Why Southeast Asia Needs Smarter Mailrooms
Organizations are revisiting and reinventing many aspects of their operations, including traditional mailrooms.
Due to the pandemic, a full year has passed without the benefit of having on-site employees to manage the influx of paper-based content. As remote and hybrid work environments have fast become the norm, converting documents and correspondence from paper to digital formats has become must more than a nice-to-have.
During the pandemic, with travel restrictions and border controls, air freight capacity and frequency to and from Singapore has been drastically reduced. As a result, postal and courier services have been limited or suspended, which severely impacted the delivery of mail and paper-based correspondence. In Malaysia, postal services and deliveries are delayed as various restrictions are still in place. With mail and parcel stuck in post offices, the correspondence may not reach the recipient on time or worse, not get delivered at all.
The pandemic has sparked a disruption of mail delivery, and the ongoing crisis will compel organizations to deploy a more robust solution to support the remote workforce. In fact, the global market is booming with the rising adoption of document management services among enterprises projected to reach USD 57.56 billion by 2027.
As businesses send and receive information with customers, suppliers and co-workers day in and out across multiple channels and in varied formats, paper mail, faxes and emails can pile up quickly. To ensure operational efficiency and quality customer and supplier service, businesses must be able to handle large volumes of incoming documents—even with a distributed workforce. Further complicating matters, it’s generally understood that most inbound mail items are transactional in nature. In other words, incoming information plays a vital role in various business processes.
However, capturing a document in digital format isn’t sufficient to keep business processes running smoothly unless it gets to the right person at the right time. This means that each piece of mail must be categorized by type, and essential data needs to be extracted to the correct format and delivered promptly to the appropriate business process.
While many companies are still sorting and extracting their mail manually, this approach can be inefficient, time-consuming and highly prone to error. Sales orders, contracts, medical bills, invoices, customer messages and expense reports are just a few examples of the documents received in volumes each day. With slow and tedious manual processing, it’s easy to see how companies can fall behind with their mail.
How can organizations tackle the mailroom dilemma more effectively? The solution lies in a digital mailroom that automates the collection, extraction, classification and validation of incoming information. Organizations that step into the “modern mailroom” today benefit from a long list of advantages, and those who have already made the switch are seeing tangible results.
5 Benefits of a Digital Mailroom
- Reduced costs: Manual processing is slow and costly. Automation, on the other hand, reduces operating costs. Intelligent automation also allows you to scale centrally managed mailroom operations across the enterprise and maximize resources.
- Improved speed: Customers and suppliers expect an immediate response. Despite the volume of documents businesses receive, they should be able to respond to correspondence in a timely fashion. By converting incoming unstructured content into business-ready data, businesses can vastly accelerate document processing. Moreover, exceptions can be handled in minutes rather than days.
- Improved security and reduced risk: It’s all too easy to misplace an important document and the risk of unauthorized access is also high. With a digital mailroom, businesses can create high-quality and encrypted digital images of incoming documents for enhanced security. Business rules can also be applied to ensure the organization remains compliant with relevant industry regulations.
- Improved accuracy and customer experience: Manually processing documents and keying in information into systems can increase the risk of data entry errors. Automation eliminates errors during the extraction and validation process. Customers (and suppliers) will appreciate the speed at which you respond to their issues and questions, and improved accuracy creates a more positive experience. With better data, companies also can create a more personalized experience and communicate with customers in their preferred channel.
- More visibility and actionable insight: With a digital mailroom, information coming into the organization is extracted, classified and validated, and converted to structured data that’s then fed into enterprise systems. Businesses can monitor the flow of information throughout the entire customer journey and use the actionable data gathered to improve business processes over time.
Innovative companies are saying goodbye to mail bins and delivery chutes and saying hello to intelligent automation, and optimized digital mailroom services can prove to be of utmost importance to an enriching customer experience.
This article is written by Zakir Ahmed, Senior Vice President & GM - Asia Pacific & Japan at Kofax