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Mail Compliance vs Physical Mail. Is Traditional Mail the Wild West of Compliance?


Mail Compliance vs Physical Mail. Is Traditional Mail the Wild West of Compliance?

Recently, I was talking about digital mail with a woman who runs compliance for a large financial institution. I was talking about the increased responsiveness, decreased cost and added controls of digital mail when she said, “Trust me. I get it. Physical mail is the wild west of compliance.” Until then, I hadn’t really thought about physical mail compliance in such stark terms, but now – Trust me. I get it too.

Table of contents:

Mailing compliance – is it possible?

Every form of digital communication pretty much automatically leaves fingerprints and bread crumbs everywhere it goes.  Even if you didn’t have a dedicated system for digital mail compliance, it wouldn’t take much work to search your archives and figure out pretty much everywhere a document has been, who’s seen it and what they’ve done with it.  

Physical mail compliance is a completely different story. Tracking is the exception, not the rule. It takes a well-defined process, a well-trained workforce, and a lot of time and labor to get any semblance of control…and no matter what you do, the process is subject to a multitude of errors. Lost mail, improper routing, bad or inconsistent judgement – these are just a few of the non-malicious errors that could happen.

mail compliance

Digital mailroom – is it a solution for compliance mail

Digitizing mail at the point of receipt eliminates many of the compliance mail problems. Combining digitized mail with process automation can take you to places that you might have only imagined. A complete automated audit trail of every action taken by every person, automated KPI and SLA metrics, rules-based routing and distributed processing. All while improving your responsiveness and lowering your cost.

At the end of my discussion with the woman who runs compliance, we discovered there’s one more big benefit to digitizing your compliance mail.  She told me, “When the auditors come in and ask us for records about specific pieces of mail going back 12 or more months, it can take us weeks of effort to dig it all out.”  With our digital mail system, it would take less than 30 seconds!

The takeaway

The benefits of digital mail aren’t limited to compliance mail. Mail is pretty much universal. It goes to almost every corner of every business – and everywhere it goes, it’s slow to move, expensive to process, and difficult to track.  Most of your communication has already gone digital but there are still more than 25 billion pieces of B2B physical mail every year. Isn’t it time you cut off the “long tail” of physical mail and relegated it to the past – like the Pony Express and the Wild West.

Wondering how digital mail can benefit your organization? Check out our entry: The four key benefits of a digital mailroom!