Digital Mailroom Services: Modernizing Mail Management With Automation

Everything you need to know about implementing your own digital mailroom.

Rethink your mail processes

Managing paper mail can be a slow, outdated, and error-prone process. For businesses handling a high volume of mail, keeping up with the constant flow can be both challenging and costly. Hiring staff, setting up a dedicated workspace, and purchasing the necessary equipment to make it all work contribute to the significant expenses commonly associated with processing mail.

Yet, for many organizations, eliminating paper mail altogether isn’t practical or feasible. Thankfully, there is a simple solution that transforms paper mail into digital communications, giving you the benefits operating paperlessly without having to rethink processes that rely on traditional mail.

Outsourcing your mail processing to a digital mailroom service will help streamline mail management and improve operational efficiency, freeing your staff and resources for more business-centric tasks.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about implementing a digital mailroom for your business, including what it is, how it works, and how it can help you manage inbound mail more effectively.

What is a Digital Mailroom?

A digital mailroom (also referred to as mailroom automation) is a service that transforms physical mail into digital files, allowing businesses to access postal mail electronically. It eliminates the need for an in-house mailroom by routing all mail to a third-party facility, where it is sorted, scanned, and distributed electronically to your team.

Outsourcing your mail processing to dedicated team of professionals allows you to reap the benefits of their expertise, training, and equipment, saving your business the time and money while freeing you from the logistics of mail management.

How Does a Digital Mailroom Service Work?

A digital mailroom works by combining both expert mail handling services with professional document scanning and indexing. Here’s is how the process works:

Step 1: Mail Redirection

All incoming business mail is redirected to a secure third-party mail processing facility. This can be achieved simply by changing the mailing address or providing the third party address to vendors and customers.

Step 2: Mail Sorting

When mail arrives at the processing facility, it is sorted and categorized according to the specific criteria set by the business. This ensures that each piece of mail is handled appropriately based on its type and importance based on the business’s preferences.

Step 3: Scanning

The sorted mail is then scanned using high-resolution scanners. Each document is digitized, creating a clear and accurate digital copy of the physical mail.

Step 4: Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

Optionally, the scanned documents can be analyzed with OCR software to extract text and data from the images. This step converts printed and handwritten text from mail items into searchable digital text, making it easier to manage and retrieve.

Step 5: Classification

Using the data extracted through OCR and the key identifiers specified by the business, the mail is then classified into categories defined by the business. This is an important part of the mail organization process, ensuring it is appropriately prepared for electronic distribution to your team.

Step 6: Electronic Distribution

Once categorized, the digital documents are securely transmitted to the appropriate recipients or departments within the organization. This can be done through email, document management systems, or a dedicated SFTP location, ensuring that the mail reaches the right place quickly and efficiently.

Step 7: Secure Storage and Archiving

After the mail is digitized and distributed, the physical mail is stored securely for a predetermined amount of time. This allows the business to access the physical mail item if needed after reviewing the digital copy. If any mail is identified as necessary, it can be sent to an address of the business’s choice.

Step 8: Secure Destruction and Compliance

Once the mail has reached the end of its storage period, it is securely destroyed. A record of the destruction is created to ensure that any sensitive information in the mail is protected. This process helps businesses comply with data privacy protection requirements, ensuring that all physical mail is handled in accordance with legal and regulatory standards.

For a more detailed look at how this process works, see our complete mailroom automation process diagram below:

Diagram: How mailroom automation works
Mailroom Automation Process Diagram

What Are the Advantages of a Digital Mailroom Service?

No matter what type of industry you’re operating in, outsourcing your mail processing to a digital mailroom service like SecureScan offers huge cost and time-saving benefits for your business, including:

Process Your Mail More Efficiently.

With digital mailroom services, your business is able to take advantage of the latest scanning technologies, software, and sorting equipment without having to purchase it for yourselves. 

You’ll get access to the most efficient and well designed systems for quickly and efficiently sorting and digitizing mail, along with highly trained staff members to operate the equipment. 

This combination of expertise and high end equipment is likely more efficient than almost anything your business can cook up on its own.  

Reduce the Cost of Processing Mail.

