The Digital Mailroom Process Explained

Digital Transformation Digital Mailroom

The Digital Mailroom Process Explained
Picture of Tim Myatt

Written by: Tim Myatt
Publish Date: Sep 3, 2020
Read time: 8 minutes

Digital Mailrooms are in demand more than ever with COVID-19 accelerating digital transformation initiatives and driving a remote working culture.

According to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), nearly half (42%) of the US labor force is working from home full-time and only a quarter (26%)—mostly essential service workers—are working on-site. This combined with the fact that many businesses are still receiving thousands of mail items per month to their offices is resulting in businesses having to find ways of making their inbound business mail available to remote workers the same day it is received. Or they may face processing delays and increased customer response times.

A standard outsourced digital mailroom service is accessible within 5-7 working days and will give your employees digital access to inbound mail the same day it is received and from wherever they are.

Read on to learn about the digital mailroom process as we take you through the journey of a mail item.

  1. Receive
    The first step is to re-direct your PO boxes to our digital mailroom production facility. Mail is received into our facility prior to 6am daily. It is received in sacks pre-sorted by PO box number. Courier deliveries are also delivered directly to our digital mailroom facility throughout the day.

  2. Mail sortation
    Mailroom operators open the sacks and check the quality of the PO sortation to ensure there is no cross contamination of mail. They then acknowledge receipt of mail in our internal tracking system which gives our clients full visibility of their inbound business correspondence. Next, they begin to build a hierarchy of the delivery by customer and create batches of mail. By batching mail we are able to filter processed work through to our customers little and often as opposed to customers having to wait for bulk delivery.

  3. Preparation
    Each operator processes only one customer’s work at any one time to ensure the segregation of mail throughout the entire process. We keep envelope integrity by using unique barcodes or standard separators. The prep operators will remove staples, straighten any edges and identify work types. Any cherished items are identified and outsorted into a separate work stream.

    We zap the barcodes to move the items into the next process stage. This is to monitor the progress of each batch through the system to ensure its in line to hit Service Level Agreements (SLAs). This also allows us to allocate more resource where peaks and troughs apply.

  4. Digitization
    Our state-of-the-art, high-volume document scanners process and digitize up to 10,000 pages an hour. We scan everything duplex (deleting blanks is optional) either black and white or color, dependent on our client’s preference. OCR, form technology and keyword capture is functioning during this process. We can process oversize documents larger than A3, bound documentation and cherished items including checks.

  5. Data Capture
    Our data capture systems can automatically classify document types and capture data from within the documents. We can do a second data entry to validate what the system has captured to increase overall accuracy rates if this is required. For some scanning work that we process, data capture is 100% manual. This is dependent on the customer’s requirements and also the document type.
  1. Quality Assurance
    Our quality assurance teams can do a 5% quality check all the way up to 100%, and we do two types of quality checks. For image quality, we compare the original document against the scanned image. For data capture, we check that the digital image matches the data captured information.

  2. Delivery
    Digital delivery is either directly into our customer’s system or through EDMonline™, our hosted document workflow solution.

  3. Originals
    Original documents are either confidentially destroyed, stored, banked or returned to the customer.

Conclusion

Each digital mailroom requirement is different, yet one thing that doesn’t change is the importance of maintaining security and integrity of inbound business correspondence. Mail must be processed with traceability and quality in mind or you risk noncompliance and lost items.

If you are considering outsourcing your mailroom, you may be interested in the following resources;

Blog: Inhouse vs outsourced digital mailroom - what's best for my organization?

Blog: How much money could I save outsourcing my mailroom function?

Blog: The complete guide to digital mailroom

Ready to explore your readiness for a digital mailroom? Click the graphic below to take advantage of EDM's free digital mailroom health check.

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