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Digital Mailroom

Digital mailroom is the automation of incoming mail processes. Using document scanning and document capture technologies; companies can digitize incoming mail and automate the classification and distribution of mail within the organization. Both paper and electronic mail (email) can be managed through the same process allowing companies to standardize their internal mail distribution procedures and adhere to company compliance policies.

Many companies still believe that they are legally bound to archive some documents as paper for a certain time, such as accounting documents or contracts. According to a recent survey by AIIM, legal admissibility of scanned documents is still seen as an issue in over a quarter of businesses. However, the reality is that these rules only apply to a small minority of documents.

Reasons for implementation

By digitizing the incoming mail process, and indexing the documents on the fly, companies can not only gain control of their mail processes internally (no more efficiency losses, gaps in document control and loss of valuable mail), but will have the opportunity to combine electronic mail formats (e-mail, fax) in the same document processing flow. A digital mailroom designed as a central platform for information allows an organization to bring rationality to mail processing and significant gains in productivity and customer service.

Benefits

Reducing the decision cycle

One major benefit of turning all incoming paper mail into images as soon as it is received is the extent to which it shortens the decision cycle. Although it might be difficult to quantify exactly what the cost savings are, it seems an obvious advantage. Digital mailrooms allow users to receive immediate notification of a document's arrival at the company. Employees can access images in record time, regardless of where the documents were physically acquired. Files can then be processed very rapidly according to their level of urgency. Just as digital mailrooms facilitate the exchange of company information, they also facilitate the coordination of several people around the same document. The decision-making process becomes quicker and more accurate.

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Rationalizing the circulation of information

The various technologies at the heart of digital mailrooms help companies rationalize their processes, e.g. it allows companies to reduce costs associated with resending documents between sites.

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Reducing paper costs

Mailroom costs not only include staff costs involved in the distribution of letters, but also the costs associated with the resending, loss or deterioration of documents. A digital mailroom implementation has a direct effect on all those costs and becomes a key element of competitiveness for the company. Another source of paper costs is the one associated with the physical storage of documents. Encouraging employees "to do without paper" will quickly lead to the reduction in the cost of excessive printing and copying of documents. The aim is obviously not to ban paper from the work environment but rather to set up a new coherent and secure organization that makes the use of paper superfluous.

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Ensuring data tracking

Ensuring incoming mail tracking has become a necessity for the majority of companies, with compliance regulation being a major factor. The earlier a document is transformed into an image file, the more reliably it can be tracked throughout its life cycle. Furthermore, a scanned document becomes accessible by all authorized users (as a PDF, TIFF or JPEG file). The file created includes more than simply images; it references one or more documents in the archive database and records all the actions carried out by the people responsible for the file. The security of the process guarantees the authenticity and integrity of the document, which aligns with the records management policy of the company.

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Improving customer service

The electronic management of incoming mail improves the handling of documents within service oriented companies and agencies. It enhances the quality of the service offered to customers by allowing staff to instantly access customer files and answer questions immediately. The improvement of customer service is considered to be of fundamental importance by the majority of companies.

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