Employees don’t stay in the same cubicle forever. They move quite a bit; getting promoted, changing employers, or responding to corporate restructuring. Some companies even have in-house relocation departments just so they can move boxes and files when people, or entire departments, are assigned new workspaces. Keeping track of each employee’s physical location is a constant challenge for corporate mail centers. Often, informal updates come to the center in the form of courier observations, emails, or post-it notes. It’s common to see hand-written re-routing instructions taped to the sorting bins. The whole system relies on scraps of paper and information lodged in employee's heads. Obviously this approach is inefficient. People make mistakes, causing letters, parcels, and interoffice memorandums to be mis-routed. Delays and wasted resources result. Fortunately, organizations can install automated solutions that eliminate most of the issues associated with matching incoming mail to delivery destinations. Inbound mail sorting systems route mail accurately while simultaneously reducing the manual sorting and handling tasks that consume most of the labor hours in corporate and campus mail rooms. Why Isn’t This Automated Already? Given the high degree of automation dedicated to processing outbound mail, one might wonder why so many organizations continue to operate manual inbound mail distribution operations, even after they’ve invested in sophisticated outgoing mail solutions. The reasons for the disparity are big differences in the materials that make up a company’s outbound and incoming mail. Control is the most obvious difference. With their outbound mail, organizations control when they process, how they format the mail, and what data they use for addressing. They even verify addresses for deliverability and they update delivery addresses if mail recipients have moved-all before the mail ever leaves the building. Conversely, organizations have almost no control over the mail that comes to them from outside the organization. A notable exception being mail they originally produced themselves, such as Business Reply Mail or bill payment envelopes. Much of the inbound mail comes into the mail room as single pieces. Large quantities come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and weights. Bags and tubs of letters, postcards, newspapers, magazines, flats, and parcels arrive daily. Another distinction of incoming mail is the address block. Inbound addresses may be hand-written or printed with fonts or color contrast difficult for some cameras to capture. The addresses may appear anywhere on the front or back sides of the mailpieces. The biggest challenge with processing incoming mail though, is lack of information. Incoming mailpieces don’t always give the mailroom enough details to identify where to deliver the mail. Employee names may be missing or outdated, or mail drop locations are omitted. The addresses were good enough for the postal service to deliver to the company, but lack the specificity necessary to pinpoint the correct recipients. Even if employee-level details are present, they aren’t necessarily up to date. Company employees don’t always inform people outside the company when they move to a different office, assume a new position, or leave the company. The mailroom can’t assume an address appearing on a mailpiece is 100% correct. All this disparity in the incoming mail leads many organizations to rely on human mail sorters to read and interpret the mailpieces, compare what they see to what they know about the organization’s sites, departments, and employees, and assign mailpieces to courier routes. Technology to the Rescue Camera technology and computer processing speeds and capacities have allowed innovative companies like Tritek Technologies to develop inbound mail processing solutions that can perform nearly all the functions of human mail sorters. Our solutions process mail quickly, leaving more time for the mailroom staff to handle their other duties. On Tritek machines, cameras capture images and extract data from the mailpieces. Then our proprietary rules engine uses that information to determine who should receive each piece, where employees are located, and which courier route serves their workplace. Intelligent Tritek machines distribute the mail into bins representing courier routes or storage locations. The Tritek Advantage Our machines can handle the inbound sorting tasks efficiently because of two important features that distinguish Tritek from other mail handling equipment. The first is our data capture capability. Our machines find and read address blocks on either side of the mailpiece, in any orientation. We can capture printed data and handwritten information and do it all at lightning quick speed. Our cameras also capture additional information from the mailpiece, such as the sender’s return address, which helps us match the mailpiece with the correct recipient. We archive an image of the mailpiece, which is important for chain of custody documentation. The second advantage is the Tritek Editor software. This is the essential part of the solution that allows the machine to match mail addressed to Jane Smith, Mary Jane Smith, and J. Smith to the correct Ms. Smith in the accounting department. If she has left the company, the rules will route Jane’s mail to her replacement. The rules engine reduces the mailroom’s reliance on employee knowledge and written notes to deliver the mail. The Tritek Rules Editor software is highly configurable, and therefore a powerful and effective tool. Machines lacking the rules engine rely on simple OCR capture. Without considering context, that equipment cannot route the mail accurately. The Tritek machines process all these complex rules in a very short time and deposit the mail in the proper sort bins at top speed. Organizations benefit by implementing automated inbound mail equipment and software. Tritek’s advanced technology makes it possible to design and build inbound sorting equipment for organizations of all sizes. When the mailroom swiftly delivers mail to the right place it makes the whole business run more efficiently. Companies can profit by processing payments sooner, responding to customer inquiries faster, or allowing themselves more time to respond to bid requests or other business opportunities.
