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What the heck is a “Post-Delivery, Content-Based Sub-Sort?” And why should you care?


Why the heck is a “Post-Delivery, Content-Based Sub-Sort” and why should you care?

Call me crazy, but I love talking about post-delivery, content-based sub-sorts. Yes, it’s a mouthful. And, yes, when I first mention it, I usually get responses that range from, “What language are you speaking?” to “How soon can we end this meeting?”

But what I love about this mind-numbing tongue-twister is the delight I see when prospects and clients hear me explain exactly what it means — and understand, in one moment, that I’m talking about the root cause of a huge amount of needless expense and inefficiency in their business. Then I go in for the kill, and tell them the right digital mail system can obliterate the problem — offering dramatic cost savings and increased efficiency in one simple solution.

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Apologies for the hype, but it’s easy to see that just saying post-delivery, content-based blah-blah would put you to sleep faster than a hypnotist’s swaying watch. So let’s get down to the explanation. Research shows that about 75% of your paper mail 1) is addressed to workgroups, not individuals, and 2) is transactional (meaning it requires something to be done). When you look at each group’s workflow, the first thing you notice is that the mail is almost never homogeneous. Which means that, necessarily, a team of subject-matter experts must open the mail and decide which sub-task it relates to, based on the contents of the envelope. Presto! Post-delivery, content-based sub-sort!

Postal delivery system in corporate world

In the corporate world, this means someone opens the envelope, extracts the contents, decides what sub-task it should be assigned to, repacks the envelope, marks and sorts each piece, and physically packs it up for redelivery to the right subgroup. It’s a time-consuming, labor-intensive process, and — unless every workgroup is close to where the sub-sorting is done — it often results in further time and expense, rerouting physical items via interoffice mail.

You’re probably starting to understand how wasteful tradition postal delivery system is, but I’m just getting started. This activity is universal and ubiquitous – it happens in every building, in every department, in every corner of your organization.

But wait, it gets better (or should I say worse?). Often, the content ultimately gets scanned, so it can be maintained digitally. In some cases, this is done with efficient, high-speed scanners. But if the volume isn’t large enough, it happens at low speed with higher cost labor. Sometimes, the workflow is complex and copies are made to facilitate parallel processing. So now it isn’t just one piece of mail being carted around your organization, it’s suddenly become 2 or 3 or 5 pieces… Yikes!

Opening, closing, packing, shipping, scanning, copying… Once you start to think about it on a business-wide scale, you quickly realize this is a BIG problem. However, you don’t have to worry (but you can if you want to) because this problem can be solved with a cost-effective digital mail solution.

cost-effective digital mail solution

Digital mailroom explained

The right digital mail system understands it isn’t just about initial delivery. It’s about getting the right content to the right place(s) in the quickest and most efficient manner possible. Everything is scanned at the point of entry, on high-speed scanners, by low-cost production workers. It gets digitally delivered to the best destination that can be determined from the addressing data — which no longer needs to be near where the mail is received. If it needs to be sub-sorted, that happens with a single click that replaces opening, closing, packing, and shipping – so a massive job just became trivial. If it needs to go to multiple places – well, that’s just automatic, with no copying at all. The right system also builds audit trails and metrics, so no mail gets lost, and you can actually see and manage how quickly and efficiently each process is running.

That’s why I love talking about post-delivery, content-based, sub-sorts. Because, at the “aha moment,” it makes our digital mail system seem like a digital magic system. Abracadabra, it makes costs and inefficiencies disappear from every corner of your organization. It also improves workflow, you can read about it in our post dedicated to workflow integration.