Shipping & Mailing

Three ways to improve mail centre efficiencies

Here are three effective ways to leverage new technologies to help maximise time and output at your mail centre.

To thrive in the current economic climate, organisations must analyse the processes of every department to find ways to work as efficiently as possible. With the rapid changes in technology, regularly reviewing your shipping and mailing processes can help reveal new opportunities for increased operational efficiency and savings. New software (and hardware) can help to streamline and automate workflows. That can help increase your organisation’s productivity as well as reduce expenses.

Sending packages (or documents) and processing mail is an ongoing monthly expense. Any savings you can generate though improved efficiency grows over time. Let’s take a look at three of the most effective ways to leverage new technologies to help maximise your time and output.

1.  Embrace high-tech data security and integrity.

When you have hundreds or thousands of pieces of mail to fold, stuff, seal, and send, there’s a lot at stake. Long-gone are the days of manual folding and inserting. That said, how can you become both efficient and precise? In many industries, such as finance, healthcare, or insurance, your communications cannot end up in the wrong envelopes or be delivered to unintended recipients. This can lead to logistical issues, customer service problems, and in some cases have legal or financial repercussions.

With the help of current technology and software, high-volume equipment can fold, insert, and sort tens of thousands of pieces of mail – and do it virtually error-free. Most sorting options can also interpret multiple layers of mail file data. That gives you the flexibility to select groups of names within your mail file for targeted messaging or inserting.

The combination of high-tech software and hardware can not only speed up your processing but improve your cash flow. Simply put, the faster you can get out your invoices, and ensure that the statement is going to the right person, at the right address, the faster your bills will be processed. This means that your payment should be processed and returned more quickly.  So, the faster and more dependably your mail goes out, the faster and more dependably the payments come back. 

There are many companies that rent, lease, sell and operate quality equipment for automated high volume as well as low-mid volume folding, sorting and inserting. To achieve higher levels of accuracy and precision in your mailings, explore the software security options that are now available. In some cases, the up-front cost of equipment is outweighed by the long-term values of productivity, efficiency and accuracy. In other cases, outsourcing with the right service provider can help ensure your security needs, while minimising your equipment investment expenses.

2. Improve accuracy and precision with barcoding.

Another way to improve the efficiency and security of your mail processing is to incorporate the use of sophisticated barcoding. As previously noted, today’s high-volume equipment can fold, insert and sort tens of thousands of pieces of mail. That’s because of the ability to integrate with sophisticated barcoding software. This software makes automatic inserters more “intelligent” (meaning accurate and precise) which helps to ensure document integrity.

Barcoding enables:
•    Better data security.
•    Higher potential for the mail to get to its intended recipient.
•    More accuracy and precision in document processing.
•    The ability to identify and fix workflow problems or issues while processing.
•    Sorting options, which provides for targeted messaging or inserting.  

Barcoding can also help qualify you for postal discounts. Overall, it’s a great software tool that can transform mailings into more secure document processes and high-powered test-driven marketing campaigns.

3. Automated inbound mail processing helps make sure that nothing gets lost.

When we think of mailing costs, we usually think of the costs associated with outbound mail. These might include printing, folding, inserting and postage. However, there are also costs associated with the process of receiving and distributing incoming mail.

Consider this: How many times has a package or an important document been delivered to your organisation, only to be lost internally due to mix-ups in manual logging, unreadable signatures or other workflow processes?

There are software solutions that automatically validate the receipt of each piece of inbound mail and track it from the moment it arrives through delivery confirmation. With this technology, there are no questions about the location of the document (or package): the who, when, and where are all captured and tracked electronically so the status of a received item can be checked in real time. 

Adopting the use of barcodes, sophisticated folding and inserting technology, and inbound tracking solutions are three excellent ways for your organisation to cut costs, while also increasing productivity.  

Learn more about how Pitney Bowes can help with your mail centre operations in our blog post.  We can also help with your “insourcing versus outsourcing” decisions.