26 05, 2022

Optimizing Your Mail and Records Room for the New Reality: Hybrid is Here to Stay

2022-05-26T07:42:59-07:00May 26th, 2022|Paper2Digital Blog|

Optimizing Your Mail and Records Room for the New Reality: Hybrid is Here to Stay

The data from Cushman & Wakefield’s latest report, “Office of the Future Revisited: Three New Realities Shaping Hybrid Workplace Strategies,” suggests that almost half (40%) of the workforce will choose to remain in remote positions for the foreseeable future. If this is true, then law firms need a digital mailroom and digital records room operation that is secure, efficient, and reflects the needs for this new way of life.

Cushman & Wakefield’s report analyzes three new realities:

  • Office Space is Still in Demand
  • Hybrid is Here to Stay
  • Role of the Office has Changed

The data behind of each of these realities has drastic implications for law firms and organizations creating their office workplace strategies moving forward.

As firms begin to create their return to office strategies, it is important to factor in how the data of these realities will impact law firm security, efficiency, and attorney productivity.

Reality One: Office Space is Still in Demand

Demand for office space is finally returning for much of the world—and it is being driven by job creation. The world is seeing employment return to the levels it was before the onset of the pandemic. This accelerated growth is pushing more companies to feel the need to return to office or offer their employees the option to return to pre-pandemic office life.

Reality Two: Hybrid is Here to Stay

As organizations and firms create their return to office strategy, one thing is becoming clear: It is time to embrace hybrid. Instead of forcing attorneys and staff back into the office, firm and office leaders must cultivate a common understanding that will optimize employee experience for the limited time that staff is working in-house.

Reality 3: The Role of the Office has Changed

As the office becomes a less permanent staple in the lives of employees, the role of the physical office continues to evolve. Most organizations believe the office is now a place that can cultivate and build culture which can be used to inspire creativity and innovation. With that being said, this shift in mind set, coupled with the realization that hybrid is here to stay, is deemphasizing individuals and their dedicated desks. Instead, offices are focusing more on collaborative spaces and desk sharing.

The Normal NowTM

While these three realities are distinct, they are not all exclusive of one another. All three affirm that the workforce will dictate the next steps for law firms and organizations. While the workforce retains the leverage, hybrid is here to stay according to the data in Cushman and Wakefield’s report.

At the time of the report’s release, there are over 11 million job openings coupled with a 3.6% unemployment rate. The demand to fill roles has provided workers with the leverage to demand workplace flexibility like a hybrid schedule or work from home.

As of the last quarter of 2021 nearly half (40%) of the workforce indicated that they would prefer to never work full-time in office. One fifth of the workforce indicated that they would be open to a hybrid option. With 40% of the workforce stating that they would prefer to never work in office full-time. It is imperative for firms and organizations to create a hybrid workplace strategy that works well for employees and operationally.

A Best Practice Digital Mailroom and Records Room for a Hybrid Workforce

As attorneys and staff change the way they work, the delivery of client mail and requests for physical matter files must change as well. Scan-to-email work arounds that were put in place when the workforce first went remote were only tolerable as stop-gap emergency measures because they present real security risks.

Daily mail is mission critical because it contains client information that is confidential and time sensitive. Attorneys and staff working from home need a reliable, secure method for digital delivery. A daily mail process that relies on the conventional scan-to-email approach is not secure because it was never designed for this purpose.

A best practice digital mailroom operation delivers mail directly into the document management system (DMS) where sensitive client information is kept secure 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 DMS.

Security is just one of many reasons why law firms need to design a digital mailroom. It is also essential to keep attorneys and staff productive, no matter where they choose to work.

Airmail2 Digital Mailroom and Digital Records Room are direct-to-DMS solutions with certified integrations for iManage and NetDocuments. Transform your firm’s paper-based mailroom and records room functions into streamlined, digital operations with a flexible design that supports work-from-home, hybrid, and return-to-office strategies.

Read the full report by Cushman & Wakefield Here

16 05, 2022

DocSolid Airmail2® Digital Mailroom Implemented by Bricker & Eckler, Gains Firm Significant Efficiencies

2022-05-17T06:39:24-07:00May 16th, 2022|Press Releases|

DocSolid Airmail2® Digital Mailroom Implemented by Bricker & Eckler, Gains Firm Significant Efficiencies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PHOENIX, AZ – (May 16, 2022) – DocSolid, the legal technology experts for enterprise scanning, workflow and paper reduction solutions, announces Bricker & Eckler, a 137-attorney firm with multiple offices throughout Ohio, has selected Airmail2 for the secure delivery of digital mail to the iManage Work document and email management application, part of the iManage knowledge work platform.  With Airmail2, Bricker centralized their mailroom for the firm, gaining efficiencies and best practice for digital mail, firm-wide.

