5 05, 2021

Quality Control Over Your Mail and Records Processes

2021-05-05T12:31:17-07:00May 5th, 2021|Uncategorized|

Quality Control over your Mail and Records Processes

Quality Control and Shredding Documents

The payback for scanning paper documents is never fully released until shredding occurs. Continuing to distribute, store and manage paper physically after it is made digital is inefficient, posing a risk to your clients and ultimately the firm. Unfortunately, the decision to shred is a big one for a firm and so is often delayed indefinitely seeking that “perfect” time or set of circumstances to make such a move.

Quality control over your Mail and Records Processes

A carefully defined, quality control procedure ensuring the digital version accurately represents the physical document could give firm leaders the confidence to shred thereby reaping the benefits from scanning.

Digital Mail and Quality Control

Firms jumped on scanning mail at the start of the pandemic. But most are still distributing mail physically requiring duplicate effort and creating an information governance nightmare. Instead, after each item is scanned, a good quality control procedure should stage the paper in a box ordered by date for a comfortable retention period, say 60 days. This makes it easy to retrieve a physical item when required and bulk destruction once the retention period ends.

DocSolid’s Postmark Platform makes a reliable quality control (QC) procedure possible by turning it into repeatable steps that are easily trained and implemented. Postmark QC innovative and patented workflow ensures that all documents and pages were scanned correctly as well as delivered to the recipient (mail) or requestor (records).

In addition, Postmark QC also instructs the quality control operator on disposition i.e., what should happen to the paper document after it has undergone the various quality checks. This combination of checking image quality, delivery and disposition forms a robust procedure meant to be repeatable and productive, or put another way highly reliable.

The high-level of reliability provides you the confidence necessary to promote shredding as a critical step in your firm’s paper2digital journey.

Interested in learning more? Check out 7 Reasons to Upgrade to a Digital Mailroom Operation White Paper by DocSolid.

28 04, 2021

ALA Webcast May 4, 2021 Sign-up Here

2021-05-03T12:58:07-07:00April 28th, 2021|Events and Conferences, Featured|

Webinar Sign-up

Register

Date: May 4, 2021
Time: 12:00pm EDT

How to Create a Digital Mail Room + Records Room

ALA Business Partner - DocSolid

DESCRIPTION:

Learn how to create a Digital Mailroom and a Digital Records Room with your existing document management system using Airmail2. Daily mail is mission critical with confidential and time-sensitive client information. Digitizing the records room is an essential part of firms’ reducing their real estate footprint.

Law firms are uniquely dependent on inbound paper documents from clients, courts, opposing counsel and research efforts. Some of these paper items mandate a calendared response, or contain sensitive client information or crucial matter content.

Learning Objectives

  1. 7 reasons digital mail is essential for a distributed workforce
  2. Optimize daily mail workflows with a batch process into the DMS
  3. Smarter office real estate compression with a digital records room

Webinar Co-sponsored by Canon USA

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Airmail2 Preview Video 3-min.

23 04, 2021

Does Your Information Governance Policy Control Your Mail Room? Shouldn’t it?

2021-04-26T07:43:45-07:00April 23rd, 2021|Paper2Digital Blog|

Does Your Information Governance Policy Control Your Mail Room? Shouldn’t it?

Should the mail room be owned by the information governance arm of the Firm? It has been a perfunctory function aligned with other physical office services, but now with most fee earners working at least 50% of the time from home, it is mission critical. Mail workflows launch new work, and therefore often billable activity. This means matter centric record creation is starting right from mail delivery, not later, from a pile on a desk.

Since scanning and document description is involved, it is more technical as well. In short, no matter who this process belongs to organizationally, it needs to be a part of your well thought out Information governance policy, and refined on an ongoing basis, just like any other records management.

Inbound mail contains time sensitive client information. So with the pandemic and work from home initiatives you scan it – thinking only temporarily. But if you are still delivering mail physically or re-delivering again after scanning portions, you are missing an opportunity to elevate and economize with this form of record keeping in line with your information governance policies. Make it digital only.

