2nd April 2015 Posted by David Chescoe

Shared Service Mailrooms – why go digital?

Why Councils should have ‘The intelligent mailroom of the 21st century’ to automatically collect, analyse, recognise and process mailroom documents and data.

Local Government has been leading the public sector into implementing shared services with nearly all councils across the UK currently sharing services with other councils. Councils are already seeing huge financial benefits with an extra £83 million saved between 2013 and 2014, but there is still a long way to go.

Councils are under more pressure than ever to ensure they deal with correspondence and requests in a timely manner. Mergers, acquisitions and shared services in the public sector can make this task even greater by increasing the number of entry points into an organisation.

For councils who are not currently investing in their mailrooms you will find the following article useful. We’ve given an overview of how ‘digital mailrooms’ work, what the benefits are in going digital and why sharing digital mailrooms with other councils is the way forward, to enhance efficiency, increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs.

What are the challenges of standard mailrooms?

Every day councils receive a high number of different types of documents via post, email and fax that require different internal business processes.Digital mailrooms

Reviewing, interpreting and managing all inbound correspondence represents high cost across all councils. Time is also spent entering data and then sending the documents on to other departments for further processing, which consumes company time and resources. There is also a negative impact on customer and supplier responsiveness.

Councils face significant challenges in distributing information to the right person. It takes a huge amount of time and effort to sort, route and prioritise mail and doing this manually leads to errors, delays and lost documents. Especially now as many local government workers are becoming more mobile and working remotely.

How do shared digital mailrooms work?

Digital mailroom services use sophisticated data capture techniques which will sort, scan, validate and extract data from selected mail items such as cheques, letters, emails, email attachments and forms. The image or electronic file will then be routed to the appropriate employee or department for processing.

Digital mailrooms allow you to centrally capture, route and process mail items by merging all incoming information into a single mail handling process, each item is scanned and classified using intelligent capture.

Once the information is scanned the system then ascertains what happens to the document by determining what the document is and who the document is for. A workflow process is then automatically created in order to notify the correct department, individual or system of record and to control the processing of this document to completion. It can then be moved to the correct folder within the appropriate Document Management or line of business application.

The digital mailroom means no more filing cabinets, no more wheeling trolleys of mail around the building and no more sifting through folders looking for lost paperwork, which has always been time-consuming and labour intensive.

What are the benefits?

For councils who are currently working under the ‘Shared Services’ scheme the digital mailroom can have many benefits:

  • Increased staff efficiency and productivity in all departments because of instant and correct distribution of each document
  • Improved customer service by reducing response times
  • Less physical handling
  • Reduced amount of paper produced reducing carbon footprint
  • Reduction of in-house processing errors and noticed or suspected errors can be easily tracked down and identified
  • A customised solution delivered at a reasonable cost
  • Reduced costs to send and distribute documents between remote sites
  • General control of documents which is the basis for further process improvements

Whatever the format or location where mail is received, AAC Systems can help you to achieve faster, more compliant mailroom processing through a single, unified digital solution.

For more information about how we can help please contact us on 01628 421569.


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