All businesses are challenged with managing huge influxes of paper bound information, the majority of which is inbound mail. In response, businesses of all sizes increasingly use technology and outsourcing to modernize and improve the efficiency of managing this paper. Paper management can cost employees valuable hours, especially when they’re assigned the task of opening, sorting, and acting on important mail. This can be particularly hard for entrepreneurs, who are already strapped for valuable resources.
It may be helpful to think about the time your business spends on administrative tasks, such as mail management or manual scanning. Re-evaluating your current approach (or lack thereof) for handling postal mail could help you realign your business’ true objectives. We’ve listed four primary questions that may help in that process.
- What is the volume of mail you receive? In 2018 alone, the United States Postal Service delivered more than 146 billion pieces of mail. For organizations that receive high volumes of mail, have multiple offices receiving mail, or deal with busy seasonal trends, you may benefit from a digital mailroom. If so, make sure the firm you choose for outsourcing your mail has the infrastructure and history of processing documents quickly and reliably. Ask how long the business has been in operation, what technologies are used to complete the job, and how they plan for business continuity in the event of a disruption.
- What actions can I take on my mail? If mail is sorted in house, think how long it takes for necessary actions to be taken on those mail items. If it’s taking longer than needed for important documents to be read, bills to be paid, or checks to be deposited, these questions may help in finding a better solution.
What network and physical security measures do you take? Your mail and paper documents are vitally important for your business. If you’re going to outsource the handling of those important papers, make sure you can trust the business tasked with your mail management. Ensure they have reliable certifications, and ask about cybersecurity measures and privacy policies in place to keep your data safe and secure. It may actually be more secure than keeping important papers in your own offices.
- How long does it take to open and deliver important documents?
- How long does it take to deposit checks?
- What are the available options for organizing information?
- Can I easily share important information with coworkers?
- Can I easily find the information I need on paper?
- Am I able to extract relevant data systematically or consistently?
- Am I able to take action seamlessly?
How quickly can I access my information? One of the major benefits of using a digital mailroom is accessing information quickly and in a more useful format. If you’re manually scanning your own documents, ask how long it's taking to see the digital contents from the moment you start your workflow. Searchability and accessibility are key benefits of digitizing mail and storing in a cloud-based environment.
When deciding whether to outsource your mail management, assess how it will impact your team, existing processes, and other workflows. As the world continues to evolve, it is important for businesses to evolve as well. Outsourcing and digitization help streamline efficiencies, eliminate manual-intensive processes, and enable businesses to focus on what they do best.
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