The mailroom is now the biggest source of where digital has not yet happened. What if you looked at it as that place where the creation of a fully functional and complete digital matter file (DMF) begins?

Mail can be delivered directly into the repository (DMS) where is classified, worked on, refiled and reclassified again right from the beginning.  It is actually pretty easy to elevate this process and get control.

1) Establish the recipients, and which teams they belong to. You are already getting detail requests of “if you get this, send it there”, or “copy to my secretary/staff…” Formalize it!

2) If you are not scanning directly to the DMS, you could be. This allows images to be routed immediately to someone who can evaluate the importance and take action.

3) Arm and educate your mailroom staff. Records folks are more valuable when they understand the distinctions among various transactions and their business purpose, right? Same here. Even if this only results in better subject lines in the email of a scan, the combined working machine can triage and prioritize better, and with less wasted time, culling junk, duplicates and distractions.

4) Officially ‘add’ mail to your records policy and retentions. We know the filtered target documents already have a home here, but there are steps and process before that is determined. And 40% of mail can be left on the cutting room floor after it has been checked for anything of value. Let’s have an appropriate destruction bucket for that. 30 days would seem appropriate.

5) Lastly if you are multi-office, you do have the option to centralize mail – further capitalizing on these new efficiencies. Think of the fully maximized efficiency and savings!

7 04, 2021

Reduce Real Estate by Digitizing Daily Mail and Records – The Right Way

2021-04-07T16:11:17-07:00April 7th, 2021|Paper2Digital Blog|

Reduce Real Estate by Digitizing Daily Mail and Records – The Right Way

The ways attorneys prefer to work has transformed. 76 percent now favor remote work, according to the 2021 Peer Monitor and Georgetown Law State of the Legal Industry Report. 

And if attorneys change the way they work, that means everything changes:  from how attorneys receive client mail and request matter files, to large scale financial decisions that affect one of the most expensive costs law firms have after salaries: real estate. 

This is why we shouldn’t be surprised when Sherry Cushman, Vice Chair and Executive Managing Director of Cushman & Wakefield, predicts “The legal sector will be downsizing its real estate needs on average 10% to 30% — and in some cases, 40% to 50%.”  

The opportunity to recapture real estate costs is extremely attractive to law firms, but firms first need to solve the paper-based problems of daily mail and onsite records.  

When it comes to daily mail, attorneys and staff working from home absolutely require reliable, digital delivery of daily mail. Scan-to-email workarounds were hastily applied at the onset of the COVID-19, but now the mail room needs to be made into a durable, permanent and secure operation. 

Legal mail items contain client information, and the methods for processing them digitally should incorporate the same standards applied for all client data at the firm. In retrospect, building a daily mail delivery process based upon email was not a good idea.

A best practice digital mail room operation delivers mail directly to the DMS where sensitive information can be delivered securely and governed according to firm policy. A best practice digital records room is similar, building a digitization project for scanning large volumes of paper records and storing them in the document management system. Built-in quality controls enable confident shredding of the scanned documents. It’s a Paper2Digital Transformation that can make entire file rooms disappear.

These are best practices focused on the critical paper-based workflows inside the law firm. The value proposition is strong just based on eliminating the costs and inefficiencies of paper records and nothing more. However, a multitude of other high value, and high visibility, goals become possible including; repurposed office space, hoteling, and downsizing. Beyond the tangible cost savings, these digital workflows are required to keep attorneys and staff productive, no matter where they may choose to work on any given day.

DocSolid’s Airmail2 Digital Mail + Records Suite transforms a firm’s paper-based Mail Room and Records Room functions into streamlined, digital operations supporting both work-from-home and return-to-office strategies simultaneously, while enabling firms to optimize their real estate.

The Airmail2 Suite provides scanned delivery of sensitive and time-dependent mail and file requests via the document management system (DMS), enabling firms to govern, secure, and distribute information efficiently, according to policy and in keeping with individual client guidelines. 

More can be learned about the benefits of transforming mail room operations in our industry white paper:
7 Reasons to Upgrade to a Digital Mail Room Operation .

