Consider the digital transformation of familiar industries in the past decade. Online medical records have replaced those clunky charts that once filled shelf after shelf in doctors’ offices. Students get e-textbooks instead of weighing down their backpacks with “doorstops” that have to be returned or sold back later. And retail establishments now give the option for e-receipts so you don’t have to manage a wallet full of crinkled receipts just to make a return.
These slick digital processes are all around us and for good reason. They save time and manpower and eliminate errors. If you deal with mail management, you might be surprised to learn all that digitized processes can do to simplify your life. A good mailroom app can lighten your load significantly while keeping your customers happier than ever.
Why go Digital?
Here are just a few specific reasons companies are digitizing mailroom processes:
- More secure. Digital processes reduce the number of people who touch a package or piece of mail, minimizing loss and theft. They close up margins of error and ensure that mail gets into the right hands.
- Contactless delivery. Going digital can minimize human contact, which matters during the global pandemic.
- Eliminates clutter. Good mailroom software can reduce the amount of paper mail that must be stored in mailrooms. It also ensures that space for packages is used efficiently and that packages are moved on to the correct recipients as soon as possible.
- Increases accuracy. Digital scan-and-sort programs can be administered from a wide variety of devices, which makes them far more versatile than the traditional hand-held bar scanner, but above all, they are more accurate. Features like optical character recognition eliminate the need for error-prone manual input, and artificial intelligence can even help fill in the blanks on labels that are obscured or partially missing.
- Speeds things up. Digital systems allow for quick communications between the mailroom and recipients. People know right away what is delivered and can easily signal their intentions regarding pickup or delivery so that things aren’t left languishing in the mailroom.
- Efficient recall. Software allows you to search mail in different ways, such as by sender, recipient and date, so you have quick, organized access to mail and processes.
- Cloud access. Mailroom attendants and mail recipients alike benefit from the fact that things like mail scans and delivery updates can be accessed from anywhere and at any time.
Who Needs it Most?
While mailroom software is a wise investment for most mailrooms, it is particularly game changing for those within certain industries. Let’s take a closer look.
- Shipping and postal. This one’s a no brainer. If mail management is your bread and butter, you’ll want to avail yourself of all of the benefits that mailroom software offers, including scan and track programs that allow you to scan and transmit images of mail and packages and allow recipients to help direct delivery.
- Apartments and residential buildings. Most of these buildings weren’t constructed with 2020 in mind. Online shopping was surging anyway, and COVID-19 has sent it sky high. (Adobe Analytics reported a 55% year-over-year increase in July.) As a result, mailrooms are teeming with packages, and employees are struggling to keep pace. Research tells us that many of these online shopping trends will continue after the pandemic resolves so the need for more efficient processes won’t likely go away.
Some software programs can integrate with your residential directory for easy administration. Scan and track options can allow people to sort their mail digitally, indicating whether they want to toss a piece of mail or reroute a package to a neighbor for delivery if they are out of town. Features like these help reduce delays and errors and decrease overall foot traffic in a facility.
This software is also helpful for non-traditional deliveries (of take-out food, groceries, laundry, etc.), which are also creating a beehive of activity in residential facilities right now.
- Colleges and universities. Students—especially those without cars—may not have easy access to shopping centers. Due to transportation constraints and limited time, many students lean heavily on online shopping and package delivery. Add to that professors receiving and sending mail, and mailroom software becomes indispensable for institutions of higher learning.
Corporate/Co-working spaces. These spaces can pose challenges for mail delivery. Employees come and go, and you might have a different person responsible for picking up the mail depending on who’s in the office that day. Digital processes can enable those changes quickly and securely with password-protected authorizations.
Photos of deliveries transmitted through emails or texts can help save staff time; they can know at a glance whether they need to stop their busy workflow to get an urgent package or if they can wait until things slow down for less pressing deliveries. In addition, smart programs can process labels and convey to workers whether mail is fragile, time sensitive, or confidential.
- Healthcare. Whether you are dealing with medical service providers or insurance, healthcare mailrooms get heavy play given all of the paperwork. Keep in mind that much of this mail must be handled with speed so that important medical authorizations and procedures will not be delayed. Software can lend the accuracy and efficiency needed in this environment.
- Government. Given their size, many governmental agencies are naturally going to be dealing with a lot of mail. Add to that the fact that the government, while moving toward digital platforms, is not entirely online yet. Thus, these agencies tend to have a larger amount of physical mail than you see in other organizations. Digital mailroom processes can help deal with the volume.
- Finance. The stakes are high with financial documents, including loans and mortgages, that contain sensitive financial data. Digital mailroom processes can ensure that these documents aren’t mishandled or lost and that they are delivered in a timely manner while passing through as few hands as possible.
Mailroom software is typically the domain of medium to large organizations, but even small entities are jumping on the bandwagon with cost-effective, scalable mailroom apps. At PackageX, our clients have called our internal mail systems “crazy fast” and reported that they have sped up their processes by 95%.