The Digital Mailroom: Real Answers, Not Just Suggestions
The document capture industry has certainly evolved since 1985. Back then, a proprietary networked Word Processing System integrated with the corporate database meant you were at the top of your game. Scanning into those systems was done through a serial connection and the task was limited to full text OCR with almost no formatting. That really was very impressive stuff then. The systems were expensive and challenging to install, yet easy to use (usually one button like a low end copier). Going paperless also required far more horsepower then.
The scope of capture systems and the technologies have changed, but the questions remain the same. Every year I receive several emails asking these wide-open-ended questions:
- What is the best way to implement a capture system in my environment?
- What are the Best Practices for my industry?
- Where do I go to get information about building the “paperless office”?
- How do I get started?
Participating in industry discussion groups has increased the frequency of these questions. Last year, someone submitted the following questions to the TAWPI Discussion Group:
- What is the best way to setup my mailroom?
- I just inherited a mail operation with large volumes and a variety of mail types. How do I get started?
- Can someone recommend the best way to setup an efficient digital mailroom operation?
Responses came flowing in from the community describing how they process their mail, what hardware or software they use, vendor recommendations, and even invitations to call or visit to see the process they were so proud of. Others suggested attending webinars and trade shows or obtaining white papers and publications to gather preliminary information and learn the jargon being bantered around. There were a lot of good suggestions but not a lot of real answers. Certainly, there is value in many of the responses that she received. However, what she really needed was, “Here’s what we did…,” responses that outline the specifics about the process and results.