Mailroom operations can be a significant drain on a company, taking up valuable employee time and resources. Outsourcing those same operations enables a company to streamline its operations and concentrate on its core competencies.
With Outsource Magazine predicting that “paper isn’t going away in a hurry,” more organizations are focusing on electronic options to reduce the amount of paper they have to manage.
Outsourcers are offering more services for capturing information from paper and electronic documents to provide greater benefit for specific downstream processes and workflows.
According to surveys conducted by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), the strongest reported benefits from replacing physical handling of mail with electronic distribution is “improved searchability and shareability of business documents, easier auditability and compliance, and the enablement of remote working.” The AIIM report adds that a digital mailroom can improve customer service, too, by making incoming correspondence immediately accessible. This is in addition to other benefits, including reduced document storage space and less time and resources devoted to photocopying and filing.
But as with any outsourcing decisions, those involving electronic mailroom shouldn’t be made solely to reduce costs. In the “Dear Workforce” column of Workforce.com, consultant Garrett J. Sheridan reminds us that “important nuances” must be considered in deciding to outsource human resources services, and the answer applies equally to mailroom outsourcing: “Make sure to carefully vet each provider’s capabilities in this area and whether their technologies integrate seamlessly with the tools you choose.”
And, once the decision to outsource has been made and the process has begun, in many ways, so has the real work.
“Like any relationship, ongoing assessment, adjustment and recalibration are critical to longevity and success. Don’t expect perfection out of the starting blocks, but plan and schedule reviews and performance discussions with the vendor,” Sheridan advises. “In summary, get clear about the business case and how you will measure the impact, select the right partner and manage the relationship proactively to maximize the advantages and avoid the common pitfalls of RPO.”