30 03, 2021

8 Reasons Why CIOs Love Airmail2 Digital Mail Room

2021-03-30T10:16:34-07:00March 30th, 2021|Paper2Digital Blog|

Law firms now need a formal digital mail room operation, moving beyond the scan-to-email workaround established at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. Because doing something immediately was driving the decision, the workaround was formulated with little or no consultation with IT or information governance teams.

It has become evident over the past year that attorneys and staff working from home value reliable, digital delivery of daily mail, but it is now time for those mail room operations to align with firms’ best practices.

For example, scanned legal mail is currently delivered as improperly named PDF attachments stored on Exchange, requiring never-ending growth in storage space at the same time posing a security and compliance risk for the related client.

Legal mail items contain client information, and the methods for processing them digitally should incorporate the same standards applied for all client data at the firm. Email is a key source of phishing and email attachments are a key source of malware. Email attacks are constantly evolving because email represents an open vulnerability for IT systems. In retrospect, building a daily mail delivery process based upon email was not the best idea.

Airmail2 Digital Mail Room was engineered from the ground up to solve the security and compliance requirements of law firms by providing direct delivery of daily mail to the firm’s document management system (DMS), where sensitive information can be protected and governed by the DMS best practices.

Here are the top reasons why CIOs love the Airmail2 Digital Mail Room:

  1. Purpose-built, targeted application replaces the hodge-podge of responses to last year’s immediate need
  2. Moves scanned daily mail storage from the already over-burdened Exchange System to the more scalable DMS repository
  3. Zero footprint deployment to mail rooms across the enterprise, leverages existing scanning devices and workstations
  4. Non-firm personnel, e.g. the facilities management (FM) company can provide digital mail room services because operators do not require access to the DMS
  5. Keeping attachments out of the Outlook Inbox make the information governance (IG) folks happy
  6. Targeted and flexible notifications make attorneys happy and productive: no notification, no mail today
  7. Big opportunity for cost savings by eliminating physical delivery now, and centralizing mail rooms in the future
  8. Wins an important battle in getting attorneys to act more digitally by capturing (digitizing) incoming paper at the point of receipt, the mail room

10 03, 2021

A How-to Guide to Transform Your Mail Room for the Normal Now

2021-03-15T10:18:09-07:00March 10th, 2021|Paper2Digital Blog|

A How-to Guide to Transform Your Mail Room for the Normal Now

As law firms transition from crisis management to long-term solutions for the Normal Now, a crafted digital mailroom is essential. Inbound legal mail needs to get in the DMS, not the email system where it is delayed and exposed.

If your firm is still scanning daily mail to email, how many of these challenges does your firm experience?

  1. The mailroom scanning operation is not integrated with the document management system (DMS).
  2. Scanned mail recipients must use their email inbox as a workflow tool to process daily mail.
  3. From an IT and security perspective, scanned legal mail ends up as unnamed PDF attachments stored in the email server, clogging storage space and compromising security and compliance for the related client information.
  4. After scanning, the physical paper mail is still manually distributed to attorneys’ or assistants’ desks, or stored in a makeshift file area, replicating the labor of the previous paper-based operation, in addition to the new labor for scanning operations.
  5. Attorneys and staff have complaints about the mail scanning results, such as delays, inadequate notifications, misdirected distribution, and scanned file quality issues.

DocSolid is pleased to offer the industry white paper, “7 Reasons to Upgrade to a Digital Mail Room Operation,” to help guide firms’ transformation to a fully digital mail room.  It includes:

  • Requirements for Digital Mail Room Operation
  • Why Scan to Email Won’t Cut It
  • How to Assess the Current Mailroom Operation

Download the white paper here.

Airmail2 by DocSolid is engineered from the ground up to solve the productivity and information security requirements of law firms by providing direct delivery of postal mail to the firm’s document management system (DMS), where sensitive information can be protected and governed by the DMS best practices.

Airmail2 by DocSolid enables clerical operators with minimal training and without login access to the DMS to scan, QC, and directly deliver postal mail in electronic form to the firm’s DMS of choice.  DocSolid’s Airmail2 digital mailroom provides:

    • Scanned mail delivery to iManage and other DMS systems
    • DMS matter lookups when full profiling is required
    • Mapped mail delivery to attorneys and legal assistants with automated notifications
    • Batch workflows for productive alignment with legal office staffing resources
    • Internet hosted or on-premise deployment

Learn more about Airmail2 here.