(more…)

5 05, 2022

DocSolid Booth 425 at ALA Conference & Expo May 15-18

2022-05-12T16:09:04-07:00May 5th, 2022|Events and Conferences, Featured|

Meet with Team DocSolid about Digital Mailroom Design

DocSolid Team - ALA 2022 Headshot Photos

Business Matters Session – Design Thinking for your Digital Mailroom

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Add To Calendar May-16
ALA 2022 Business Matters DocSolid
ALA 2022 Business Matters DocSolid
ALA 2022 Conference & Expo

Visit us at Booth 425 May 15 – 18, 2022

ALA Business Partner - DocSolid
Conference Info

11 04, 2022

DocSolid Expands Leadership Team with IG and Records Expert, Cadis Stuart-Hodges, IGP CRM, as Senior Director of Services

2022-04-11T15:41:24-07:00April 11th, 2022|Press Releases|

DocSolid Expands Leadership Team with IG and Records Expert, Cadis Stuart-Hodges, IGP CRM, as Senior Director of Services 

Former Director of Records for Drew Eckl & Farnham to manage Airmail2 implementations 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PHOENIX, AZ – (April 11, 2021) – DocSolid, the legal technology experts for enterprise scanning, workflow and paper reduction solutions, today welcomes Cadis Stuart-Hodges, IGP CRM, as Senior Director of Services, a new role for the company that will add substantial value to clients’ information governance and records management best practices as part of their Airmail2 Digital Mailroom and Digital Records Room implementations. Cadis is a certified records management and information governance professional and previous Director of Records for Drew Eckl & Farnham.  She will oversee DocSolid’s Consulting and Professional Services and manage implementations of Airmail2 for the company. 

(more…)

6 04, 2022

Top Information Governance Principles for your Mailroom

2022-04-06T06:09:23-07:00April 6th, 2022|Paper2Digital Blog|

Top Information Governance Principles for your Mailroom

Do Information Governance principles now apply to your firm’s mailroom?

Mail has been a perfunctory function aligned with other physical office services, but the pandemic shifted mail to a critical, and digital operation.

Mail workflows include sensitive client information, 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, even if it be a digital pile on a virtual desk. Protection and integrity of client information has always been a part of our client agreements. Scanning to a digital format does not negate our obligations to sort this information correctly at the beginning of the process.

Since scanning and document description is involved, it is more technical as well. This brings in issues of data compliance and availability but also transparency and accountability from new processes created for the mail distribution. 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.

Let’s simplify to just three areas of focus for your current digital or ‘soon to be digital’ mailroom operation. Below the 8 “generally accepted record keeping principles” registered as the “The Principles” by ARMA, have been highlighted for you in the areas of focus.

Stakeholder Consultation.  This all-important key sponsorship ties the Digital Mailroom (DMR) to the firm’s ever-growing maturity on conversion to digital matter files.

Setting attorney expectations of ‘maximum electronic delivery and storage’ for overall firm efficiency helps create the all-important buy-in. The greatest success of a mailroom modernization project is standardization across all locations and practice areas which cannot be achieved without strong firm leadership.

A documented, smooth-running mailroom can only be achieved with a design driven by:

  • Accountability from senior management, and
  • Transparency of purpose toward overall law firm record keeping goals.

Protection of Sensitive Data.  This concept is paramount in today’s legal environment (See the current LIFGS white paper on Client Information Governance Requests[i]). Monitoring and auditing tools such as logs of mailroom processes must be used to ‘trust and verify’ as well as safely satisfy internal, as well as external, compliance and potential audit criteria.

Much law firm mail will end up classified as a record, so every bit of accurate metadata added along the way adds integrity to these document classifications and the overall process. Adding further to the integrity, records policy can be amended to start in the mailroom, rather than documenting records only at the time of transfer to longer term storage repositories.

Comprehensive Chain of Custody.  Firms must maintain a comprehensive chain of custody– ‘cradle to grave’ – from mail receipt and opening, sorting/naming/scanning, through a short physical retention and shredding.

