Digital Mailroom Automation in 2023
Traditional mailrooms are labor-intensive and time-consuming and, quite frankly, are becoming obsolete. Likewise, growing pressure to cut costs and adapt to hybrid and remote work models is forcing businesses to seek new ways to optimize their workflows and eliminate manual processes.
With the rise of digital mailroom automation technologies, companies can streamline their mail processes, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. Yet, many organizations do not know where to start.
Read this guide to learn more about how your business can leverage automated mailrooms to improve operations and boost productivity.
What is mailroom automation?
Put simply, mailroom automation is the process of automating incoming mail (both physical and digital) and other correspondence by transforming it into structured business data that is then sent to the relevant individuals or fed into processes and systems within your organization.
Mailroom automation can streamline processes such as capturing key data locked within emails, attachments, physical mail, or scanned documents and sending it directly to business applications such as ERPs, CRMs, and accounting software.
How does mailroom automation work?
Mailroom automation has four phases: Input, Classification, Processing, and Business Process.
Source: provided by the client.
Let’s look at what happens at each stage.
The first phase of mailroom automation involves the collection of incoming documents captured through various input channels, including mail, email, mobile, and MFPs.
Automated scanners and other advanced technologies, such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR), are typically used to handle postal mail and accurately read and convert documents. This eliminates the need for manual data entry, reducing the potential for errors and improving efficiency.
Once incoming correspondence has been collected, the next phase of mailroom automation is to classify each item according to its visual and content-based characteristics. This is usually done using advanced algorithms that analyze each type of incoming mail and determine the appropriate destination.
For example, using natural language processing (NLR) technology, you can extract data from the text of emails or even from attachments. Likewise, physical mail can be sorted according to the department or person it is destined for.
Next up is the processing phase, which involves handling each piece of correspondence.
Here, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology help recognize patterns in scanned documents, PDFs, or emails. Later, this data is verified by comparing it against known characters and ultimately converted into editable text for downstream business processes.
The final phase of mailroom automation involves feeding information into an organization's processes and business applications. This usually includes forwarding information to appropriate staff members, updating central databases and ERP systems, or simply archiving.
Above all, information becomes actionable and easily accessible for relevant stakeholders, speeding up workflows and boosting productivity.
What are the benefits of mailroom automation?
Mailroom automation is packed with benefits. Here are some advantages of adopting mailroom automation.
Automation of business processes
In today's fast-paced business landscape, process automation is no longer an option but a necessity for organizations looking to stay ahead. According to a survey by Camuda, 97% of organizations consider process automation a critical component of digital transformation.
One of the main benefits of mailroom automation is the ability to automate routine tasks such as sorting, scanning, and routing documents. This eliminates the need for manual processing, minimizes errors, and, most importantly, boosts productivity.
That said, your employees no longer need to focus on manual data entry and processing, which frees up more time for strategic activities.
Agile business is a data-driven business. But if your critical data lives in paper documents or emails, you cannot derive any analytical value from it.
In 2022, 333.2 billion emails were sent and received globally, so think how much valuable information could have been fed into vital business processes to drive decision-making. When data is not readily available, you cannot act fast, whether we talk about dealing with a complaining customer or processing a vendor’s invoice.
Zapier reveals that 73% of employees spend between 1 and 3 hours looking for information or a particular document. In addition, 76% of office workers spend up to 3 hours on manual data entry.
However, automated document classification and routing can quickly and accurately send documents to the correct department or individual to be actioned. Likewise, organizations can gain real-time visibility into incoming documents’ status and processing. This can help teams prioritize work and make better decisions, increasing agility and responsiveness.
Mailroom automation can also help reduce costs by eliminating the need for manual processing and reducing the potential for errors.
With automation, you can reduce the reliance on paper-based processes, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Automation can also help to cut down labor costs, as fewer employees are required to manage the mailroom process. Besides, it can free up storage space.
Wide use cases
Automating your mailroom offers a broad range of use cases that can streamline operations and drive efficiencies across industries like healthcare, finance, legal services, human resources, education, and government.
In addition, it can aid standard business processes such as accounts payable, customer communications, compliance, and records management.