22 02, 2021

DocSolid Announces “7 Reasons to Upgrade to a Digital Mail Room Operation” White Paper Now Available

2021-02-23T08:09:19-07:00February 22nd, 2021|Press Releases|

DocSolid Announces “7 Reasons to Upgrade to a Digital Mail Room Operation” White Paper Now Available

PHOENIX, AZ – (February 23, 2021) – DocSolid, the legal technology experts for enterprise scanning, workflow and paper reduction solutions, announces the white paper, “7 Reasons to Upgrade to a Digital Mail Room Operation,” is now available.  Complimentary access is provided here.

With a distributed workforce, law firms have specific, critical needs for digital delivery of legal mail, specifically DMS integration, efficiency, reliability and security.  As the “New Normal: becomes the “Normal Now,” law firms must migrate to sustainable, digital solutions.

Airmail2 by DocSolid is engineered from the ground up to solve the productivity and information security requirements of law firms by providing direct delivery of postal mail to the firm’s document management system (DMS), where sensitive information can be protected and governed by the DMS best practices.

The industry white paper, “7 Reasons to Upgrade to a Digital Mail Room Operation,” highlights include:

  • Requirements for Digital Mailroom Operation
  • Scan to Email Won’t Cut It
  • Assess the Current Mailroom Operation

Download the white paper here.

Airmail2 by DocSolid enables clerical operators with minimal training and without login access to the DMS to scan, QC, and directly deliver postal mail in electronic form to the firm’s DMS of choice.  DocSolid’s Airmail2 digital mailroom provides:

Learn More
DocSolid Postmark Stamp Dispenser for Airmail2 Digital Mailroom

Self-adhesive barcoded Postmark stamps offer a familiar postal mail metaphor to simplify the work and enable scanning stacks of mail all at once.
Supplied in 100 ct. rolls.

  • Scanned mail delivery to iManage and other DMS systems
  • DMS matter lookups when full profiling is required
  • Mapped mail delivery to attorneys and legal assistants with automated notifications
  • Batch workflows for productive alignment with legal office staffing resources
  • Internet hosted or on-premise deployment

 “As law firms transition from crisis management to long-term solutions for the Normal Now, a crafted digital mailroom is essential. Inbound legal mail needs to get in the DMS, not the email system where it is delayed and exposed. We’re pleased to offer this guide to the industry to help them with this critical transformation,” said Steve Irons, CEO of DocSolid. 

3 02, 2021

Sterne Kessler Adopts DocSolid® Airmail2® Suite: Digital Mail Room and Digital Records Room for iManage Work 10

2021-02-05T07:41:26-07:00February 3rd, 2021|Press Releases|

Sterne Kessler Adopts DocSolid® Airmail2® Suite: Digital Mail Room and Digital Records Room for iManage Work 10

PHOENIX, AZ – (February 3, 2021) – DocSolid, the legal technology experts for enterprise scanning, workflow and paper reduction solutions, announces NLJ 500 firm, Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox has implemented the Airmail2 Digital Mail Room and companion Digital Records Room for direct delivery of daily mail and matter files to the firm’s document management system, iManage Work 10.

Productivity for both home and in-office workers is a high priority as firms transition from the unexpected challenges of 2020 to the “Normal Now” of 2021. Paper-free workflows and real estate compression strategies are central to this; however, neither remote work nor real estate compression can be achieved without the digital transformation of Mail Room and Records Room processes.

DocSolid’s Airmail2 Digital Mail + Records Suite transforms a firm’s paper-based Mail Room and Records Room functions into streamlined, digital operations supporting work-from-home and return-to-office strategies. The Airmail2 Suite provides scanned delivery of sensitive and time-dependent mail and file requests via the document management system (DMS), enabling firms to govern, secure, and distribute information efficiently, per policy and individual client guidelines.

