Automating Your Mailroom? Ask Yourself These 9 Questions First.

Person handling mail in a mail processing facility

Mailroom automation can make a huge difference in how efficiently your business processes and distributes mail. By streamlining the flow of mail throughout your organization, you’ll be able to reduce manual labor, minimize missed communications, and speed up response times. 

To help you maximize the benefits of our mailroom automation service, we’ve put together a list of 10 important questions that will help you, and us, plan effectively for your project. By answering these questions, you’ll gain a better understanding of your business’s needs and ensure you make smart automation decisions for your organization.

1. How Much Mail Do You Normally Receive?

To accurately determine the scale of services your business needs, you should have a general idea of how much mail you expect to receive. Whether it’s 10 pieces of mail a day or a million pieces of mail per month, a ballpark figure will help you estimate costs and serve as our blueprint to ensure we dedicate the necessary resources, such as equipment and staffing, to manage your workflow efficiently.

If possible, anticipate fluctuations in your workload, whether due to seasonal variations or business growth, and plan accordingly. Our mailroom automation service is built on the principle of flexibility, ensuring it can seamlessly adapt to your business’s needs as they change.

2. What Is the Average Number of Pages in Each Envelope?

When a mail item is received, each document inside the envelope is scanned sequentially, creating a single PDF or TIFF. Each is then represented by a single index for organizational purposes, so that searching for just one ID retrieves the entire mail item.

Variability in the types of mail received and the number of pages in each item is anticipated and accommodated for on our end. However, any insights you have into the average page count per envelope can help you get a better sense of your business’s requirements before your project even begins.

This variance not only affects scanning times but also impacts your digital storage requirements, as each item stored will be larger on disk.

3. Do You Need the Envelopes Scanned?

Scanning the envelopes provides a complete digital record of your mail, which can be beneficial for tracking and auditing purposes.

It allows you to see the sender’s information, postmarks, and any handwritten notes without needing access to the physical envelope. This can be particularly important for legal, financial, and compliance-related documents where maintaining a full record is desired.

4. What Kind of Indexing Do You Need?

Proper indexing of files is critical for easy retrieval and management. Typically, naming each PDF file based on specific criteria, such as date, sender, or subject, is sufficient to allow quick text-based searches for mail items.

If you need to search mail items by multiple criteria, we can extract more index fields from each item. This allows you to search by different aspects, such as sender, recipient, or category, making it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for.

This approach saves time and improves operational efficiency, enabling employees to find required documents quickly without sifting through numerous files. Effective indexing keeps your digital archive organized and accessible, which is essential for maintaining productivity and compliance.

5. Do You Need OCR?

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) converts scanned documents into searchable and editable text. This process uses specialized software to analyze printed and handwritten text in the scanned images, converting it into digital characters.

OCR enhances the functionality of your digital documents by allowing you to search for specific keywords or phrases within a piece of mail. While OCR has a minimal effect on costs, it might not be necessary if you only plan to use the index for retrieving mail. However, if you need to perform detailed searches within documents, OCR can be a valuable addition to your mailroom automation.

6. Where Will You Store Your Digitized Mail?

After your mail has been scanned, you’ll need a secure and accessible place to store your digital images. Whether you prefer to use a secure FTP, upload the files into our cloud based document management system, or integrate them into your existing document management system, we can handle it all.

We will organize and index your files to your specifications, ensuring they are ready for immediate use. Then, we deposit them in your chosen location, ensuring that  your digitized mail is accessible, secure, and ready to use by your team without any additional effort on your part. .

7. How Do You Want to Distribute Your Mail?

It’s important to think about how you will distribute your mail throughout your organization. You might need mail sorted by department, priority, origin, or any other criteria.

Defining these requirements ahead of time helps us make sure things are set up so you can get the right documents to the right people as quickly as possible. Different departments or users might also need different levels of access to your mail. By setting this up correctly from the start, you can protect sensitive information, ensuring your business stays compliant with data protection regulations while reducing the risk of unauthorized access.

8. Do You Receive Mail That Requires Special Handling?

There may be cases where certain types of mail require specific handling instructions. For example, letters addressed to a particular department or originating from a specific sender might need special treatment.

You might want physical mail forwarded to a different location, stored for a longer period, or handled in a unique way that aligns with your business processes. Defining these special handling rules from the get-go ensures that your mailroom automation process can properly accommodate your needs, ensuring that important or sensitive mail is managed appropriately. Let us know about any special handling requirements you have ahead of time if possible so that we can tailor our service to fulfill those needs.

9. How Long Do You Want to Store Your Physical Mail?

Deciding on the physical storage of mail after digitization is important for planning space and complying with your retention policies. Some businesses need to keep physical copies of documents for a certain period due to industry or regulatory requirements.

Knowing your storage needs in advance allows us to provide secure storage solutions, ensuring your documents are safe and accessible for as long as needed. This helps maintain compliance and guarantees that you have access to original documents when required. 

Get Started with Mailroom Automation

With over 21 years of document scanning experience, SecureScan is the leading provider of mailroom automation for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Our service helps businesses reduce costs, streamline mail management, and support paperless initiatives, leading to greater efficiency and productivity.

We understand that every business has unique needs, which is why we tailor our service to fit yours. Whether it’s handling high volumes of mail or implementing specialized sorting and storage solutions, we have the expertise to make your mailroom operations seamless and efficient.

To start automating your mailroom, get a free quote from one of our automation experts or contact us for more information about our services. There are plenty of reasons to automate your mailrooom, let SecureScan help you take the first step towards a more efficient, cost-effective, and paperless future.

Read More

Record keeping is an essential part of running any business. It ensures that important information is easily accessible, helps you maintain compliance with various regulations, and supports informed decision-making. While it may not be the most glamorous aspect of business ownership, it is one of the most important. Effective record management can help you streamline

Read Article

A small change is coming to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 2024, in regards to managing reproductive health information. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized these changes in April 2024, bringing in new rules on how this information is handled and protected. Here’s what you need to know

Read Article

Switching from paper to electronic recordkeeping is a big step for any business. Not only will your office be more efficient and less cluttered, but you’ll also be able to eliminate many of the unnecessary expenses associated with paper recordkeeping. However, storing records digitally has its own costs, and being able to calculate and manage

Read Article