/ Article The compelling case for digital mailrooms

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The rising popularity of the digital mailroom

The mailroom is the engine driving paper-based correspondence in many organizations. What you might not expect is how mail delivery has changed for some companies that are investing in digital transformation. For these leaders, gone are the days of a clerk delivering and picking up mail by pushcart between departments. Today, the mail has gone digital, bringing with it significant ROI improvements and customer satisfaction benefits.

“We see that paper-based processes are still the norm rather than the exception, killing productivity.” Doug Miles, AIIM, 2015 AIIM Forum UK.

Of course, digitization in the mailroom isn’t totally new. Like nearly everywhere else in the office, digital advancements have been happening incrementally over the years.

From powerful document scanners and capture solutions to digital hubs

The first wave of digitization and automation in the mailroom was strongly related to the introduction of powerful document scanners and document capture solutions. That’s how we think of today’s typical centralized mailroom model.

In recent years, this model has been under pressure. The need to capture documents and mail at the earliest point of entry leads to more hybrid and decentralized models. Central mailrooms mainly exist in very large organizations, while smaller companies and branch offices often have hybrid approaches. As always, it’s not a “this versus that” story because each company has its own deployment needs. Instead it depends on the industry, regional and customer requirements driving the business.

Large BPOs or service bureaus who specialize in mailrooms are document capturing and processing hubs where digital is a key part of the equation. This isn’t new either. In fact, a big part of document imaging, capturing and related digitization processes today still happen in mailrooms. When analysts first started talking about digital mailrooms, it was essentially in this context of digitization and the automation of incoming mail processes.

Benefits of implementing a digital mailroom

In“Winning the Paper Wars” (© AIIM 2013, www.aiim.org), AIIM summarizes the key benefits of implementing a digital mailroom, according to respondents:

  • Mail traceability and compliance is much better.
  • Considerably improved customer service.
  • Quality of data capture into downstream processes is enhanced.
  • Mail is immediately available for remote staff.
  • Ability to consolidate several separate scanning operations.
  • Payback based on labor and space savings alone.

To learn more about digital transformation, and the ways other businesses are moving forward, visit www.kodakalaris.com/b2b

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