Is your corporate mail center ready to enter the digital age? Most organizations are considering it. Those that are implementing digital mail delivery are looking to reduce costs and increase efficiency. It is necessary for a dispersed workforce. But some organizations are slow to adapt. Perhaps digitization seems too complicated or too expensive, but that’s not the case. Any organization with a dispersed workforce, which now includes a lot more companies than pre-COVID, should probably consider the benefits of a digital mail system to handle incoming mail. What is Digital Mail Delivery? Digital mail delivery is a postal mail and scanning process that converts incoming paper mail into digital form. A digital mail system delivers mail to addressees electronically. Digital delivery solutions create a digital record of each incoming mail piece, and track the progress, history, and delivery methods. Employees receive e-mails with links to the images of the physical mail pieces. Organizations can digitize mail and automate indexing, classification, and distribution. Establishing Business Rules The worst of the pandemic may be behind us, or further challenges could be ahead. Regardless, processes that businesses changed in response to COVID remain in place today. As the health threat came on fast, no organization had a Plan B to get hard copy documents to transient employees. Today, companies are dealing with postal mail and parcels intended for employees that will stay remote, but those methods were conceived in times of crisis. They were not meant to be permanent solutions. It is time to update the mail center procedure manual. Write formal business rules to ensure consistency and avoid misunderstandings. Document how to sort the mail and parcels. Determine the criteria to open some items while others stay sealed. Decide when to forward some mail and shelve others. Set the standards for recycling vs. delivering. Procedure updates require input from managers in many departments, not just mail professionals. Confirm that everyone agrees about how and when the mail center handles mail and parcels for on-site and remote employees. These documented standards, updated to address new business processes, are helpful regardless of whether or not an organization adopts digital mail delivery. What Probably Cannot be Digital Some documents may never be converted to digital delivery. This includes formal documents requiring a wet signature and anything that changes the trajectory of a business. Certified Mail, Registered Mail, and confidential items are examples of mail not opened by staff but delivered to the addressee as-is. Benefits of Digital Mail Digital mail allows users to receive an immediate notification of an arriving document. Employees can examine the document before walking or driving to the mail center to retrieve the physical piece or waiting for the mail to be delivered to them. Digital mail improves the management of high-value and time-sensitive mail Employees on the other side of town or the other side of the planet receive mail just like employees on-site. Digital mail reduces labor By delivering only the mail employees must have in physical form, organizations can reduce the number of couriers and routes. Digital mail is trackable Digital mail systems send a confirmation e-mail when an employee picks up their mail, thus closing the custody loop. Digital mail improves efficiency A worker on the 17th floor or at home can decide if the mail piece they just viewed on their computer is worth visiting the mail center on the 1st floor. They can reply with a message to hold for pick up or to recycle. Doing Digital Mail The main hardware ingredient for a digital mail center is a scanner. Because of diversity in mailpiece sizes, shapes, thickness, and orientation, mail centers intent on a do-it-yourself solution rely on labor intensive flat-bed scanners. A team member must place items in the scanner by hand and determine the distribution of the image. Mail center staffers send notifications to the employees to inform them they have received postal mail. Specialized solutions for handling incoming mail make digital mail delivery workable. Systems like Tritek’s Oasis solution are built to take most of the manual and decision-making tasks out of the hands of mail center employees. According to your business rules, Oasis can separate important mail from not-so-important correspondence, locate the printed address block, and notify employees about their mail. Employees can then decide if the mail should be opened and scanned, delivered to them in physical form, or discarded. These are exactly the features mail centers need when dealing with incoming mail addressed to a widely distributed workforce. Making changes in the mail center isn’t easy. It’s not usually on the top of the list when organizations consider strategic advances. But companies that believe digital mail delivery isn’t for them are putting their employees at a disadvantage. Without a digital mail delivery solution, everything takes longer to do. Employees are always waiting for old-fashioned physical mail delivery or a home-grown solution to get them the information they need to do their jobs. Customer experience will suffer when delays that could be avoided are built into the workflow. This is a good time to decide how corporate mail centers can best serve their organizations by permanently addressing the significant organizational changes most companies have undergone. Digital mail delivery is in the future for many organizations.