Thought Leadership

Are You a Digital Mailroom Trailblazer?

Many companies struggle to transform paper-based business processes into digital.

Most businesses have established a proactive effort to manage inbound information arriving through multiple channels, such as paper mail, email, web forms, and mobile devices, but nearly one-quarter of organizations say “chaos” is the best way to describe information management practices (or lack thereof).

That is just one notable takeaway from the “2017 State of Information Management” report from AIIM, the Association for Image and Information Management. AIIM surveyed its 195,000-plus membership across a wide range of industries to develop a snapshot of the “digital transformation” of their organizations. The survey gauged the extent of paperless processes in members’ organizations, as well as the success of multi-channel inbound capture of information (often described as the “digital mailroom.”)

For many of the survey questions, respondents were asked to rate their organizations as one of three personas: “Trailblazer” (leading the pack with excellent capabilities); “Citizen” (average capabilities compared to peers); and “Outlander” (below-average capabilities, and a sense of being “behind the times.”).

Regarding the capabilities for capturing information and moving it efficiently through business process workflows, a small percentage (less than 20 percent) of respondents describe themselves as Trailblazers in the use of central digital mailrooms for capturing high volumes of inbound information or other capture strategies, including the use of distributed scanning stations for feeding into a central capture and routing system. About one quarter described themselves as Citizens when it comes to using digital mailroom strategies, and another quarter indicated they were behind the times (Outlanders) with digital mailroom.

Some of the barriers preventing the Outlanders from making a dramatic shift away from slow and costly paper-based business processes to digital information management systems include a lack of experience and expertise in aligning technology, people, and processes in support of project goals. For example, it may be difficult to bring together executives on the business side who focus on productivity and costs with IT teams who tend to focus on information sharing. A solution would be to empower cross-functional teams with the responsibility for developing and implementing digital transformation projects.

For organizations that lack experience and expertise in digital business processes, AIIM recommends that they hire or contract out to those who have it. DATAMARK is one service provider with years of experience managing digital mailroom operations for large enterprises, as well as handling paper-to-digital processing of business forms and documents. To learn how DATAMARK can help your organization make a digital transformation, visit

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