“We have re-vamped our scan capture solution set with DocSolid and Airmail2,” said Shawn Mitkowski, CIO at Stern Kessler. “The operational productivity, tight iManage integration, and innovative roadmap of the Airmail2 system drives our firm’s digital transformation.”

“To be efficient, secure and always-on for our clients, Sterne Kessler needs attorneys work-ready at home or back in the office,” said Robert Burger, COO at Stern Kessler. “That means we need to be digital. DocSolid’s new Airmail2 solutions are built for these times, to move paper into our digital processes and disciplines.”

“Sterne Kessler already had sharpened digital ambitions,” said Steve Irons, President of DocSolid. “With our new Airmail2 Suite, they now operate a Digital Mail Room and a Digital Records Room, cranked up in productivity, security and process quality. We’re honored to take the field with them.”

The Airmail2 Digital Mail Room enables clerical operators with minimal training and without login access to the DMS to scan, QC, and directly deliver postal mail in electronic form to the firm’s DMS of choice.

The Airmail2 Digital Records Room builds a digitization project to convert paper records for storage in the document management system, so that firms can downsize their office real estate footprint, and deliver requested files digitally for home workers.

Both systems provide:

    • Scanned mail and file integration with iManage and other DMS systems
    • Mapped mail and file delivery to recipients and proxies with custom notifications
    • DMS matter integration for search, profiling and storage, but operators don’t have DMS logins
    • Built-in quality controls to ensure confident shredding
    • Batch workflows for productive and flexible alignment with staffing resources
    • Simple deployment with Web-based clients, pre-built DMS integrations and universal scan device support
Airmail2 Digital Mail + Records Suite for iManage Work 10
Learn more

1 02, 2021

Makeshift Mail Scanning – A Fire Drill on the Verge of a Train Wreck?

2021-02-01T11:22:02-07:00February 1st, 2021|Paper2Digital Blog|

Law firms were forced to develop new habits to handle work during the pandemic. Physical mail delivery is no exception. Some solutions were carefully thought out, but like many problems solved at the start of the ‘stay at home’ orders, many are still running in the same way as when they got cobbled together as an emergency response. Just for fun let’s take a look at some of the fire drill mail delivery routines we have come across that were hurriedly put in place.

Our point, of course, is to shed light on the fact that your law firm cannot keep operating in emergency response mode when it comes to processing mail. The daily mail is essential to a law firm because much of it is matter related and response times often have absolute due dates. For law firms operating with a distributed workforce, all those paper records arriving at the main office create bottlenecks that slow productivity and create other inefficiencies.

Multi-national Law Firm 1. Dropping scanned mail to a folder on the network – quick and dirty right? Well those of us in IG have been battling unstructured file share repositories for years, yet here is another one! First there is no way to notify you when you specifically receive new mail, so all the employees in the firm have to be notified at once when the mail scanning work is completed. This means, you get notified via email every day, whether you have new mail that requires your attention, or not. Important mail gets processed out of these folders maybe making it into the DMS where it ultimately belongs- and some legal assistants are good at doing duplicate file clean up, but it is basically a redundant repository accumulating matter related documents on a regular basis as it competes with the intended official repository for matter files in the document management system. 

US AMLAW 200 Law Firm 2. This stuff is important! Let’s get executives involved. Everyone was safely sent to work at home or furloughed, but after several important client mailings and invoices were missed, something had to be done quickly. Emergency commandment: hire couriers to deliver the postal mail to the senior managers at  home. Executives sorting firm mail in their kitchens! A new job skill for law firm executives. If the courier logistics were not enough, the sorted mail gets couriered again, or may be scanned at home. All of these operational gymnastics are just to to achieve the simple, but essential, task of getting your firm’s postal mail to the intended recipient.

Yet Another Firm 3. once a makeshift scan-to-email solution was in place, the attorneys complained 1) excess notifications filling up his precious email inbox with scans of items that mostly have already been received, 2) Delivering the physical mail after the scan to the practice area anyway – just in case. Great, so your legal assistants and partners are doing double work to sort the mail. Good luck accounting for all that in time and billings, 3) Attorneys and associates missed their ‘grey mail’ too. Though this was not business-critical correspondence, it meant that the practicing law person missed sign up dates for required continuing education events! 

