The Corona virus caused companies to change how they conduct business, and analysts predict some of those changes may be permanent. Much has been written about the adjustments employees made to attend meetings via Zoom or other online solutions, but what about the physical documents that fuel important business processes? How will work from home (WFH) employees get access to those paper communications that continue to arrive at corporate mail centers?
When health experts are discouraging physical contact that can spread the virus, do you really want extra traffic in the mail center from remote employees coming in to pick up their mail? Is sending company couriers out to deliver mail throughout a large campus a good idea? What if addressees aren’t in the office? How long will mail sit in their in-boxes before the employees know it’s there?
In the short term, customers will accept slower service from companies that rely on paper documents. Companies can set up temporary measures to get critical mail to the employees, even if it slows productivity. Consumers know the pandemic-forced business shutdown is affecting everyone. Many organizations are struggling to keep business functioning as their workforce suddenly became 100% remote.
As the health threat lingers however, customers will expect organizations to get a better handle on how to conduct business in this challenging environment. And, if companies transition permanently to a WFH model, they will need to solve the problem of how to get critical paper documents to the employees who need those materials to do their jobs.
This is an issue that didn’t exist when workers received hard copy documents delivered to cubicles by the corporate mailroom twice a day. Because of the Corona virus and changing corporate attitudes about a distributed work force, a fresh way of thinking about mail delivery is in order.
Technology solved the staff meeting challenge with easy access to video conferencing platforms. Uniting mailed documents with WFH employees will also require some technology investments.
Mail Forwarding Services
The tough part about forwarding incoming mail is deciding about the disposition of each mailpiece. The mail center should forward some mail as unopened physical documents, open and scan certain pieces, and shred other mail without forwarding to anyone.
An enterprise can set up rules about forwarding incoming mail, but exceptions will always exist. Often, only the addressee can decide how to handle a mailpiece. No mail center wants to mis-direct sensitive mail or send important documents to the shredder!
In a large corporation or a university that receives thousands of mailpieces every day, the only answer to the mail forwarding challenge is using technology to speed delivery and reduce human intervention. An institution may already have inbound mail sorting equipment, but when the workforce is scattered as it is today, they need more capabilities.
First, set up the incoming mail rules. Typical everyday mailpieces like bill payments, for example, are easily identified and the destination for the mailpieces is clearly defined. Mail addressed to individual employees, however, probably require their evaluation before the mail center can take action. The employee should be able to view images of unopened mailpieces and decide if the piece should be trashed, forwarded to them, or opened and scanned.
In-house or Outsource?
Technology developed by Tritek can scan and record images of mail regardless of size and shape. Our user-friendly rules engine captures data from scanned images and uses that information to route the images to the addressees. If employees have left the company or changed jobs, the system can route the scanned images to their replacements.
For some organizations, installing and operating the scanning and sorting equipment is the right answer. They need to establish and maintain control over the mailpieces from the moment they arrive in the corporate mail center. Tritek’s Digital Email Delivery Solution includes our versatile feeding, scanning, and sorting equipment paired with the Tritek rules engine. The system notifies employees, delivers mailpiece images via email, and allows employees to decide how to handle each piece. Tritek’s equipment labels each piece with a time stamp, assigns a unique ID number, and logs the activity.
In other cases, an outsource arrangement makes more sense. With this solution, the outsource company picks up their client’s inbound mail every business day and runs the Tritek systems that handle the scanning, forwarding, and employee notification tasks as a service. Tritek Technologies operates such outsource mail forwarding service bureaus in selected cities in the United States.
WFH Employees Need Modern Tools
The work-from-home transition has forced organizations to re-think how they operate. The pandemic made it impossible to continue business as usual. Workflows that depend on daily delivery of physical documents are one of those areas likely to change as companies abandon the centralized office model. Technology like video conferencing, VPN’s, and digital mail forwarding will play important parts in the transition.