manual tasks related to mail processing and provide areas that need improvement. This will be an empowering activity for your employees. It will also boost the adoption of your digital transformation.
Step 3: Discuss new channels that may work for your business
Does anyone at your company agree that e-delivery work for your business? With a digital mailroom, you can send email notifications in lieu of, or in addition to, postal mail. Use e-delivery for customers who prefer email or to remind customers to pay their bill. It benefits your mailroom and your AR department.
Step 4: Schedule an audit with a digital mailroom expert
More than ever, it’s important to get professional advice on how to protect your business and prepare for the future.
Interested in A Digital Mailroom for Your Business?
Taking steps to develop a customized digital mailroom can positively impact your business and your bottom line. To learn more about creating a digital mailroom, schedule a consultation with one of our mail experts today. Our teams will help you audit your mailroom and discover the right solutions for your business.
* You’re Working TOO Hard – Using Intelligent Automation to Save Time, Money, and Effort,” AIIM (Association for Intelligent Information Management) with OpenText (2019)
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§ “Mail Technology & E-Delivery Adoption,” Keypoint Intelligence InfoTrends (July, 2018)