By Zachary Rimlinger on July 25, 2018
Organizations of all sizes and industries are increasingly using technology and outsourcing to modernize their offices. Today, mail and document management looks a lot different than having clerical staff in-house.
We witness this digital transformation every day and have helped thousands of businesses increase their efficiency by automating their office mail. If you haven’t already, think about the time your company spends on clerical work, manual scanning, and mail management. Or perform a quick exercise by asking yourself: would valuable information survive if your building flooded or a fire broke out? If you’re panicking, it means you need a system to move your files into the cloud.
If you’re reevaluating your current approach (or lack thereof) here are the questions you should be asking to choose an appropriate virtual mail solution:
- What addresses do you have? One of your first considerations will likely be the locations where you are able to set up a virtual address. But it is equally important to consider your business goals to determine the type of address to use. If you’re looking for a virtual address to redirect business mail, a PO box can suffice. If you’re wanting to expand your business’s market share to a certain region or city, consider using a more professional real street address. Or if you’re looking for an address to register your company, chances are you’ll need a real street address. Be sure to ask if your state has any specific requirements.
- How do you handle different mail volume needs? For organizations that receive high mail volumes or those with mail seasonality like in the tax and accounting industry, you’ll need a vendor with the infrastructure to process documents quickly and reliably. Be sure to research how long their business has been operating and inquire into their technology and service operations.
- What actions can I take on my mail? To get the most value for your investment, demo their interface to understand the scope of functionalities available to you. If that’s not possible, be sure to ask:
- In what format will I be receiving my mail?
- How do you treat packages and checks?
- Can I easily export my information to other applications?
- What are my options for organizing my information?
- Can I have multiple users in an account?
- How can I search for my documents within the app?
- What network and physical security measures do you take? It’s vital that you ask vendors if they rely on partners (such as local postal shops) for mail intake, or whether they have independent operations. While local partnerships might increase available the addresses available to you, service times and security measures will differ greatly. Also ask about the technology and back-end security measures they take to keep your data safe.
- How quickly can I access my information? One of the major benefits of using digital mail and document solutions is accessing information quickly and in a more useful format. Ask how long it takes to see your mail contents from the moment you request an item to be scanned, or if there are options for automatically scanning all content. What about timing for mail forwarding? Depending on your needs, speed could be the deciding factor for which service you select.
- What is included in the pricing? Inquiring into pricing details can almost go without saying, but it's important to note that most mail management solutions will require that you pay to scan your correspondence. But do they charge for mail received? If you’re a high-volume user or if you’re using an address strictly for business use, inquire about options and pricing for automatically scanning your contents.
When choosing another business tool, assess how it will interact with your team, existing processes, and other solutions. The more you’re able to do with one tool, the better.
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