The Inevitable Mailroom.
By Harry Herget
Question: When you Google the word “Mail”, what do you find?
Answer: “eMail” subject matter.
Warren Buffet says that one of his guiding principles is to invest in “inevitability”; in things that are bound to happen and we can’t avoid.
Growth in eMail volume is inevitable.
Decline in USPS Mail volume is inevitable.
Volumes for both are in the billions.
Ergo: The time is now for The Inevitable Mailroom.
Almost all documents today are created from a digital data source. Their design, processing, delivery and archiving all take place on a digital platform that is better, faster and cheaper than the old, labor and cost intensive way we handled documents just a generation ago.
The new, Inevitable Mailroom facilitates document workflows by providing the user with all available delivery channels from print-to-mail to eDelivery. It optimizes these workflows by offering mail manifesting for the USPS. This particular capability not only verifies addresses for deliverability, it also reduces the effective postage rate by nearly 25% and eliminates the need to meter.
The Inevitable Mailroom also provides eDelivery so the user can send customer documents through lower cost channels such as online and mobile, including smart phones and eTablets.
Financial institutions, specifically banks, are a good group to study since they produce a myriad of customer documents from daily notices to monthly and quarterly statements to annual tax notices. In the category of first class mail, the banking industry, as a group, has been the single largest customer of the USPS, but the world is changing. And so are banks.
While they continue to produce large volumes of print-to-mail items, the move to eDelivery has grown to an average of 12% and predicted to be 50% by the year 2020. One community bank in Texas, which heavily promotes eDelivery with compelling incentives for both customers and employee’s, has pushed 60% of their customer documents to electronic channels. How the banking industry overall adapts to new technologies and changing customer demands over the next two years will be a harbinger for businesses across all verticals.
In a highly competitive marketplace, banks capitalize on new technologies for marketing advantage. Smart ATM’s, online and mobile commerce are experiencing adoption rates that are increasing at an increasing rate. Banks are also for-profit businesses and these are not the best of economic times for banks. To survive, they must utilize new technologies to lower their unit costs of growth.
One measure of a bank’s operational efficiency is the ratio of employees to total assets. In 1960, the ratio was two employees per $1 million in assets. Today, that ratio has improved to 1 employee per $4 million in assets; 8X better. But it’s not good enough. In the year 2020, a bank should double its efficiency and employ one person for every eight million in assets.
The Inevitable Mailroom is an important contributor to the goal of optimizing efficiencies. Cost savings are additive and they accumulate across the entire enterprise of a bank, or any business for that matter. The Mailroom has traditionally been considered a “Cost Center” and, as such, was routinely exempt from efficiency reviews. That’s not only wrong, it’s stupid.
The Inevitable Mailroom is at least 50% more efficient than a traditional mailroom. We’re talking substantial, hard dollar savings in postage, paper, labor, equipment and supplies; in addition, The Inevitable Mailroom is a more secure environment since it uses document tracking and auditing tools that assure the user that the number of documents delivered, whether electronically or on paper, matches the number processed. And with the new IMB, Intelligent Mail Barcode for USPS mailed items, even more tracking and auditing tools are available to the user.
Customer life styles, yours and mine, are changing every day and they’re being shaped by new technologies; not just the time and money saving conveniences these technologies offer, but the fun, exciting and instructive benefits that come with them.
In a world populated with paper and electronic documents, it’s prudent to have a mailroom that accommodates both while leveraging technology for best practices and results.
All transaction based businesses such as utilities, insurance companies, telco’s, oil marketers and the like, should follow the model being set by banks and give their customers the choice of paper, online or mobile delivery.
Your mailroom should be a model of efficiency and functionality. It should deliver what your customers expect, and what your shareholders deserve.
Let’s face it. Customers get what they want.
It’s inevitable. Invest in it.
About the Author:
Harry Herget is a co-founder of SynTel, LLC, the nation’s leading provider of mail automation solutions for banks. More than 1400 banks use one or both of SynTel’s flagship software solutions, AutoMail® and MailStream Manager®, and collectively save more than $15,000,000 a year in postage costs alone. SynTel’s new eDelivery platform features AUTOeMAIL for online document delivery plus their strategic partnership with Sybase enables SynTel to offer the world leading SyBase365 mobile commerce/banking solution to community banks throughout America.
SynTel. The Delivery Channel.