The corporate mailroom is a common roadblock for important business processes. It’s difficult to stay on top of the mail, but critical to do so, because falling behind leads to outstanding invoices, unfulfilled obligations, and expired opportunities. With all of the labor involved—from receiving, opening, and distributing paper mail, to maintaining an empty email inbox, properly managing the mail can create business-wide inefficiencies and increase risks.
Fortunately, there are business process outsourcing (BPO) services that can take on the menial labor of mailroom and email management while providing increased control and accountability for incoming business mail. Here are the 5 signs that an outsourced mailroom might be a good fit for your business.
1. Your inbox is flooded
A neglected inbox—whether digital or physical—is a liability. Old mail and email might contain invoices, customer leads, and other forms of urgent correspondence. Prompt communication is critical when forming new relationships (with customers or job candidates for example), and timely payments are the foundation of a good relationship with your vendors. There could be all sorts of urgent correspondence lying in a backed up mailroom, but it’s impossible to know without going through it all.
You could pay a staff member to sort mail all day, but the more cost-effective approach is to work with a BPO company who can systematically open, sort, and upload the mail to a digital platform for immediate review and action.
2. Mail-related tasks are draining your staff’s time and energy
Opening, sorting, distributing, and processing mail and emails manually is inefficient and a poor use of employees’ time. It doesn’t generate value and can hold up and distract from work that does. By outsourcing your mailroom, you can eliminate logjams due to the volume of incoming mail and emails, reallocate staff to more value added work, expedite the processing of critical documents in accounting, sales, human resources, and other departments, and allow your staff to immediately engage with the mail’s contents. Incoming documents will get processed faster, data will be captured more accurately, and your employees can focus on meaningful and value-added work.
3. You’re managing multiple mailing addresses
Mailroom outsourcing can be a windfall for companies that receive mail at multiple physical and electronic addresses. A BPO company can work with you to reroute your mail to a central location, where it is opened, digitized, indexed, and sent into processing. This is especially useful for accounts payable, sales, human resources and customer service departments because it enables your team to process incoming documents and data quickly from various locations through a consolidated digital platform.
4. You must respond to mail quickly to be in compliance
In some industries (insurance, for example), companies are legally obligated to acknowledge and respond to customer inquiries within a certain timeframe. The Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) had to meet such compliance guidelines—when members file grievances and appeals, the VNSNY must respond within days and be able to prove it. Date stamping and keeping records of all that communication created excessive paperwork and needlessly burdened administrative staff. But by outsourcing the mailroom, VNSNY was able to create a streamlined, digital system to document the receipt of G&A appeals, and keep the company prepared for any audits.
5. Business processes are inefficient and slow
Opening the mail is the first step in a number of business processes, from paying invoices to processing job applications, to nurturing sales leads. Many of these processes require a quick turnaround time to be effective. But that’s impossible when critical documents are sitting in an inbox or physical mailroom. To prevent that bottleneck from ever happening, a BPO company can combine mailroom outsourcing with workflow automation. For example, AP departments that outsource their mailroom will often have their BPO provider load invoices into an automated workflow immediately upon receipt.
Mail-related tasks are a prime candidate for business process outsourcing because the work itself is low value, but the consequences of mistakes can be severe. Mailroom outsourcing frees your employees from dealing with mail all day, and ensures that every piece of incoming mail is received, sorted, and routed in a timely fashion.
If any of these five signs apply to your business, a digital mailroom could be a great way to cut costs and take control of your incoming mail and email.