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Legal Services Brief

How a Digital Mailroom Can Help Law Firms Mitigate Risk and Gain Efficiencies

by Ken Neal
January 4, 2024

It’s probably safe to say that the labor and security concerns connected with scan-to-email systems are the bane of every large law firm. Traditional physical mail processing is inefficient, insecure, costly, unreliable and only getting worse with the impact of hybrid workforces and growing workloads. And with incoming mail and accountable mail volumes significantly down, digitizing inbound items now is convenient and efficient. Since you can’t change your dependence on incoming paper documents, the solution is to find a better way to deliver and manage your mail.

Your firm needs mail delivery that’s trackable, fast, secure and scalable — and that reaches everyone

Here’s how a digital mailroom solution can help fix five of the most common inefficiencies your law firm faces with physical mail:

  1. The mail came, but where is it? With traditional mail management systems, many law firms found it challenging to quickly and efficiently locate mail pieces. The advantage of a digital mailroom built for law firms, which consists of a hybrid mailroom and scanning service, is that it makes it possible to quickly ingest physical mail into a secure digital document management portal. The service converts physical envelopes and their contents into a common digital format for access by attorneys, legal assistants, and practice group teams. Digital mail is directed to an individual or department work queue. The physical mail is forwarded and stored or destroyed as you direct. Tracking makes documents visible from receipt to completion. Documents may include court notices, invoices, client correspondence, legal documents, and your attorneys’ incoming mail.
  2. We missed the filing deadline. A digital mailroom can also help save you the financial and reputational costs of missed deadlines. You can monitor inbound mail items to identify who has handled the documents. Notifications can be set if a document has not been handled within a predetermined amount of time. This helps ensure that all documents received are handled appropriately and according to time requirements. An auto-forwarding function helps make sure time-sensitive documentation isn’t overlooked. If a document is not acted upon within your specified number of days, the system will automatically escalate it to another person or department. You also have access to a full audit history so you can review and/or report on document flow.
  3. The mailroom’s flooded — this is a disaster. Because incoming physical copies are immediately converted to digital images, the system minimizes the potential for major document losses. Also, physical documents generally are delivered to records centers daily or weekly after scanning; they are not held in the mailroom. If there is an unforeseen mishap such as the pipes bursting in your building, you’ll still be able to access your critical data because it is safely stored and backed up in a secure cloud environment, reducing the risk of disasters impacting the firm’s or your clients’ business continuity. You’ll also have better protection against electronic disasters such as misuse of personally identifiable information (PII). Scan to email systems create a serious issue related to PII, namely, scanning inbound documents containing PII and letting them sit in “sent items” for anyone on the mailroom team to see. This is one key reason why digitizing the mail is safer than a scan to email approach. And a digital mail system allows for attached metadata and detailed document classification that can make it easier for your internal staff to identify legitimate versus suspicious materials.
  4. Incoming mail from multiple high-profile cases is overwhelming our clerical staff. Digital mailrooms inherently provide faster and more seamless scalability than would be possible with any paper-based ingestion and storage system. These systems use predetermined rules and groups so you can more efficiently distribute documents to the right people, without excessive (and slow) manual intervention. You can even set up business rules to flag and destroy junk mail that’s clogging your system. With an improved user experience, your clerical and legal staff will be less frustrated and will appreciate having more time to spend on higher-value tasks.
  5. Our lead attorney’s out of the office but needs to see this contract today. The digital mailroom portal gives your staff anywhere/anytime document access via their phones, iPads and laptops so they don’t miss critical materials or client instructions. Whether they’re traveling, in court or working from home, they’ll still have ready access to incoming documents. And the digital mailroom’s privacy protection functions let you mark documentation as personal so the only person who can view it is the intended recipient.
Everything to gain: Speed, scale, security, savings

If you appreciate the benefits, but the prospect of digital transformation seems daunting, consider the advantages of partnering with Canon for your digital mailroom:

You can go live in 30 days or less. A Canon Digital Mailroom turnkey solution includes mail-center staff, a digital mailroom system and installation. Canon works with your firm to get set up fast, usually in 30 days or less, to help you quickly achieve productivity gains. From there, Canon’s architecture allows you to grow at your own pace with no constraints on volume. The Canon team will also work with you to provide ongoing support and continuous improvement.

Canon’s system is user-friendly, minimizing training and eliminating disruption. The Canon system does not require code and is designed to be easy for your staff to learn and use. For staff who still need or prefer to communicate via email, the system can automatically send email notifications to let them know they have documentation in the digital mailroom portal. Ease of use is also supported by an interactive, real-time help screen

You’ll reduce costs and increase operational efficiency. Digital mail reduces paper costs of copying and printing and labor cost for tasks such as distribution and physical storage. It can also help you maintain business continuity and reduce risk of noncompliance and security and privacy violations. Canon’s turnkey solution with end-to-end encryption incorporates the best of people and processes. Our mail processing workflow design, for example, is based on Six Sigma methodology. The operational efficiencies you achieve can help you deliver more responsive client services in the face of increasing competitive pressure and client expectations.

Canon Digital Mailroom and Digital Intake Services partners with your firm to design a turnkey solution that uses an optimum mix of people, process, technology and performance-management principles to make sure you see improved efficiencies and measurable results — without disruption to your practice. Canon has been a trusted provider to the legal community for over 40 years. Our experienced team of technology and office support experts can design the right solution for your firm that makes a positive impact on your firm’s workflow from day one. Call us today to schedule an assessment.

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