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Okay, I admit it.  Robots aren’t coming to your office anytime soon – but Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is already here.  Generally speaking, RPA is a way to use software robots to easily automate processes both within the same system and across multiple systems.  RPA automates a lot of clerical processes which drives down costs, while also increasing the speed of processing and the quality of outcomes.

By now, the majority of your communications probably arrive digitally but, as recently as last year, there are still 25 billion pieces of B2B mail annually – the long tail of physical mail isn’t going to go away any time soon.  Most of the remaining physical mail is also transactional which generally means that data needs to be extracted and merged with your existing digital databases and workflow systems.

Data extraction from physical documents isn’t a core function for any business.  It’s a time consuming, labor intensive, expensive, and error prone process whose only purpose is to get the data you need to perform your value adding, core business processes.  RPA is the perfect solution.

Digitizing the physical mail your company receives at the point of acceptance creates a prime opportunity for RPA.  Physical mail is distributed to nearly every area of your business, but there are several processes that are common to the vast majority, if not all, of your mail.

The most common process is sorting and delivery which applies to every piece of mail.  This requires reading the address and routing it to the right destination. In its simplest form, once digitized, RPA can OCR the envelope, look up recipients against a database and route the mail to the right person or group.  RPA can also determine if the mail should be delivered to a transactional user interface, as an email attachment, or even discarded if it is standard class “junk” mail.

RPA can also be utilized to examine mail being distributed to specific destinations, automatically sub-categorize it based on known content types, extract information, and even structure the extracted data so it can be integrated with existing processing systems.

Digital mail distribution and RPA are perfect complements to each other and to your business.  Digital mail distribution is easy to set up and works on virtually all of your mail. By itself, it eliminates mail sorting and delivery, interoffice mail and duplication costs while speeding turnaround times and adding automated metrics, audit and compliance controls.  RPA can seamlessly be added to transactional mail queues to automate the data extraction and integration with existing workflow systems.

The robots are coming…..and they are certain to make your business more nimble and efficient!

Jay Maller
Jay Maller
Jay Maller is the founder and CEO of Eco-mail. He has 30+ years of management experience leading the design, development and implementation of financial products: prime brokerage, hedge fund, portfolio accounting, and fixed-income derivatives trading solutions. As Managing Director at Morgan Stanley, he led the development of the business’ industry-leading client facing applications, proprietary multi-currency portfolio accounting system, and complete re-engineering of all client management workflow systems.

Eco-Mail is a secure, scalable, Digital Post Office system that transforms incoming physical mail into powerful digital assets – at their point of entry to your business. We enable clients to streamline their operations, increase response times, improve their controls and compliance – and, by the way, save a huge amount of money. We’re already helping one of America’s three largest banks. We love to talk about digital mail, so email me direct if you like at [email protected]