A mere 35 years ago, in 1980, your enterprise was completely paper-driven. No PCs, no Internet, no email. Maybe there was a mainframe or two hidden in a data center, but you were barely aware of it. If you were a bank, say, your tellers stuck customers’ passbooks into mechanical printers to record transactions.

Now, fast forward to 2017: You’ve got e-mail. Internet file sharing. Intuitive user interfaces on mobile devices everywhere. Everything you do is digital. And — as we often take for granted — those digital assets are powerful. You can move them around the world in the blink of an eye. Extract them from one system and put them in another — easily. Mine that data in dozens of useful ways, and discover profitable innovations you’d never realized before.

Bottom line, digital data is an integral part of your business. Yet you’re still receiving thousands of pieces of paper mail, on a daily basis, and handling it with archaic technology. It’s like a virus, slowly and silently draining money, time and energy from your business.

Exaggeration? Think about what goes on in the average corporate mailroom. Physical paper mail comes through the door, where people sort it into cubbyholes. Then, they put sorted mail in a cart, and walk around to deliver it by hand. In larger organizations, there are multiple mailrooms, even more sorting, plus interoffice mail – routed and redelivered while still on paper.

All this, before the mail reaches its first delivery destination. Afterwards, depending on its content, it may be opened, resorted, repacked, copied, scanned, redelivered by interoffice mail, maybe even reprinted at some remote destination.

Moving your business at digital speed? Not hardly.

Ultimately, you’ve got multiple people doing a whole lot of work, based solely on the physicality of your incoming mail. Eventually, someone in some relevant department may be handling it as a digital scan. But at that point, somewhere downstream, it’s still not a truly powerful digital asset, because it’s not fully integrated into your digital-first, 21st-century business. It’s just one stand-alone scan of one paper document – with no controls and no managed workflow.

Oh, and by the way, before that first scan happens, it can get lost.

This rampant inefficiency is embedded in the day-to-day of your organization, and distributed far and wide throughout your business, with paper mail arriving from thousands of different mailers: vendors, customers, partners, receivables, payables, more. So, what can you do about it?

Turns out there’s a remarkably clear-headed answer: Digitize your mail at the point of entry. Transform it from a 20th-century remnant into a powerful digital asset – the moment it enters your space. Now, you can make that initial scanning exponentially faster and more efficient. Eliminate all that needless physical sorting and delivery. Move assets around the world at the speed of light. Respond to your customers faster. And cut costs dramatically. (I’ll tell you more about that next time.)

If paper mail is a virus, it’s a stealthy one. It creates pain points, sure, but they’re seemingly small, and spread to every corner of your business. But taken as a whole, the problem is gigantic. By fixing it at the point of receipt, you create massive economics of scale that make more and more sense to businesspeople, the higher you rise towards the C-suite. Present executives with a strategic, enterprise-strong solution to this long-term legacy problem, and they’ll see the benefits – not just of cost savings, but of speed, flexibility, responsiveness, control, and regulatory compliance. The hidden problem reveals itself, and it begs to be solved.

We have that solution. More on that soon, too.

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]