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How to Choose the Best Mailroom Management Software

The mailroom is critical to a company’s operational efficiency, reputation, and vulnerability to risk.

  • A mailroom gets information to downstream systems and processes fast.
  • A mailroom saves staff time by getting mail to the right person without fail.
  • A mailroom enhances the customer experience through the routing of correspondence.
  • A mailroom safeguards sensitive information contained in documents and packages.

With so much riding on mailroom efficiency and effectiveness, it’s no surprise that businesses of all sizes are rethinking the way that they sort, distribute, and deliver the mail that they receive.

More businesses are deploying mailroom management software.

This article shows how to choose the best mailroom management software.

The volume of paper documents

Despite the adoption of digital technologies, many businesses still receive lots of paper documents.

The percentage of paper-based documents that businesses receive can vary depending on the industry, the size of the business, and other factors.  But a recent survey conducted by the Association of Intelligent Information Management (AIIM), a global community of information professionals found that on average, 44 percent of incoming documents were in paper form.  This is a shift from 2014 when an AIIM survey found that 60 percent of incoming documents were in paper form.

While the overall percentage of paper documents in the workplace is decreasing, some industries and businesses still heavily rely on paper documents.  For example, healthcare, legal, and financial industries have legal or regulatory requirements that necessitate the use of paper documents.

Managing documents that arrive as paper can be a major headache for businesses.

What is mail management?

Businesses of all sizes face significant challenges in managing their mail.

  • Rising document volumes. The volume of documents that a mailroom handles typically grows with a business.  The higher the volume of documents, the more staff that a business typically needs to open and process the mail and route documents to the correct person.
  • Document complexity. It’s not unusual for businesses to receive complex documents that contain a lot of information.  For instance, an invoice may contain multiple line items tied to different tax rates and general ledger entries in an enterprise resource planning application.  Processing these documents and determining where they should be routed can be tricky.
  • More document formats. The decline in paper documents that arrive through the mail has resulted in businesses receiving documents in more formats.  A business may receive documents via email, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) upload, extensible markup language (XML), electronic data interchange (EDI), a shared service center, or mobile device.  Using standalone systems to manage all these document formats can be expensive and inefficient.
  • High risk. Many businesses receive financial statements, contracts, customer data, checks, and other sensitive information through the mail.  And Sarbanes-Oxley, the Healthcare Information Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA), and hundreds of other laws, regulations, and rules demand that information is carefully managed.   Businesses could face financial losses, fines, penalties, and reputational damage if information is stolen or mishandled.
  • Pressure to get information downstream. Everything moves faster in today’s global economy.  Mailrooms are under ever-increasing pressure to get information to downstream systems and processes to drive decision-making, customer support, and daily operations.  Enterprise systems for finance and other functions count on the timely receipt of information.

These are some of the reasons that more businesses are deploying mailroom management solutions.

Benefits of a mailroom management solution

Mailroom management solutions provide significant benefits to businesses of all sizes.

  • Reduced costs. Digitizing documents that arrive via mail eliminates the expense of physical document storage and paper-related consumables such as paper, printer toner, and interoffice envelopes.  There’s also no need for staff to physically sort and deliver mail.  Mail management systems also reduce the office space needed for file cabinets and other storage.
  • Increased staff productivity. Converting paper-based documents to electronic format reduces the time and effort required to sort, process, and distribute mail.  Freeing staff from manual, repetitive tasks such as keying information, shuffling paper, and determining approvers provides them with more time to focus on fulfilling higher-value activities.
  • Better accuracy. Errors are inevitable wherever there are manual tasks.  Mailroom management solutions significantly reduce the possibility of lost or misrouted documents.
  • Accelerated delivery of information. Digitizing documents eliminates friction in getting information into customer relationship management (CRM) systems, accounting software packages, or other downstream systems and processes.  Mailroom staff doesn’t have to waste time determining who should receive documents.  There’s no chance of misrouted or lost documents.  And authorized users can instantly access digital documents from anywhere.
  • Improved security and compliance. Digitizing documents that arrive via the mail help businesses safeguard sensitive information through user- and role-based permissions, a chain of custody controls, encryption of captured data, and logging of all actions taken on a document.

Digitization fundamentally changes the way that documents received through the mail are managed.

How to find the best mail management software

There are lots of mail management solutions out there.  Choosing the wrong one can set a business back.  Here are some strategies for finding the best mail management software for your business.

  • Assess your needs. Determining your organization’s business requirements is the first step in choosing the right mail management solution.  Explore the volume and type of mail you receive, the data that must be captured, and the requirements for sorting and distributing mail.
  • Identify potential partners. Look for technology providers with strong customer reviews and a proven track record in digitizing documents that arrive via the mail.  Also, ensure that technology providers have controls for protecting data and privacy.   And be sure a solution can work seamlessly with your existing downstream systems without onerous programming.
  • Strive for end-to-end automation. Give extra weight to technology providers with modern software and high-production scanners that can digitally sort documents, digitize different types of documents co-mingled, and capture the metadata required for indexing and retrieval.
  • Evaluate a solution’s usability. User adoption is critical to achieving payback on automation investments.  Consider whether a solution is intuitive and easy to use.
  • Focus on a solution’s total cost of ownership. Be on the lookout for hidden license fees, unexpected professional services charges, and extra implementation costs.  Also, be sure that a prospective vendor’s pricing model aligns with your organization’s budget and requirements.

These considerations will help ensure that you choose the right mail management solution.

Streamline mail management

Manually sorting, processing, and routing documents that arrive via mail can be inefficient and risky.  The right mail management solution can streamline this process, helping businesses to reduce costs, increase staff productivity, deliver a better customer experience, and mitigate their risk.

Consult with one of our experts to help you find the right mail management solution for your business.

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