In cases of, admittedly, necessary secondary physical delivery, we must minimize and document that process. Adding documentation at this step like “We mark here in the log we were asked to drop it to a desk after scanning the envelope,” is crucial to maintaining the chain of custody in these situations.

Providing fast and appropriate availability of mail items along the way to careful and documented disposition, makes the law firm more competitive, as well as providing a defensible protection strategy for key client and law firm files.

[i] https://www.ironmountain.com/resources/whitepapers/h/how-the-landscape-has-changed

4 04, 2022

Secure and Efficient by Design – ILTA Peer to Peer Magazine Article

2022-04-04T17:30:19-07:00April 4th, 2022|Featured, White Papers and Articles|

ILTA Peer-to-Peer Magazine Thumbnails
ILTA Peer-to-Peer Magazine Cover

“The typical scan-to-email approaches are short-sighted and, in many ways, dangerous.”

Michael Herzog
Michael HerzogDirector

International Legal Technology Association Logo Used With Permission

PEER TO PEER – FULL MAGAZINE ISSUE 1 | Vol. 38

http://epubs.iltanet.org/i/1463380-spring22/33

29 03, 2022

DocSolid Airmail2® Digital Mailroom with New Hub Workflow Selected by Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP for Secure Delivery of Digital Mail to iManage

2022-03-30T16:09:17-07:00March 29th, 2022|Press Releases|

DocSolid Airmail2® Digital Mailroom with New Hub Workflow Selected by Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP for Secure Delivery of Digital Mail to iManage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PHOENIX, AZ – (March 29, 2021) – DocSolid, the legal technology experts for enterprise scanning, workflow and paper reduction solutions, announces 115-attorney, Los Angeles-based, Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP  has selected Airmail2 for the secure delivery of digital mail to the iManage Work document and email management application. This version of Airmail2 now features Airmail2 Hub, an advanced communications and workflow subsystem driving attorneys’ digital mail productivity.

(more…)

7 03, 2022

DocSolid Issues Major Release of Airmail2 Digital Mailroom – Workflows and Communications Hub Additions

2022-03-29T09:46:37-07:00March 7th, 2022|Press Releases|

DocSolid Issues Major Release of Airmail2 Digital Mailroom – Workflows and Communications Hub Additions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PHOENIX, AZ – (March 7, 2022) – DocSolid, the legal technology experts for enterprise scanning, workflow and paper reduction solutions, today announces a major new release of its market leading digital mailroom software, Airmail2 Digital Mailroom.  This significant, new version now includes the Airmail2 Hub, providing structured communications from digital mail recipients back to the mailroom  operators to further enhance attorney productivity. Additionally, a comprehensive new workflow subsystem facilitates creation of multiple workflows based on the type of mail received or departmental requirements. Airmail2 featuring the Airmail2 Hub and new workflow facility is currently available and in production with DocSolid clients nationally.

(more…)

28 02, 2022

6 Tips to Optimize Attorney Productivity with Digital Mail

2022-02-28T07:35:24-07:00February 28th, 2022|Featured, Paper2Digital Blog|

6 Tips to Optimize Attorney Productivity with Digital Mail

The Arc of Time:

Do you remember the introduction of the fax machine? It was a primitive first step but had a dramatic impact on the practice of law. Documents could be moved in minutes rather than hours (and in a bit of irony, the paper document was converted back to paper after having been digitized – but that soon changed with the advancement of email). Examples such as these are numerous and have meant that over the arc of time, the practice of law has moved along the path of digital transformation to become more productive.

The business of law has been the beneficiary of a continuous stream technology which has made the literal practice of law more productive. Much of these advancements have helped us move along the path of digital transformation. Digital transformation takes place at the intersection between technology and process. As technology has advanced, the implementation of technology has often meant changes to the process of the practice of law.

Digital Transformation Comes to the Mailroom:

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the “process” of handling incoming mail had not advanced since the invention of the stamp. As the pandemic moved us out of the office and away from our incoming mail, the old process became much less efficient. Recipients either had to travel to the office to get their mail, have it re-delivered to their homes, or perhaps the mail was “digitized” and delivered electronically.

