On July 31st, the Earth Class Mail operations team and I were excited to see our new scanning technology, the Falcon, finally in production. We watched it quickly scan an envelope and automatically notify one of our customers about a new piece of mail.
The Falcon will increase the clarity and readability of our customers’ scanned envelope images and automate the sorting process. That means customers receive faster notifications about new items and easier to read envelopes. The Falcon is an OPEX scanner designed exclusively to digitize postal mail with high-quality data capture and compliance controls.
The Falcon will also improve the throughput of scans every day. As a result of the improved readability of the scans, our sorting accuracy will increase. Moreover, the Falcon will also reduce the manual effort of our operations team in sorting and scanning mail.
The increased speed and efficiency save us effort, which ultimately gives us the ability to offer customers more value at a better price. We have already started passing on some of these benefits to our customers by updating our pricing earlier this year.
The Old Way: Before the Falcon
When a customer receives a piece of postal mail, our team sorts it and digitizes the envelope. Next, the customer receives a notification about the new item via their preferred channel(s): through email, our mobile app, or web-app. From their Earth Class Mail account, the customer can then choose whether or not they’d like us to digitize its contents.
Before we invested in the Falcon, members of our team would manually sort and scan envelopes. Our manual system was reliable, but we knew it could be faster if we were able to leverage automation. Sorting and scanning a piece of mail may not sound like it takes too much time, but it adds up when we’re processing thousands of pieces of mail every day.
The sorting process also used to involve our technicians labeling our customers’ postal mail with a sticker. In some cases, that sticker obstructed important, identifying information on the envelope. As much as we tried to prevent that from happening, it was sometimes difficult depending on the size of the envelope. Not being able to see key information could make it hard for a customer to decide whether or not to proceed with scanning a piece of postal mail into their account.
The New Way: After the Falcon
The Falcon has allowed us to automate this process so our customers can read and take action on their postal mail faster than ever before. Of course, our team will continue to give every item the time and care it requires. This update will increase our quality and speed without reducing operator attention to detail.
Apart from automation and higher quality scans, our new process has also replaced the physical sticker with a smaller, digitally imposed tracking number that reduces the likelihood of blocking important information.
An envelope processed with a digitally imposed label.
The integration of new hardware into our workflow also required the creation of a new pipeline. Our software team created it specifically so that our customers can receive their items faster. With this new pipeline in place, customers experience the improved speed of the new process immediately.
As a company, we've made this important investment in new hardware and process updates in order to give our customers a clearer image of their postal mail, send items to their inbox faster, and streamline the sorting process.
These process improvements will benefit some of the most impactful parts of your Earth Class Mail experience: getting notified about new items and deciding what to do with them. These updates are part of our continuous investment in giving our customers the best possible experience when accessing postal mail online.
Looking ahead to 2021, we will continue to make updates to improve the customer experience. We have already made significant changes to our product pricing based on the cost savings we are making from our investment in the Falcon.
If you are a current Earth Class Mail customer, you don’t have to do anything to start taking advantage of these improvements. They have already been applied to our operations and you are already reaping the benefits.
If you are not an Earth Class Mail customer, you can learn more about our virtual mailbox products on our pricing page.