Mailroom is the gateway of Corporate communication. It touches upon everything right from revenues, payments, customer service. All communications coming into, going out of, and circulating within an organization go through the mailroom at one time or another. It is also responsible for transferring information to, and from every person in the company. It is the place where cheques are received and despatched. Thus, even for modern corporates of today, the mailroom is a first point of contact for all paper documents received by the company.
Mailroom skips scrutiny of high quality rigors
Being the most rudimentary function, mailroom skips the scrutiny of high quality rigors of even top organizations. Even organizations which have high quality ratings rarely include mailroom as part of the quality systems. Worst is that, whenever there is a problem, rarely it is traced to the mailroom. Even if the problem gets traced to the mailroom, the onus of the error is shared amongst the more responsible departments of the organization. But an ineffective mailroom can have more devastating effects than one can think off.
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First it’s the employees. Infact, Mailroom employs people who are normally rated as underperformers. Mailroom employees are the least motivated or rewarded and hence have limited sense of accountability. The beginning is here and from this point inefficiency gathers mass at every stage and creeps into the whole system.
Inefficiency at every stage
At the most basic level, inefficiency can creep in to the very way incoming and outgoing mails are handled. For example, in the incoming side, the mailroom receives everything that comes into the company such as important customer letters, order enquiries, cheques and responses to letters that were mailed earlier. Some of these mails can be very time sensitive such as application to government tenders, etc. If these are not handled efficiently and quickly, the outcome can be a chaotic. Inefficiency in incoming mail management can arise due to slow handling of mails, or wrong delivery of mails & documents, or non delivery of important mails or in the worst case misuse of the mail itself.
Similarly in the outgoing side, you have so many important mails to send such as invoices, customer replies, etc. It is obvious that if invoices are not sent in time, it will directly hit cash flows or if you don’t reply your customer in time, your corporate image is marred for good.
At the secondary level, many a times, incoming and outgoing mails are not data captured properly. Thus, there is no way one can track where the cause of trouble was. Whether a mail was wrongly delivered or misused or mail was lost, each of them have their own damaging Corporate repercussions.
Mailroom inefficiency negatively affects Corporate productivity and overall image…
Problems and delays such as the above cause a negative ripple effect that becomes increasingly magnified on whatever processes occur downstream. Whereas, to some extent outbound deliveries by couriers have a sense of accountability, it is the inbound deliveries which lack some sort of process efficiency.
Such as queuing time in querying or receiving inbound mail deliveries. In India, the average time spent by managers & prime staff to receive inbound mails is about 20 minutes. For a Corporate with an employee base of 5000 people, this could mean annual loss of Rs.7.5 million, if quantified. Further a 20 minute delay in mailroom query resolutions time can lead to anything between more than 1 hour delay in undertaking related jobs by the respective customer employees, missing that day’s mail cut off time, or even missing an important
Lack of systems for inbound delivery management late deliveries can be the first cause of long-drawn-out responses to customers, prospects, employees and others in a critical link to effective communication.
Thus, an inefficient mailroom can create an adverse effect on future business. All these can lead to higher labor costs and, as volumes increase, bottlenecks and further inefficiencies can occur. Thus, any lackadaisical approach to mailroom management will have far reaching repercussions on the revenue management of the organization itself.
What effects can an efficient mailroom can have on corporate productivity…
Mailrooms equally needs to be upgraded to compete with demanding customer requirements. Unless the mailroom copes up, the corporate will be unable to harness the benefits of increased business speed. Even a small step towards efficient mailroom functioning, has been reflecting tremendous improvement in Corporate response time.
For example, it was noted that for nearly 100% of our customers, wherein the average querying time reduced from 20 minutes to 5 minutes and in some cases even 1.5 minutes, the customer employees were more enthused to attend to the pertaining job immediately. This would most logically improve the business speed, the corporate response time, and even the quality of work. The overall productivity from even individual employees drastically improved. Most of the customer employees have never failed to express their delight over the consistent promptness in “query resolutions time”.
Mailroom managers should recognize that they are shouldering increased responsibilities & intensive work flow management than never before. If an efficient mailroom management that seamlessly integrates with the rest of a corporate is in place, it can transform every corporate business communication and customer service Channels.
Mailrooms can further create value and contribute to corporate productivity by forward integrating into pre-processing of even important business mails. For example, in case of banks, wherein regular business mails such as cheques, drafts, LC’s etc are received in large numbers, the first level data entry, comparison with instructions received already, correctness of documentation etc. can be done by the mailroom employees themselves. Even in insurance, correctness of primary level documentation requirement for claims can be done by the mailroom staffs. These kind of pre-processing will act as first level filter at the mailroom end itself, and can save on corporate productivity substantially. The mailroom staffs are equally looped into the business and hence become more accountable and responsive to contingencies and emergencies. Some of our banking customers have been immensely benefited by these pre-processing legs and have achieved near zero error rates in further processing the documents.
An efficient mailroom operation enables
- Quicker TAT
- Low response time,
- Prompt business communication
- Low business communication cost, and
- Better revenue collection.
- Better customer retention,
- Better communication,
- Better business strategies
- And hence an all round business finesse.