Digital Mail and Attorney Productivity:

The digital transformation of the mailroom has begun and the opportunities to leverage this transformation will yield improvements in attorney productivity with appropriate changes in the process of mail delivery. Here’s how:

  1. One obvious benefit is that digital mail can be delivered faster than paper mail. This improvement in speed of delivery means that responses happen sooner. In some instances, this quicker response can be critical.
  2. Digital mail can pass through a “quality control” step to assess the quality of the scanning process. The impact is that attorneys are not pestered with poor quality scans which can be hard to read or worst case – incomplete.
  3. Another benefit is that digital mail can be delivered to the firm’s repository-of-record, typically the document management system. This assures that security rules and ethical wall rules are applied (automatically by the DMS), editing contention is managed, and versions are carefully controlled.
  4. Digital mail is searchable. A DMS user can use DMS search tools to query “today’s mail” for specific content –making it possible for the attorney to assess and respond more quickly and certainly more easily.
  5. Digital mail is easier to share as needed. Rather than making copies of a paper mail item, the electronic version can be easily shared among team members as needed.
  6. Once a mail item has been digitized, it can be managed “in stream” with other digital content for compliance purposes. This is essential in situations where records are under scrutiny.

The digital transformation has come to the mail room.  As technology advances, so too does productivity and efficiency. The digital transformation within the law firm mailroom allows for corresponding improvements in the mail receipt-and-delivery process. The arrival of new technology and processes are yielding improvements in productivity and efficiency – an important step forward.

2 02, 2022

Law Firms Must Transform Mailrooms as 40% of First-Class Mail Will Now Take Longer

2022-03-10T08:08:06-07:00February 2nd, 2022|Featured, Paper2Digital Blog|

Law Firms Must Transform Mailrooms as 40% of First-Class Mail Will Now Take Longer

Law firms throughout the country are still being held back by one thing — paper. Postal mail and a law firm’s mailroom have logistical challenges on a scale we simply never saw before 2019. The traditional format of a mailroom creates a significant bottleneck in attorney productivity as presently constructed because they were never designed to support the new realities of work from home with a hybrid workforce. As if that wasn’t causing enough pain already, the United States Postal Service (USPS) recently introduced new service standards that will only make things worse.

USPS Mail Delivery TruckAt the end of 2021, the USPS changed the services standards for first-class mail. These changes have resulted in lengthened delivery times for 40% of first-class mail and packages. This means time-sensitive law firm and client documents delivered through the USPS could take up to five days to arrive, instead of the standard two days.

The new service standards are not only affecting delivery times, but also price. First-class standard sized mail and large envelopes such as letters, bills, and statements are all seeing about a 10 percent increase in price. These changes are all a part of current Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy’s 10-year Delivering for America plan to tackle the agency’s massive debt.

For people operating outside of a law firm’s mailroom, these changes may seem inconsequential, but the slower delivery times are a new risk factor that will impact a law firm’s ability to get inbound mail routed internally on time. Law firms are critically dependent on paper mail from clients, courts, opposing counsel and research sources. Postal mail delivered to a law firm will often mandate a calendared response, contain sensitive client information, or contain information that is critical for a court case or essential to the progress of an active matter.

The question now stands: With a distributed workforce and the physical mail slowing down,
can a law firm afford to operate this way?

Clearly no. To combat potential delays, firms are now able to implement a best practice digital mailroom solution that serves the entire firm as a reliable, efficient, and SLA-based operation that consistently provides the fastest and most secure method of delivery possible. It will have an immediate impact and offers enduring value to the firm because it involves a critical component of attorney-client communications. Attorneys and their clients will notice this difference. Speed wins.

A best practice digital mailroom is designed as a seamless, efficient digital operation with batched workflow steps, built-in quality controls (QC), and direct-to-DMS delivery with configurable routing rules as needed for different types of documents.

The solution is the Airmail2 Digital Mailroom software by DocSolid with certified DMS integrations. DocSolid deploys Airmail2 with best practice workflows designed for law firms to solve the productivity and logistics problems of inbound mail delivered by the post office or couriers. It also aligns with information governance policies because it works with the firm’s existing document management system (DMS) to store matter files and sensitive information where they belong right from the start… in the DMS where it is profiled, protected and governed.

Simplistic scan-to-email methods are not sufficient. Paper mail should not just be piled on top of office desks. Makeshift mail scanning is just a fire drill on the way to becoming a train wreck because a completely different approach is needed to meet the needs of a hybrid workforce. Don’t wait for slower postal mail and unforeseen outcomes to negatively impact the quality and speed of service at your law firm.

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