If you follow the document and content management industry, it's likely you've heard the term "digital mailroom." Now while scanning, routing, and archiving electronic images of your business letters, trade show invitations, and magazine subscriptions may sound cool, you fail to see what ROI can possibly be gained from digitizing this type of information. The fact is ROI doesn't exist in digitizing the mail many IT professionals commonly receive on a daily basis. The "digital mailroom" name itself is misleading, and I believe this has contributed to a lack of understanding and adoption of a technology with the power to improve your company's productivity and cash flow.
Digital mailroom solutions aren't meant for all mail. They are designed to automate processing and routing of the incoming information that really drives your business, such as the invoices your accounts payable department receives on a daily basis. These documents can cost as much as $20 each to process manually, when you consider the labor and time necessary to key in data, file the documents, and correct for human error. Imagine you could reduce this cost to $3 per invoice through automation. Look also at the order forms and checks your accounts receivable department receives. By automatically processing this information, you can improve your corporate cash flow and improve customer satisfaction by getting orders out more quickly.
Digital mailroom solutions not only automate these and other processes, they allow you to do so within one system. Rather than implement stand-alone solutions for each department, this technology allows documents of all types and sizes, containing different information, to be scanned into one front end device and automatically routed to the appropriate parties. Furthermore, the software automatically classifies documents, eliminating the need for separator sheets commonly used to trigger a system to change templates in order to process different types of information. This vastly reduces the human labor necessary to prepare documents for scanning.
ROI can be found at every corner of digital mailroom technology -- if you stick to the document types that benefit from automation.