If necessity is the mother of invention, then the same could be said of a pandemic.
Organizations are being forced to reinvent many aspects of their operations, including their traditional mailrooms. A full year has passed without the benefit of having on-site employees to manage the influx of paper-based content. Instead, remote and hybrid workers have fast become the norm, making digital documents more than a nice-to-have—they’re a must.
After all, we exchange information with our customers, suppliers, and co-workers all day, every day—across multiple channels and in varied formats. Paper mail, faxes and emails pile up quickly. Yet, to ensure operational efficiency and quality customer and supplier service, businesses must be able to handle large volumes of incoming documents—even with a distributed workforce.
Further complicating matters, it's generally understood that most inbound mail items are transactional in nature. In other words, incoming information plays a vital role in various business processes. But capturing a document in digital format isn’t enough to keep business processes running smoothly unless it gets to the right person at the right time. It means that each piece of mail must be categorized by type and that essential data needs to be extracted and delivered in the correct format to the appropriate business process in a timely manner.
While this sorting and extraction can be done manually—in fact, many companies are still doing it this way—this is an inefficient approach. It’s time consuming and highly prone to error. Sales orders, contracts, medical bills, invoices, customer messages and expense reports are just a few examples of the documents received in volumes each day. It’s easy to see how quickly companies can fall behind trying to process all this information manually.
How can organizations tackle the mailroom dilemma more effectively? The solution lies in a digital mailroom that automates the collection, extraction, classification and validation of incoming information. Organizations that step into the “modern mailroom” today benefit from a long list of advantages, and those who have already made the switch are seeing tangible results.
5 Benefits of a Digital Mailroom
- Reduced costs: Manual processing is slow and costly. Automation, on the other hand, reduces operating costs. Intelligent automation also allows you to scale centrally managed mailroom operations across the enterprise and generate more revenue.
- Improved speed: Customers and suppliers expect an immediate response. They don’t care how many documents you have to sort through. An automated approach converts incoming unstructured content into business-ready data, vastly accelerating document processing. Exceptions can be handled in minutes rather than days.
- Improved security and reduced risk: Let’s face it. Paper is risky. It’s all too easy to misplace an important document or have it fall into the wrong hands. With a digital mailroom, you can create high-quality digital images of incoming documents for enhanced security. Business rules also can be applied to ensure your organization remains compliant with relevant industry regulations.
- Improved accuracy and customer experience: Even the most attentive workers make mistakes when manually processing documents and keying data into systems. Automation eliminates errors during the extraction and validation process. Customers (and suppliers) will appreciate the speed at which you respond to their issues and questions, and improved accuracy creates a more positive experience. Companies also can create a more personalized experience and communicate with customers in their preferred channel.
- More visibility and actionable insight: Once the information coming into your organization is extracted, classified and validated, it’s converted to structured data that feeds your enterprise systems. You can monitor how well business processes are working throughout the entire customer journey and use actionable data to improve business processes over time.
Innovative companies are saying goodbye to mail bins and delivery chutes and saying hello to intelligent automation. Read the next article in this series, where we spell out exactly what you should look for in a digital mailroom solution and share some real-world success stories.
Want to learn more? Find out how to maximize your digital mailroom initiative with an industry-leading solution from Kofax. Contact us today to discuss how you can start working (and sorting mail) like tomorrow—today.
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