Digital Mailroom Can Jump Start Your Digital Transformation

Enterprises are contending with a host of challenges in today’s volatile business environment. Perhaps top of mind is the need to implement new flexible workplace strategies driven by the global pandemic. A recent Washington Post article pointed out that “Workforce experts are bracing for a whole new set of post-pandemic upheavals, in some instances more transformative than the unplanned move to working from home last March, with some making efforts to avoid pre-pandemic remote-work mistakes.” Document digitization has become a major initiative for many organizations as they look to maintain business continuity, minimize risk and enable work from home employees. Supporting remote workers in many cases for the first time includes developing new automated workflows and ensuring timely access to documents and critical business information.

Digital Mailroom Offers a Critical Business Opportunity

Many organizations are choosing to tackle these, and other pressing concerns, by leveraging the power of automation and digital technology. With the right tools and partnerships, digitization initiatives can hone process workflow and help streamline operational efficiency. One critical opportunity to digitize and automate documentation is in the mailroom. Mail is often a chokepoint in a business and has major impact downstream — to manually receive, sort, classify and deliver your mail is labor-intensive and subject to error, all of which can be costly and detrimental to productivity across the enterprise.

Now there is a better way. An increasing number of businesses are looking to meet these challenges — particularly as they ponder their return-to-office strategy — by leveraging the power and flexibility of Canon's Digital Mailroom solution and Digital Intake Centers.

The heart of Canon’s approach is a hybrid mailroom and scanning service that uses specialized mail scanning technology and workflow techniques to convert physical mail into digital information promptly upon receipt. That information is then delivered to employees or into the business workflow electronically, anywhere at any time, allowing employees the convenience of receiving their information quicker and enabling the business to move faster and smarter. Before spotlighting how Canon Digital Mailroom works, let us first take a closer look at some of the business benefits that digital mail offers.

The Six Business Benefits of Digitizing Mail

A digital mailroom system can help improve the flow of information within your organization by delivering six important business benefits. These include the following:

  • Enhanced content repositories. Combining all paper and electronic mail formats into the same document workflow can help make your organization’s content repositories more reliable. This is because an efficient digital mail system provides a more consistent, automated approach to managing incoming documentation.
  • Contained costs. When you automate and digitize your mail intake, it reduces the need for manual interaction — hand-sorting and delivering. This means that critical information can get into the right hands and begin working for you in a fraction of the time, helping to better contain your overhead and liberating talent for revenue-driving tasks.
  • Improved efficiency. Digitizing mail helps you systematize your processes; intake, processing, classifying, and delivering happens automatically, creating a more frictionless experience across the organization.
  • Strengthened security, compliance, and risk management. Our digital intake center approach helps ensure that your mail and sensitive documentation are secure. The increased visibility afforded by digitization allows you to remain compliant with strict audit requirements, allows your organization to pivot quickly in the face of new privacy regulation and strengthens the backbone of your risk management strategy by centralizing and classifying unstructured data.
  • Advanced customer service. Today’s digital customer demands rapid response time. Manual mail processing slows down the flow of business-critical information and delays action that matters to your most important clients. By automating and digitizing, you can increase your response times, better serve customers, and be positioned to increase your top-line growth.
  • Reduced carbon footprint. The overall goal of a digital mailroom solution is to convert paper to digital format the moment it enters an organization. Reduced reliance on paper makes it easier for your organization to support larger goals of environmental responsibility and sustainability. This allows your company to remain true to your sustainability objectives, communicates a positive message to your employees and customers, and helps keep you in compliance with all regulations.

Implementing a digital mailroom in your offices across the country is one important step towards digital transformation, improved data storage and distribution, meeting compliance demands, and maintaining alternative office strategies. Regarding the latter, the progression to hybrid workplace models will likely increase demand for the technologies that are making this evolution possible. Employees expect access to digital solutions that enable them to remain productive as they segue between the company office and the home office. Digital mail can help enable businesses to meet this expectation.

What a Comprehensive Digital Mailroom System Looks Like

An effective digital mailroom system comprises several key elements. Among other benefits, Canon’s approach is designed to streamline mail management operations and reduce response times. It all starts when a customer, business partner or other stakeholder sends mail to your organization.

Canon receives your mail via your mailroom. Our team sorts and prioritizes the mail according to business process rules set by an individual or department. We open and digitize both the envelope and contents for electronic mail delivery. The next step can include the option to automatically classify documents according to agreed-up document types, service level agreements and business rules.

Finally, digital mail is directed to mail recipients who process their digital mail in their home or office, or anywhere they happen to be at the moment. As directed, Canon forwards, stores, or destroys the physical mail that has been digitized.

Canon Digital Mailroom in Action

Let us take a brief look at a digital mailroom system in action. A leading vehicle manufacturing company faced a compelling challenge within its mail and facilities management operations. At the time, another services provider managing these operations did not have the optimal technical and management expertise to maintain activities at peak levels. As a result, the mail operation, which consisted of mail, reception, and vehicle support services, was placing extra administrative burdens on the company’s management team.

The company engaged Canon to implement a digital mailroom solution, which gave employees access to their digitized mail through the company’s email system. As spotlighted earlier in this paper, Canon's Digital Mailroom service enhances efficiency by scanning inbound mail immediately upon receipt, while simultaneously indexing and classifying each mail piece. This digitization and straight-through processing removes many inefficiencies of manual approaches and enables instant delivery of business information to the intended recipient or business workflow. Canon’s current digital mail service for the vehicle manufacturing company supports 300 employees and will shortly add over 150 more users.

In addition to digital mailroom, Canon has other technology solutions for meeting document and package distribution challenges. These include intelligent lockers, which we have deployed at this same vehicle manufacturing company.

The Right Partner with the Right Expertise

Transformation initiatives, including digital mail, do not happen overnight, and they require a strong roadmap built on great fundamentals. As the vehicle manufacturing company learned, implementing digital mail also requires the right partner with the right expertise. Digitizing mail, supported by the right people, processes and technology in conjunction with an experienced business process outsourcing partner like Canon, can help make your organization more agile and better prepared for the workplace of the future. You will be in a better position to reap the benefits of greater efficiency, enhanced compliance, cost reduction, and innovative approaches that can drive your organization’s growth in the days ahead.

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