For organisations with several departments, the simple process of opening mail could take hours! Not only does our digital mailroom save employees time and resources, but also improves the visibility of information entering the business. Offering a same-day mail scanning service, we will collect, digitise, and upload the scanned mail into dedicated employee or department folders within your chosen document management system for instant and secure access. 

Cull’s Digital Mailroom solution automates the capture of all incoming mail and delivers structured electronic information to workflow processes, business systems, and content repositories. A digital mailroom solution replaces manual processes for managing high volumes of information from a wide variety of sources – it provides touchless processing solutions that reduce the effort to understand incoming information and decide what to do with it and where to send it within the organization.            

So, where do we start?  

Let us look in more detail at Cull’s Digital Mailroom solution, the technology, and processes required. 

When opening mail, inbound documents in most businesses arrive in either paper or digital format. An effective process must encompass both, treating mail in a uniform way, following the same classification, action, and routing process. 

It arrives, it needs opening! And this is the starting point for the technical revolution. Automated envelope openers and separators will help speed up this part of the process, working up to 100 times faster than manual workers. And whilst envelopes arrive in all manner of shapes and sizes, the technology exists to cope with this variation.  

Separation 

The task of separating the mail into its component parts is still a manual process. Each piece of mail needs sorting according to the number of documents in the envelope to ensure multi-page documents are scanned and classified as one. QR codes or barcodes act as separators to automate the separation process when feeding documents into scanning machines. Physical attachments such as staples and paper clips will of course need to be removed prior to scanning.   

Scanning

Advanced scanners, which are designed for handling huge volumes of mail, have robust paper feeds that can handle paper that is up to A3 in size. Both sides of a sheet can be scanned simultaneously, and any blank pages can be removed.

Scanning to a high-quality resolution is imperative to allow for accurate optical character recognition (OCR) required for the next process of classification. Speeds of up to 200 pages per minute can be expected. Scanned documents are now in electronic format, just like emails, and, at this stage, all mail is handled according to set company protocols.  

Classification   

Classification of correspondence is required to aid the routing and distribution process, in order to identify which department the correspondence should be sent to.

Classification needs to mirror the structure of the company i.e. it must be departmentalised according to whether it is destined for the accounts department, sales, marketing, HR, and so on. Rules are set up so that the software treats incoming mail according to its content and OCR technology will identify certain parameters to help it direct mail accurately.

For example, it can be programmed to search for the word ‘invoice’, ‘order’, ‘job application’ etc. It is helpful to introduce a system of document coding, using reference numbers that can be easily associated with a department, or even an individual within a department. The more sophisticated this area of the process is, the more accurate the routing of mail will be.    

Verification   

Inevitably, there will be items of mail that cannot be recognised, though over time this will diminish as the system ‘learns’ new key identifiers. Classification technology allows for setting confidence thresholds in which any documents of concern are sent to the verification team for human intervention. This ensures a high degree of accuracy to ensure documents are not misrouted or stuck in the wrong queue. 

Routing  

The distribution process can be programmed to consider the workload of everyone in a department carrying out the same role, to distribute work evenly, and to allow for employee absences.  This ensures minimum time delays in dealing with the correspondence. Cull’s Digital Mailroom technology can be designed to integrate at this stage with existing business systems. Emails can be sent, databases updated, and queues fed evenly.  

Electronic Storage  

With the intelligent recognition working out what all the documents are, and with the routing making sure the documents are sent to the right people, the next step is to ensure the documents are kept secure in a central location. A document management system installed as part of a Digital Mailroom solution provides a secure repository for inbound documents. It also enables fast retrieval at any point in the future of any of these documents using a simple search.  

COVID-19

Digital Mailrooms provide an additional benefit during the current COVID-19 pandemic in that all mail is instantly available to staff who are working from home. Even when staff are in the office, digital mail is available on your computer so aids social distancing and reduces touch points. 

Contact Us Today

Digital Mail has long been a smart move for businesses looking to save time, improve efficiencies and develop a competitive advantage, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, you can now protect your staff and better enable remote working practices. 

Contact us today to find out more about Cull’s paperless solutions and discover how our Digital Mailroom can transform your business.

Many businesses still receive a large volume of inbound mail each and every day. This mail is typically opened, sorted, categorised and distributed across the business to the relevant teams. This requires a mailroom and a team of staff who can manage this process. 

