How to get posted inbound mail to remote workers faster

For the most part, UK businesses have successfully navigated the needs of mass remote working. With the exception of some specific industries, many organisations have enabled their employees to operate effectively whilst working remotely.

You’ve got post… But how can you easily get it to your remote workers

For some, this has involved deploying many new technologies, including new devices, software, collaboration platforms and digitising physical inbound mail.

But why does the humble letter cause so much pain for organisations? Yes, I’m talking about post. Or to be specific, inbound and outbound mail. The numerous letters and parcels delivered and collected daily from offices up and down the country.

Inbound Mail

Why is physical inbound and outbound mail such an issue?

With a remote workforce, physical inbound mail arriving in offices is a significant issue. For a relatively short period, most organisations can create a temporary workaround. Either forwarding important mail or manually scanning and emailing documents to their intended recipients. But that’s not realistically sustainable. And for outbound mail leaving the organisation there’s a similar challenge. How are you able to remotely print and send important documents?

Which businesses are most affected?

Organisations who still rely heavily on physical mail for the management and delivery of their services. Such as processing important customer documents, signing contracts, and fulfilling orders. As well as providing correspondence to non-digital audiences and managing business finances for invoicing and payment.

Typically, these organisations operate in industries such as financial services, legal, insurance, business services, healthcare, charities, government, and the public sector. Specifically, where digital processes have been more slowly introduced.

At the moment they need to open all inbound mail and distribute digitally or physically to the correct remote recipients. Something that is not simple to do quickly or securely.

Why is digitising inbound mail so important?

Inbound mail still carries the most important business communications. Our experience shows that at least 60% of postal mail is still in the form of business-critical documents. This correspondence often impacts litigation, finance, security, and confidentiality for many departments. Indeed, according to Billentis, 550bn invoices were sent globally in 2019!

With increased digitisation elsewhere, the physical inbound correspondence becomes even more of an issue.

Despite the advantages of digital workflows, many organisations still need to capture, route, and extract information from these paper documents. Our experience shows that early capture and standardisation in a digital format enables companies to manage their workflows in a more efficient way. And it doesn’t have to impact your IT team.  In fact, the entire digital process sits within the cloud and can be implemented remotely.

The risks and what you need to do

Physical post not opened and acted upon within a specific timeframe affects efficiency and can expose a business or organisation. Resulting in unwarranted risks. Therefore, business leaders and senior managers need to focus on business-critical areas of the business. Therefore linking to information that typically arrives via physical mail. Operational areas such as finance, legal, contractual or HR are often affected if the information isn’t acted on quickly.

So, what should you do?

Read our eBook for more information and advice.

Click to read a quick guide to mail capture

How can I justify implementing a digital inbound and outbound mail solution?

Whilst many large enterprise businesses will have implemented a digital process already, it’s not a solution only accessible to businesses with bigger budgets. The technology is available to every business and the highest impact is seen with small-mid size organisations.

Our experience shows that you will begin to see the financial return within the first 6 months. The return will be in the form of a reduction in 90+ day debtors, reduced manual interventions from your accounts team and payments made quicker. Adding to this is the increased employee satisfaction. Resulting in improved operational workflow, fewer manual checks, less repetitive queries and fewer steps to complete tasks.

Want to read more?

Ricoh, a leading business transformation partner, has helped many businesses address this challenge. We will help you understand, assess, and implement a solution to this issue.  Check out some useful resources, including;

  • Webinar – our panel of experts discuss how to digitally capture all hard copy mail coming into your business.  (Available on-demand)
  • eBook – an informative guide to digital inbound and outbound mail solutions


Chris Wheeler
Chris Wheeler

Head of Workflow & CIP Solutions at Ricoh UK

Read all articles by Chris Wheeler