Organizations spend a great deal of money on tasks associated with receiving incoming mail and delivering it to the correct individuals throughout the enterprise. This function usually involves a staff of couriers and a fleet of vehicles that travel to multiple buildings or facilities distributed across wide geographical areas. But do you really need to deliver all that mail? You may suspect that addressees ignore a good portion of the inbound materials on which your staff spends their time. Employees work every day determining the recipients, assigning pieces to courier routes, and delivering advertisements, newspapers, and magazines that have little value to the organization. What if you could tell in advance what mail was important to deliver each day, which pieces could wait until tomorrow, and which items you could safely send to the recycle bin? A Smarter Approach Intelligently handling incoming mail is the idea behind electronic digital email systems like the one from Tritek Technologies. With these systems, cameras and other hardware along with software executing a set of rules aids the mailroom staff at every step. Cameras capture images and extract data from mailpieces. Then the rules engine uses that information to determine who should receive each piece (it’s not always the person whose name is on the envelope), where they are located, and which courier route serves their workplace. Transports and intelligent machines distribute the mail into bins representing courier routes or storage locations. Digital Mail Delivery Solutions If inbound mail processing systems did nothing more than that, it would save the mailroom staff lots of time spent looking for people in company directories or delivering mail to one person in the morning only to pick it up again in the afternoon to deliver it somewhere else. But Tritek’s Electronic Digital Email System does much more. Since the system captures an image of the mailpiece and knows who should receive it, the system can sort the mail into a holding tub, remember where each piece is stored, and email an image of the envelope to the intended recipient. Tritek uses a gold standard imaging system. Our imaging hardware and software captures all inbound mail at over 300 dpi resolution and stores the images as tiff, jpg, or pdf files. The Tritek system can also use optical character recognition (OCR) and store keywords used for researching the mailpieces. High quality scans ensure the information on the mail piece is read and the machines sort the mail to the proper destination. Giving Addressees a Choice Digital mail recipients have an option of asking the mail center to destroy the mail, hold it for pick up, forward it elsewhere, deliver it to them, or open the piece and send a scanned image of the contents to the recipient via email. This changes the game for mail center operations that spend money every year on high-turnover staff, vehicles, maintenance, floor space, and gas. Digital email systems for incoming mail won’t eliminate the need for couriers. Some mail is important and delivering it will continue to be a task the mail center staff must handle. However, by eliminating mail you needn’t deliver daily, you can repurpose the resources dedicated to this function. Some organizations may decrease the number of mail delivery points using such a system, using components such as digital lockers installed in central locations. Deliver or Destroy? There’s some mail you should always deliver. Invoice payments, for example. This is where Tritek’s superior rules engine becomes a great advantage. The rules engine can recognize invoice payments and automatically route them to the courier route that services the accounts receivable department. Here there is no need to send a scanned image to the mail recipient or wait for their response. We know the disposition of these pieces will always be the same. On the other hand, individuals within an organization may describe mail they routinely receive that always goes directly to the trash. When pieces match the description in the rules engine, the sorting machine can record the receipt and image of the piece, but route the physical mailpiece directly to the recycling bin. Mail center employees avoid sorting unwanted mail to a route and carrying the piece to its destination, only to have the recipient drop it into the recycling bin at their worksite. Automatically removing mail when it is first processed is a much more efficient way of dealing with unwanted mail. Digital delivery eliminates wasted efforts, centralizes recycle paper collection, and speeds notification to employees across the enterprise. Treating every mailpiece equally is inefficient when a good portion of daily mail has little urgent value to the addressees. The number of individuals receiving mail and the distance between campuses or buildings contribute to the ROI calculation. Contact Tritek Technologies for help evaluating the benefits of digital mail delivery to your organization. Learn More About Digital Mail Delivery Give Employees the Mail How They Want It How to Keep Up With Employee Mail Delivery Why Your Business Needs Digital Mail Delivery