Then came COVID-19 and we all started working from home. Now, running a mailroom and distributing that mail is more complicated than ever before. This a difficult, time-consuming process further complicated by remote working to help combat the pandemic. 

Digital mailrooms, whilst not an entirely new concept, are perfectly suited to help simplify mail in modern businesses that may have some or all staff working from home or different locations. 

With a digital mailroom, your post is routed to a third-party organisation who then open, sort, scan, index and electronically distribute your incoming post. This provides secure, instant access from any location in the world – all you need is a web browser. 

Digital mailrooms have been attractive for some time now, as with all smart digitisation, they improve operations whilst saving time and money for the business. But now, in the age of COVID-19, digital mailrooms now provide further benefits, simplifying access for remote workers and removing risks associated with physical contact and sharing of documents. 

In this article, we take a look at 5 key benefits of Cull’s Digital Mailroom service for businesses that are forging on and looking to stay operational and competitive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Improved Remote Working

  • Give your remote teams the ability to access and manage daily post digitally online.
  • No more physically handling and distributing mail. Move to Cull’s Digital Mailroom solution where your mail is digitally available 24/7 from anywhere on any device.
  • Get mail out to your teams faster and give them the power to securely access documents and manage their tasks from the office, at home, or on the go.

2. Improved Efficiencies and Response Times

  • Cull’s fast digital mailroom process of inbound mail gives you the ability to have mail delivered digitally into your workflow within just a few hours of the mail coming through the door. This increase in response times will improve service quality and customer service as well as speeding up cash flow.
  • Cull’s Digital Mailroom service allows organisations to focus on key business areas, to maximise value, and increase productivity.

3. Reduce Costs 

  • Most of Cull’s Digital Mailroom clients see a reduction in cost and return on investment within the first month.
  • Many organisations do not realise the amount of resources and money lost simply opening, sorting, and distributing mail. With Cull’s Digital Mailroom, you could use this resource to focus more on key performance duties and save on the overhead cost of an internal mailroom.

4.  Keeping You Safe and Compliant 

  • All documents are captured and recorded upon entering the organisation, giving you fewer touch points on paper mail and no chance of business-critical post getting lost or misplaced.
  • Paper records are digitised and audit trails are secured.
  • With our Digital Mailroom, categorising, maintaining and retrieving legal documents is made quick and simple. This means no more storing in filing cabinets or trying to find the key for the archive room.

5.  Reclaimed Operations Space

  • Outsourced mail operations can free up space for other business needs allowing the organisation to condense its physical footprint for cost reduction and social distancing.

Are you ready to go digital?

Paper mail is still an important part of many businesses. But, utilising a digital mailroom allows you to save money, speed up mail processing, make mail available remotely to staff, and helps you create a COVID-19 friendly workplace. 

To find out how you can improve efficency,  reduce costs and operate in a COVID-19 secure way with a digital mailroom – get in touch today. 

The Problem

Omega Facilities Management deals with hundreds of contracts and customer files relating to security and cleaning agreements with their clients. The office was very paper heavy and it could sometimes take a couple of days retrieve information from previous contracts.

The paper files are regularly updated and added to, however there were no digital backups which was a concern to Managing Director Derek Walsh.

The Solution

Derek recognised the need to look at the digitisation of these files, as well as providing the company with a quick indexing and search function for the future. By working with Jamie Lloyd at Cull Paperless, Derek was able to send off the historic files for scanning and storage, then could upload the digital copies to his own backed up network.

This has enabled Derek to access historic files in seconds, and also future proofs the system notes – allowing staff to add to the current customer folders digitally. The solution saves both valuable staff time, stationery and paper costs, as well as prime city centre real estate in the office, to allow for the company to expand its staff.

Omega

The team at Cull Paperless is brilliant. From initial meeting with Jamie, it was clear he wanted to know all about our business to ensure we faced little disruption to our working day. Secondly, we looked at how we wanted the files scanned, indexed and bookmarked. At this point, Jamie introduced the Bureau Manager Stuart, who talking us through the processes his team goes through to ensure a quick and accurate scanning and filing process. This put our mind at ease from day one, and the speed and professional of Jamie’s team ensured we faced practically no business disruption. We had some live work scanned too, and we couldn’t stress enough how quickly we needed the files back. Cull Paperless accommodated this request with ease, and had the files back 2 days before our deadline. We can’t recommend them enough.
Derek Walsh, Managing Director, Omega FM

Filing has been part and parcel of business for centuries. But have you ever asked yourself how much it actually costs? Even in the days of the “information age”, the sheer volume of non-electronic information is enormous. It’s expensive in terms of filing cabinet space. It’s expensive to file and retrieve. And there’s always the risk that a disaster like fire, flood or malicious damage could play havoc with your data.