So, I hope do you want to go through this again: being dependent on someone else to decide what mail is valuable and how quickly you need it, random, intermittent and duplicative ways to get it. You never intended for work-from-home to become the rule rather than the exception, but it’s 2021 so the time has come to start rationalizing the normal now. Otherwise, that postal mail of yours is a fire drill headed for becoming an absolute train wreck. 

How do we resolve this? A safe, reliable, structured and scalable system must be settled on. This involves a top-down re-assessment of the daily mail operation in terms of the people, process and tools involved. Look for the smart solution. It is out there, if you know where to look for it. 

 

18 01, 2021

Three Keys to Remodeling Your Digital Mail Room

2021-02-22T12:59:09-07:00January 18th, 2021|Paper2Digital Blog|

Three Keys to Remodeling Your Digital Mail Room

Congratulations! You weathered the onslaught of the pandemic and transitioned to distributed work from home offices. That home office relocation is looking permanent for much of your workforce so it is time to harden the systems that make a work-from-home (WFH) law firm function. A digital mail room is one such system. Using existing scan-to-email utilities at the outset of the pandemic is not an effective permanent solution for a law firm’s mail operation. It was never intended to be, but most legal practices are just beginning to reconsider how essential operations like daily mail will function with a distributed workforce. It is now time to remodel your digital mail room into a permanent, effective operation.

Your firm isn’t going back to paper mail delivery distributed to desks in the city offices. That was a faulty, antiquated process anyway. Digital is better – you just need some finishing work to make it a reliable, secure operation. Your attorneys and staff need to stay productive anywhere they work. Legal technology professionals are now considering the daily mail operation as one of their firm’s greatest opportunities to improve. It’s time to make your digital mail room a permanent fixture of your remodeled law firm.

Here are three keys to remodeling your digital mail room:

  • Deliver legal mail to the document management system (DMS)
  • Embed quality controls, monitoring and reporting
  • Make the mail room operation simple and efficient

Deliver legal mail to the DMS, not to email. Legal mail is mission critical and time-sensitive, and it contains confidential client information. Once mail items are scanned, the PDF files are destined for the DMS, their permanent home. It’s easy to set up daily mail folders for each DMS user, and when scanned mail items arrive, the DMS provides a move function so that users (or support staff) can place the PDFs into the proper matter folder. Routing scanned legal mail items through the email system is inefficient, and it’s a multi-faceted security risk.  Using the email system to distribute scanned legal mail is not an acceptable long term solution.

Embed quality controls, monitoring and reporting in the digital mail room solution. Perfectly scanned mail items delivered reliably each day to waiting attorneys – that’s the standard. Attorneys working at home don’t have nearby staff to fix errors or tweak process for them. The digital mail room should have embedded software and process to ensure quality. Did every received mail item get scanned, with all pages and image quality checked, and the envelop scanned as a last page? Is the mail room technology connected to a help desk to assist when needed? Can we run reports to track volumes and productivity, so that peak days, growth and operational efficiencies can be anticipated?

Make the mail room operation simple and efficient. We hear many stories about how all sorts of exceptions and process variations were put in place to accommodate attorney requests when a firm first put a makeshift mail scanning operation in place. The result is spotty performance, jagged quality, and a high reliance on clerical staff memory and Post-it Note bulletins. A remodeled digital mail room needs a best practice approach with software designed expressly for this operation, and repeatable workflows like scanning stacks. This reduces dependency on staff heroics and it establishes much needed reliability in the operation. It also enables repeatability across multiple law office locations, or a better path to mail centralization across offices… A game changer for law firms embracing distributed work.

There you go. Three keys to remodeling your digital mail room, for the better future we’re starting to see. Of course, you will want a good contractor with the proper tools to do this remodeling job. That’s the unmatched expertise you get from DocSolid along with the Airmail2 software you need to create your Digital Mail Room.

Learn much more in this white paper
7 Reasons to Upgrade to a Digital Mail Room

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