June 1, 2012 by Tom Zeliff Categories: Solutions

People have been talking about going paperless since the 90s, yet the use of paper continues to increase for most. According to the AIIM Industry Watch whitepaper, The Paper Free Office – dream or reality?, the consumption of paper and the number of photocopies is increasing in 32% of the largest organizations and in a much higher percentage of small and medium-sized organizations.

Paper invoices typically account for a large percentage of all business mail and, according to the Aberdeen Group, 59% of all invoices still arrive in paper form. I’m sure everyone would love to have all of our vendors, customers and partners send all documents electronically, but it’s still impractical to expect this.

How then do you avoid handling paper invoices, claims, applications, EOBs, correspondence, expense reports, other forms with signatures and the like while also maximizing sharability and searchability?

The Answer: you tackle the problem at its source by outsourcing the mailroom, which includes mail scanning services. Also referred to as “PO box scanning,” this practice can cut your manual mail handling costs by up to 90% with a positive ROI achieved in less than three months, just as many of our clients have experienced.

To find the right PO box scanning partner, you need to find a document management company that has a strong record of offering the following services:

  • Secure PO box set-up
  • Daily pick-up, open, prep, sort, batch, scan, OCR, and index your mail here in the U.S.
  • Upload the resulting document images (PDF, TIFF, etc.) to your document management system for secure storage and retrieval based on individual access rights
  • Automatically trigger workflows according to your business rules, thereby expediting processing and providing tracking and visibility for management
  • Provide reports for exception handling
  • An ability to do all of the above from end-to-end on a same-day basis
  • Shred and recycle all paper not required for storage
  • Box & media storage and records management for documents required for storage

Alternatively, you could invest in high-speed production scanning equipment, design your own workflow automation schema and hire and manage a skilled document management staff. However, do you really want to incur those labor costs as well as a capital expense of up to $100,000 per machine plus recurring software and their recurring hardware maintenance costs—and all the accompanying headaches? Mailroom outsourcing is a line item, worry-free expense.

If you find a good business process outsourcing (BPO) partner for mailroom automation and PO box scanning, you may indeed never have to touch paper again.