In today’s immediate world, everything is needed yesterday. If you can’t keep up to speed, you stand to lose existing and new business. Professional and government bodies are also becoming more demanding with the threat of random checks at a moment’s notice. And of course, there’s a plethora of official documentation that needs to be instantly accessible to ensure you’re in compliance.

Factor in the administrative problems of your electronic data…”lost” files, network security intrusions, and so on… and the damage to your bottom line becomes even more obvious. With margins tight and markets more competitive, this is damage that your business could well do without.

Electronic Document Management (EDM) solutions have been on the market for a number of years. But up to now, many of these were out of the reach of the small to medium business. However prices have come down to such a level that a sophisticated, easy-to-use EDM system can cost as little as £1 a day per user to run – that’s less than the cost of four first class stamps.

This means that EDM is now in the reach of even the smallest business. But is EDM for you? Will it bring you dramatic business benefits that show up in your bottom line? Is it easy to install and master?

Our 7 part special report on the key things you must consider before you invest in document management software starts here…

Part 1. Time, space, lost business… Conventional filing may cost more than you think.

Despite the “information age”, most small to medium businesses still depend on archaic methods of document storage. Certainly, a large proportion of information is now stored electronically, but many documents still end up in conventional filing cabinets.

Neither is ideal. Especially when you’re trying to compete in a faster, ever more demanding market. And of course, you can never predict when a document has been misfiled or completely lost, or anticipate disasters like flood, fire, malicious damage or power cuts. All of which, without adequate backup, could seriously affect your business.

How much is your valuable time worth?

Hard copy filing is expensive in terms of time – statistics show that a single document can cost as much as £15 to file*. When you consider how many documents get filed every day, the cost to your business soon mounts up.

Conventional filing is also expensive in terms of the valuable space it takes up. (A filing cabinet costs a company on average £500 a year in floor space rental costs alone*.) And even when you store information electronically, documents are “not found on the system”, corrupted or you simply can’t remember where you filed them.

Statistics show that, on average, staff spend 10% of their time looking for information*. That equates to nearly four hours a week – half a day’s work wasted on hunting for information just to allow people to do their jobs properly. If you were to cut this down to just seconds rather than hours – across every area of your business, and for every member of staff – the savings could mount into tens of thousands of pounds per annum.
And remember, these savings are then available to invest in your business to create even bigger profits.

How much are your customers worth?

The pace of our working environment is getting faster as we endeavour to keep up with the increasing pressures of immediacy.

Customers want everything now, and they’ll let you know the minute they’re dissatisfied. Businesses simply can’t afford not to keep up with these demands. And when it’s customer service that separates the good from the bad, if your information retrieval isn’t up to speed, you don’t just risk losing existing customers, you risk missing out on new business too.

How much is your reputation worth?

These days there seem to be more official rules and regulations than ever. You’re not simply expected to comply with the ethos of these official bodies, but also the specifics of internal procedures, for example the handling of documentation going forward. And there’s always the pressure of knowing that they could check up on you at any minute, demanding to see a client file from years back which may have been archived – or even
misfiled. These coupled with regular audits and investigations compounds matters still further.

At best, the very thought of an official audit can result in days of additional administrative work. At worst, you run the risk of being fined, losing your accreditation and tarnishing your reputation as a 21st century organisation that takes its business and customers seriously. All of this is stressful, costly and time-consuming, and it’s not what you’re in business for.

How much is a simple solution worth?

Electronic Document Management (EDM) is much simpler than it may at first sound. Essentially, it brings all forms of information together into one central electronic repository.

In other words, all your in-going and out-going correspondence, email, internal communications, transactions, official documentation, customer records, supplier information – in fact everything that would conventionally been stored in filing cabinets or your PC network – is stored in one instantly accessible and secure place.

Here are just some of the benefits that EDM brings to your business:

  • The latest generation of EDM solutions are easier to use and more cost-effective than ever before, with full training available
  • Fast information retrieval time maximises your working time
  • Productivity is improved, giving you a competitive edge
  • Storage costs are reduced and office floor space can be used more cost efficiently
  • Sharing of information is more effective and efficient
  • Easy remote access for off-site working
  • Easy compliance with both internal and external operating procedures

A good EDM system costs less than you think. Once the preserve of large corporations, prices have come down so much that the technology is now easily available to the small to medium business at an affordable price. So much so that some EDM systems cost less than £1 a day per user to run.

