For most companies, automation can deliver time and cost savings, even an increase in customer satisfaction through an improved customer experience. For this reason, businesses of all sizes are exploring how transforming processes through digital solutions can yield impressive results.

Yet, despite this general trend towards automation, companies large and small can still come unstuck, and find themselves, at times, meeting an immediate need with a manual solution, and incurring avoidable costs as a result.

In one recent example, it was revealed that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) incurred high staffing costs when contractors were deployed to insert customer correspondence into envelopes. The workers, who the bank has said were hired for more skilled jobs initially but were recruited for short-term secretarial support, were reported to have been paid almost £400 a day.

While the story made headlines, it’s doubtful that RBS is alone in this. Even the largest organisations can struggle to coordinate and manage resources when dealing with manual mail processes, especially those that could otherwise be automated.

Folding documents and inserting them into envelopes is a particularly time-consuming activity. It can jeopardise mail going out on time and can result in staff, who could be better utilised elsewhere, being drafted in to meet a need when the workload goes up.

When working manually, outgoing mail processes can be lengthy

Whether it’s a sudden, unexpected rise in demand or a gradual increase over time, persevering with manual ways of working can mean a high cost of staff time, unless a strategy for change is introduced.

Such a strategy will inevitably involve looking at automated solutions for manual tasks and envelope-stuffing is a prime example. Instead of staff physically folding and inserting mailings into envelopes, this activity can be completed by a folder inserter. The time-saving machine folds correspondence, inserts it into envelopes and closes those envelopes ready for postage. In this way, mailings can be made ready for posting considerably faster than if they had been prepared by hand, for overall improved outgoing mail management.

It can also make a significant contribution to helping improve mail accuracy and security by working in conjunction with outgoing mail management software and intelligent barcodes to ensure that each person receives the correct documents.

Outsourcing non-core business activities can bring time – and cost – savings

Beyond the folder inserter, another option is for companies to consider outsourcing mail preparation. With this, documents created in the usual way are uploaded to a web-based portal. Once the delivery method has been chosen – such as by post or email – a production facility takes care of the rest – printing, envelope-stuffing, applying postage and mailing. It’s all prepared and delivered to the Post Office without any member of your staff leaving their desk.

It’s another effective way to save time and increase productivity by diverting efforts away from mailing activities and into serving customers and generating revenue.

Time and cost savings can be had by automating manual tasks within outgoing mail management processes. For some businesses, it may even make sense to outsource some of this activity. For companies of all sizes, automation can help ensure more efficient and scalable ways of managing outgoing mail.

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