Mailroom automation is one of the best ways to reduce the expenses associated with processing mail. That’s because with a digital mailroom, you’ll be able to process mail more quickly for less money by simply automating many of the most tedious mail related tasks. 

A digital mailroom also gives small businesses and startups everything they need to manage any volume of mail, without ever needing to hire additional mailroom staff.

Reduce Manual Labor. 

Eliminating the manual labor associated with sorting and distributing mail to your team is a great way to reallocate talent to where it can be truly useful for your business. 

By outsourcing the sorting, capture, and routing of your mail, your employees will have more time to spend on more useful business-centric tasks.

Respond More Quickly to Customers and Vendors.

When customers have questions or concerns, they expect quick responses. Mailroom automation can help you distribute mail more quickly throughout your organization, especially when you have departments that operate out of separate locations. 

Distributing your mail digitally generally means that incoming correspondence gets where it needs to go more quickly. Invoices, customer inquiries, and legal documents can all be delivered digitally directly to the relevant department, ensuring timely responses and faster turnaround times. 

Plus, these departments receive physical and digital mail all in one place, making it easier to stay on top of their communications.

Reclaim Valuable Office Space.

Limited space is a common challenge for many businesses. Office space is expensive, which is why it is important to utilize the space you do have as efficiently as you can. 

Operating an in-house mailroom can occupy space better used for more important purposes, and add to your overall mail processing costs.

A virtual mailroom on the other hand eliminates the need to allocate physical space for processing mail altogether. Your mail is handled off site and delivered to your team digitally, so you can use your office space more wisely. 

Eliminate Satellite Mailrooms.

For large businesses, mail distribution can become overly complicated pretty quickly. And complication creates inefficiency and unnecessary errors. 

Spreading your mail operations out over multiple locations makes it difficult to optimize your processes and can even cause delays and slowdowns in mail delivery. 

A digital mailroom allow your business to consolidate your mail processes into one ultra efficient mail processing pipeline. Receive, digitize, and deliver all of your mail from one location. 

Distribute Mail To Your Team More Efficiently

Digital files can be distributed to your team via email, secure FTP, or uploaded directly into the electronic document management system of your choice, making it easy to share information with the employees who need it. Integrate incoming mail seamlessly with your existing digital workflows, ensuring that all relevant documents are instantly accessible to your team members, all in one place.

Improve the Security of Your Mail.

With our digital mailroom service, your mail is handled by fewer people, reducing the risk of loss or unauthorized access. Our trained and certified staff adhere to HIPAA compliance standards, ensuring your mail is processed with the utmost care and security. Once digitized, your mail can be secured with password protection, access controls, encryption, or any other security features your business deems fit. 

Create an Electronic Audit Trail.

Digitizing your incoming communications creates an electronic audit trail that can be used to track and record every piece of mail from the moment it enters your organization. Since the physical mail is now digital, every interaction with your mail is automatically recorded, helping you meet regulatory compliance requirements and maintain a secure chain of custody over your sensitive mail.

Leverage Data for Smarter Mail Management

With a digital mailroom service, you can gain valuable insights into your mail handling processes. By converting physical mail into digital data, you can analyze patterns, track delivery times, and identify bottlenecks in your workflow. This data allows you to make informed decisions, optimize your mail management processes, and improve overall efficiency. Additionally, having digital records enables you to easily generate reports, monitor compliance, and track key metrics, giving you a comprehensive understanding of your mail operations.

Bonus: No More Junk Mail.

Filter emails based on rules set by your business before it even arrives, ensuring your employees spend less time opening junk mail and solicitations. Control what happens to your mail with a few clicks of your mouse. 

What comes next?

If you’re ready to automate your mailroom with a digital mailroom service, SecureScan can help. With over 21 years of mail handling experience, we’ll eliminate your mail headaches once and for all by providing you with a fully automated, fully staffed mail scanning pipeline capable of handling anything you can throw at it.

Every member of our team is trained in HIPAA-compliant document handling, and our processes and technology ensure your mail is handled with care during every step of the process. Contact us today for more information about how to get started with our digital mailroom service, or get a free quote from one of our scanning technicians.

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