Culls’ solution and service portfolio enables us to cater for the full document management lifecycle. Whether the need is an in-house document management solution, an outsourced scanning service or even a feature rich cloud based EDRM solution, Cull can deliver. We work with you to understand your business needs and budgetary constraints to arrive at a bespoke solution.

The Customer               Jackson Lees
Sector                             Legal Firm
Document Type           Matter Files
Volumes                        8,000,000 pieces of historical paperwork. Over 100,000 pages converted each month

Jackson Lees

Jackson Lees are a progressive legal practice in the North West serving clients both locally and nationally. Jackson Lees advise private and business clients providing a full range of services including Accident and personal injury, clinical negligence, family law, wills, trusts and estates amongst others. For the commercial sector, they advise on a full spectrum of issues including Commercial Litigation and Commercial Property, as well as Employment Law, Business Services and Corporate.

The Issue

Like most Law firms, Jackson Lees deal with a huge volume of paperwork. As the burden of storing records grey, they established a central off site location to store all documents ensuring they were meeting with stringent legal requirements. As government and SRA requirements have evolved it means that documents need to be kept for long periods and sometimes indefinitely. The Principals realised that the total volume of files stored with constantly increase and taking extra storage space was not an option.

The Solution

The solution was simple. Jackson Lees needed a solution that could store all of their documents electronically as well as the capability of converting them. Combining FileDirector Document Management software with the Cull bureau service has enabled Jackson Lees to free a huge amount of space, increase business efficiency and dramatically improve business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities.

Feedback

We have now disposed of our central storage unit, and we can find everything we need at the click of a button. This allows us to work more efficiently and has save a considerable amount of space.
Ian MacGregor, Managing Principal, Jackson Lees

How does it work?

Our bureau service works by scanning your hard copy paperwork, putting it onto CD or into our web hosted document management system. You make the decisions as to whether you have the hard copies destroyed or kept in deep storage.

It sounds good, but I think we’re too small for this.

We don’t just do work for large organisations, in fact even if you just have a small number of documents that need to be scanned, perhaps just to create space, we can help.

We offer a free demonstration and sample, which is non-committal. Once you see the benefits, you will have a better understanding of why so many NHS Trusts, Councils, blue chip organisations and SMEs alike have decided to switch to electronic document management with Cull Paperless Solutions.

This sounds like hard work, I don’t have the time to sort through my documents.

You need not do anything. We will re-box, collect and deliver, as well as de-stapling and even taking the creases out of the documents before scanning.

But I need to keep certain files for a set amount of time.

We do understand that certain files need to be kept for example invoices, HR records, payroll documentation and other industry specific paperwork. However, by using a recognised scanning bureau like Cull Paperless Solutions and or have the correct software system to do it internally, scanned representations paper documents are legally admissible and the originals can be destroyed.

Our Data is sensitive how can we be sure it’s in good hands?

We do understand the sensitivity and confidentiality of your data, but let us assure you your data will be in very safe hands here at Cull.

We deal with lots of sensitive data on a regular basis through a number of different clients ranging from medical records, HR records, bank records and even government restricted information. All of our staff have been positively vetted by the National Nuclear Corporation, BAE Systems, The Home Office and many more. In addition all staff have signed a lifetime Non-Disclosure Agreement.

Historically we have also held the list ‘X’ classification whilst processing MOD information and we are still registered with the Data Protection Act.

If you require any information on how well we handle this kind of data please feel free to contact any of our customers that have audited our premises: The Home office, Ministry Of Defence, BAE systems, National Nuclear Corporation, Marks & Spencer money, Rhodia Pharma and the British Standards Institute.

I like it, how much will it cost?

A consultant can pop in to explain pricing, legal admissibility etc for your documentation. We will carry out a brief survey of your archive and where possible process a small sample. This will cost you NOTHING, just half an hour of your time. Any further queries or concerns you may have can also be answered at this time. Cost depends on a number of factors including quality, size and amount, and we know from experience that no two companies paperwork is alike.

Ok, Sounds good. What next?

Well, here is the easy bit. Either call us on 0151 638 6000 or contact us here and we can arrange to set up an appointment for one of our team to come in for a chat.