Physical mail is the “wild west” of compliance and process controls in your business. In the past 30 years, the vast majority of your company’s work has become digital: email, web, and digital files, all accessed electronically via easy user interfaces that let you, sort, search, and share the data. Now think about the physical mail coming into your business. Until someone opens and copies it, it can’t be shared. Unless someone digitizes it, it can’t be searched. If it’s delivered to the wrong place, it can easily be lost. If the recipient is on vacation or leave, it may well sit gathering dust.

Horribly inefficient, right? It gets worse. Want to know who saw a document, what actions were taken regarding it, by whom and when – good luck, there are virtually no controls on physical mail. It’s an anachronism, a legacy process that’s slowly going away but has a “long tail” that’s expensive and, until now, difficult to eliminate.

Digital mail is the answer. Scan all of your mail at the point of entry and everything changes. Physical paper that’s clumsy, isolated and dumb suddenly becomes a smart digital asset that can be moved, managed and tracked as easily as all your other digitized info.

In contrast to the wild west of physical mail, digital mail is driven by rules, rules, rules. Rules about where to send a document, who can see a document, and what they can do with it. Rules about what happens when it hasn’t been acted upon after a specific period of time. Rules that equal superior controls. And all these controls are only possible because digital mail is automatically gathering data instead of dust – building a complete audit trail of every action from the minute it hits the system.

Digital mail also helps you manage your business better.Those extensive, detailed audit trails are easily interpreted to generate metrics about your operations that you never had before. How many pieces of mail came in, which departments got more of it, how long it takes to process each piece (first day, second day, nth day), how many people touch it along the way.

Bottom line, your controls just get better and better. And your transparency soars. Say you’ve got an audit for a compliance issue. With a digital mail system, you can simply tell it: “Show me all the documents sent to John Doe in the month of May 2016, and who touched them when, and exactly what happened to them.” With digital mail you get an answer in seconds. With physical mail…never.

Often, physical mail is so ingrained in your business that you rarely think about its drawbacks. But, put it in the context of the rest of your digitally enabled business, and its antiquated, expensive nature becomes glaringly obvious. A smart solution – one that gathers data instead of dust, from the first point of entry – can be a critical part of your business’s future.

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]