One of the primary challenges operations and facilities managers face today is adapting to rapidly changing business practices and environments. Hybrid work models are becoming the norm. Employees’ expectations about the workplace are evolving. And, on top of that, nearly every organization has had to learn to adjust and compensate for changing regulations and guidelines during the pandemic.
When there’s still no shortage of physical mail and packages to handle, how can an organization’s mailroom continue to operate efficiently in today’s digital-first environment?
A digital mailroom is the answer.
The mailroom is the cornerstone of receiving vital, outside communications. Once the daily mail is received, mailroom staff are responsible for processing and sorting all incoming letters and packages to the appropriate departments. The primary goal is to get the mail to the right person quickly. The mailroom is also responsible for monitoring all outgoing mail, ensuring that everything from letters to large packages has the proper postage and a valid address.
The mailroom must have highly competent staff and be well organized to manage the large amount of information passing through it every day. Retrieving packages and files, answering incoming questions regarding mail, and monitoring compliance challenges are all part of the role of the mail center. This integral focal point of a business is responsible for creating an audit trail, managing a budget, and maintaining security levels while incorporating accuracy and efficiency in the daily workflow with a personal touch.
The all-important responsibility of fluidly keeping internal and external communications moving forward lies with the mailroom.
A digital mailroom brings automation and modernization to traditional mailroom processes for faster and more efficient mailroom management. Paper and pencil record-keeping and manually kept spreadsheets are replaced with a software system designed to simplify processes and digitize information and data for the mailroom.
This term has become more popular in recent years as the manual, cumbersome, and error-prone processes of the traditional mailroom are being reevaluated by organizations worldwide. Digital mailroom automation leads with simplicity and also adds a great deal of flexibility to operations. When operations data and information regarding mail and packages is digitally captured, it is stored in the cloud and becomes accessible from anywhere, at any time. Simply put, a digital mailroom enables quick access to critical information.
A digital mailroom enables quick distribution of mail and packages to recipients in a couple ways. First, with the proper solution, the time to log and sort items is drastically reduced. Manual tasks such as recording sender and recipient information to a spreadsheet are eliminated and replaced with technology that automatically captures and securely stores this information.
Second, items can be delivered to recipients digitally via a virtual mailbox. Automated notifications and reminders eliminate the need for mailroom staff to manually notify recipients one email at a time. Not to mention, a virtual mailbox is a timely solution to the emerging hybrid workforce.
A digital mailroom solution also makes information more accessible to mailroom managers and operators. Managers gain access to the mailroom virtually and no longer need to be on-site to assess productivity levels and mailroom analytics. Operators also benefit from greater visibility into the current state of the mailroom and it’s inventory of mail and packages.
Digital mailroom automation takes the guesswork out of many traditional mailroom processes. Captured images and digital unique identifiers replace tedious, manual entry logs that are prone to human error. This substantially reduces incidents of lost, misplaced, or misrouted mail and packages.
Mailroom activity and pertinent analytics are easily visible to managers with real-time dashboards and on-demand reporting. With a virtual mailroom, you can always know where your high-priority mail is in the process—from the moment it’s received until it reaches the intended recipient.
Digital mailroom solutions benefit mailroom operations, but they also more broadly benefit the organization as a whole. Notifications and reminders for both recipients and the mailroom significantly reduce response times for faster communication. For an employee receiving a letter from a customer, this could mean the difference between a delayed response and elevating customer satisfaction. A virtual mailbox also generates extra interest when recruiting new hires in a competitive job market. This technology meets the demands of remote employees and digital natives who prefer access to information online and on-demand.
Digital mailroom solutions protect sensitive information with a secure electronic delivery process. Rather than being wheeled around the building on a cart, private letters and documents can be sent directly to recipients digitally. When the recipient doesn’t need the mail, it should be shredded immediately, without even leaving the mailroom. Delivering items to recipients digitally makes it easier to stay safely within compliance guidelines for handling mail and packages.
In summary, integrating modern technology and software with your mailroom to create a digital mailroom benefits mailroom staff and recipients alike. Now is the time to enable your team with a solution.
So, the benefits are clear, but how do you actually get started? Have a goal, and make a plan.
First, decide what your organization really needs from a mailroom management solution. Are you looking for an in-house solution that will help mailroom staff be more efficient and stay more organized? If so, is it important to extract data from documents digitally? Is package logging something that takes up too much time for employees?
Or, are you looking to outsource all mailroom operations to create an entirely virtual mailroom for your organization? The size of your organization, the industry you belong to, your budget, and your volume of mail and packages are a few factors to consider that will help you determine the right fit.
We’ve written an entire article about mailroom management software that we think will be helpful for evaluating your options. In it, we do our best to break down the marketplace in a clear way and assess the pros and cons of each category of solutions.
You can also learn more about our own solution, Received Digital, designed to modernize the receiving and distributing of physical mail and packages. And if you have any questions, you can get in touch here–we’d love to help!