For many organisations, digital mailrooms are fast becoming the new standard. Digital mailrooms (unlike paper-based mailrooms) help companies save money and streamline processes, saving time and resources that would be better spent elsewhere. They allow businesses to share files more easily throughout their organisation and with the appropriate people without exposing confidential information to those it isn’t intended for.

Many firms in the United Kingdom are opting to move over to a digital mailroom service to better manage their operations.

Before we can talk about the advantages of switching to a digital mailroom, let’s look at what a typical mailroom’s function is in a business and the risks associated with using old paper-based mailrooms.

So what does a mailroom do?

A traditional mailroom is generally a paper-based system that mixes low amounts of email processing. A mailroom’s primary function is to handle all outbound and inbound correspondence for the company. All incoming paper based mail is sorted and then delivered to the correct teams and individuals in a company. These are usually time-consuming manual operations in which businesses use mailroom staff to accomplish the physical labor of sorting papers and delivering them.

The amount of work for paper-based systems has been drastically reduced by the use of email, but this will only work properly if the sender knows the appropriate email address of the person they wish to send to.

A manual, old-fashioned mailroom has several inherent difficulties. The following are a few of the problems that may occur:

  • Depending on the amount of paperwork to be processed, document sorting and distribution may take a lot of time. 
  • Mistakes are inevitable; it’s all a part of human nature. The incorrect paperwork may be delivered to the wrong department or individual on occasion. Documents can go missing, eventually ending up back at the mailroom to then be reprocessed and sent out again. 
  • Documents that are considered sensitive or restricted are open to data breach.  Information isn’t secure with a hard copy since they may be read by any member of staff and viewed by employees who shouldn’t have access to this information. 
  • Paperwork in the form of documents and paperwork takes up a lot of room within a office. After they’ve been delivered, documents tend to clog up floor space, being kept in filing cabinets or archive storage boxes. 
  • Information may be harder to find and get once it has left the mailroom. This relies heavily on the individual or department’s organisational abilities. 

Older more conventional paper-based mailrooms which have a lot of manual processes can be extremely slow and inefficient, they may even be putting your company’s data at risk if not correctly monitored or managed.

What is a Digital Mailroom?

Digital mailrooms are a much more up-to-date solution to that of the old physical mailroom. It handles all inbound and outbound correspondence but in a more efficient and secure manner. However, while mailroom employees must still follow certain procedures and adhere to other standards, their work may be considerably more streamlined and, in many circumstances, even automated. Time is saved by eliminating staff from the mailroom. Businesses can save money as a result of this.

Documents in a Digital Mailroom are frequently stored in a cloud-based document management system or, in some cases, on a company’s main computer system.

The Benefits of a Digital Mailroom

All paper documents are scanned and saved in the digital storage location. The actual paper document may then be kept or shredded and disposed of if required.

A Digital Mailroom can include a variety of additional services, which go well beyond scanning and archiving papers. Businesses may benefit from sophisticated computer software systems that run today’s digital mailrooms, as they provide the following advantages:

  • Any document that enters the mailroom, as soon as it arrives is subsequently verified against a specified set of data processing rules. After scanning, all documents are immediately sent to the correct department or individual by email!  
  • Inbound emails can be filtered and redistributed automatically to the correct people, rather than being mixed up with spam mails or non-relevant emails. 
  • Information can be filed in a central location either in the cloud or a network attached hard drive. These documents can then be date-stamping so that information may be retrieved more swiftly and simply in the future. 
  • Passwords can be used to add higher security to documents, only the right employees have access to the contents of a document. 
  • Information can be accessed by more than one team member, removing the requirement to make numerous copies for everyone on a team. 
  • Documents can be delivered immediately, and the appropriate individuals have immediate access to any documents they may require via a click of a button. 
  • The lack of paper copies of records on site may benefit the office environment by reducing crowded work areas. More important things, such as extra workstations for staff, can be accommodated within the same floor area. 
  • There’s a lot less of a chance that your data will be lost.The cloud is a far more secure location for data storage than traditional mailboxes. Since digital mailrooms frequently store their information in the cloud, data is much safer.  
  • If the worst were to happen to your business, in the event of a disaster such as a fire or flood papers may be lost and irretrievable, keeping them onsite creates a significant data risk. Cloud based storage mitigates this risk.

With the decrease of manual tasks, implementing a digital solution for your mailroom over a paper based system has several advantages. Businesses can become more compliant in terms of their data, especially where ISO27001 is required. Paperwork management and less susceptible to human error. 

Every piece of paperwork is immediately and instantly available to everyone with the correct access level.Businesses are turning to more up to date document management solutions in order to outsource their business processes and utilise cloud-based document management systems. The legacy mailroom systems will soon be consigned to the history books as more and more businesses based in the UK understand the advantages of Digital Mailroom solutions.