Each industry and department can benefit from automation in unique ways. For instance, healthcare providers can streamline patient information, while recruiters can automate resume processing. Understanding these benefits can help organizations leverage mailroom automation for maximum impact.
Reduced carbon footprint
Finally, operating a business in 2023 means adopting greener practices—and this is where mail automation can help, too. The technology allows companies to minimize their carbon footprint by reducing reliance on paper, ultimately enabling them to operate more sustainably.
How to implement mailroom automation?
Buying out-of-the-box mailroom automation software is not enough to ensure a successful implementation. You must carefully assess your unique business requirements to leverage the technology for maximum impact.
Here is a simple six-step process:
- Audit your current mailroom: Evaluate your mailroom procedures, including inbound mail volume, document types, and manual document management.
- Set mailroom automation goals: What are you hoping to achieve? Reduce processing times, improve accuracy, or increase agility?
- Choose the right solution: Explore different mailroom automation vendors to find the right solution for your business.
- Ensure staff buy-in: Introducing new technology can be daunting. Educate your staff on your chosen tool and provide adequate training.
- Implement the new system.
- Monitor: Keep an eye on the new system and make adjustments as needed to ensure it is helping you reach your goals.
What are the key features of the mailroom automation system?
When it comes to mailroom automation systems, not all solutions are created equal. You should watch out for the following features and capabilities:
- Advanced OCR and deep learning capabilities.
- Automated capture of various documents from different devices.
- Complex document handling.
- Intelligent data extraction.
- Workflow automation with predefined rules to route information to the right departments and people.
- Low-code or no-code platform for speedier implementation.
- Robust integrations with other business systems for a unified ecosystem.
- Secure storage.
- User-friendly interface to facilitate easier adoption within the organization.
Top mailroom automation solutions in 2023
Nanonets is an AI-powered OCR API that can extract unstructured data from incoming mail within seconds. It is trusted by companies globally and brings high cost and time savings to modern mailrooms. With its compatibility with all operating systems, users can easily integrate it with over 5,000 apps through its API and Zapier integration.
The solution requires little to no training data and offers multiple export options, making it ideal for organizations looking to streamline their document processing workflows. Furthermore, Nanonets offers free plans, 24x7 customer support, free migration assistance, and more.
Overall, Nanonets is an excellent solution for organizations looking to improve efficiency and reduce costs associated with manual data entry. With its AI-powered OCR capabilities, extensive integration options, and multiple export choices, Nanonets is a top choice for modern mailrooms worldwide.
Book a demo and start automating your mailroom.
G2 Score: 4.9/5
Ephesoft is a California-based software company using AI and ML to help businesses automate mailroom processes. They offer automated document processing, including:
- Routing data from various document types.
The vendor claims that their solution is scalable and adaptable to meet the specific needs of different size businesses.
G2 Score: 4.5/5
ABBYY FlexiCapture is a data extraction software that transforms documents into usable, accessible business data, regardless of structure, language, or content.
By automating the entire process from document scanning to data extraction, FlexiCapture for Mailrooms ensures fast, accurate, and secure processing of incoming documents such as invoices, purchase orders, and customer correspondence.
The highly customizable solution allows organizations to tailor the system to their needs and integrate it with existing workflows and systems.
G2 Score: 4.3/5
Rossum is a cloud-based solution that offers intelligent document processing capabilities. It can streamline the document processing lifecycle by automating the complex intake of mail and documents across multiple channels and accurately capturing and verifying data before sending it to its final destination.
Users have reported that the software can quickly scan and extract essential data from various documents, such as invoices and purchase orders. The extracted data can then be validated and automatically entered into other business systems, such as ERP systems, without the need for manual data entry.
However, some users have mentioned that the solution can be costly, which may not be suitable for smaller businesses.
G2 Score: 4.4/5
In a constantly evolving business landscape, quickly capturing, processing, and analyzing information is crucial.
A modern digital mailroom can improve operational efficiencies, compliance, and security while reducing costs and delivering a better customer and employee experience. Most importantly, it can make tremendous bottom-line improvements, so act now!
Nanonets is an AI-based OCR solution that can capture and extract information from incoming communications with 95+% accuracy, trusted by 1000+ partners and counting. Don’t let sluggish mail tasks hold your business back, and let us automate your mailroom for maximum impact!