Digital mail delivery has been a viable technology for a decade, but its popularity has been limited. That is no longer the case. Remote work is the new normal, and teams without the right technology struggle to stay on top of their mail when working from home, at the office, or somewhere else. Digital mail delivery fixes this predicament. As with any new technology, companies have more than one level of implementation from which to choose. To meet today’s demands, organizations must establish a digital mail platform that meets the level of security required, addresses privacy, and follows internal business rules.
Digital mail delivery is a postal mail and scanning process that converts incoming paper mail into digital form. The digital mail system delivers documents to the addressees electronically. The system creates a digital record of each incoming mail piece, tracking the progress, history, and delivery method. Employees receive an email with a link to the digital image of the physical mail piece. Organizations can digitize mail and automate indexing, classification, and distribution.
The COVID health threat changed business operations forever. Instantly, most employees were transient. They could not receive mail. Other than pushing mail out to a regional, traveling sales staff, it never occurred to mail center managers to have a corporate-wide mail distribution plan in place. Today, companies must have a plan to deal with postal mail and parcels addressed to employees that will most likely stay remote at least part of the time. These are considerations when formalizing a mail distribution plan:
• What classes or types of mail are opened by mail center staff?
• What mail stays sealed and forwarded to the addressee?
• How is marketing mail handled?
• How are “accountable items” handled? This includes certified mail, registered mail, and overnight or two-day documents delivered by the common carriers.
Are these decisions entirely up to the addressee, or do corporate mandates take precedence?
The single-pass digital mail option notifies employees of the number of mail pieces they receive each day. If they are on-site, workers make arrangements to pick up their mail or organize delivery to where the worker is located. With mail center downsizing, daily delivery may no longer be an option. It makes little sense to deploy a delivery person when few employees receive mail each day. A worker on the 14th floor or the other side of campus may wait until enough mail has accumulated to warrant a visit to the mail center. However, that brings up more questions. How long is mail saved before the mail center discards it? How many notifications must be made? Is there an escalation procedure if the addressee does not respond? Formal rules that everyone understands need to be in place.
With the two-pass digital mail option, employees receive scanned images of the outside of each mail piece. The addressee determines the disposition of each mail piece. These options include:
1. The mail piece is opened and scanned by mail center personnel and emailed to the addressee.
2. The mail piece is delivered to the addresses or held for pick up.
3. The mail piece is tagged for recycling.
4. Or some combination of the three options.
On its face, the process appears simple. Multiply this scenario by thousands of inbound letters every day. Depending on the organization, mail distribution can be a formidable task. Clearly, technology beyond a mail opener and an office supply store scanner is needed.
For the two-pass digital mail option, companies have two choices. The first is to do it yourself. Mail center staff operates a workstation that automatically opens the envelope, extracts the contents, and places them on the scanner. The worker chooses the recipient and emails the contents of the envelope. The software makes most of this process happen, or the organization relies on mailroom worker knowledge. The investment in software varies depending on the functions you need.
The second way is using an outside service. The central part of implementing a digital mail delivery system is not the hardware or the software. It is the process. It is what to do and when to do it. It is about governance and the administration of business rules. Third-party services have the expertise needed for digital mail implementation. Working in concert with your current mail center staff, you will realize the benefits of digital mail delivery.
Since 1988, Tritek has engineered patented, field-proven mailroom automation and document imaging solutions to improve productivity and mailroom efficiency. Tritek’s expanding menu of mail services includes Biohazard Screening, Digital Email Delivery, Database Management, Returned Mail Processing, Inbound Mail, Presorted Mail, and Parcel Processing. Tritek’s clients include Fortune 500 companies, government, educational institutions, financial services, healthcare, insurance, and fulfillment.
For those organizations that prefer to handle incoming mail themselves, Tritek supplies the hardware and software that automates much of the process for a one-pass or two-pass solution.