Three key trends in Hybrid Mail for 2022


Using hybrid mail to securely process ad hoc outbound mail for remote and hybrid employees won’t just enhance efficiency. It’ll save your business money. 

hybrid mail

When remote workers use home printers or local print shops outside of the company’s network of suppliers to print outbound mail, there is always a hidden cost. And even if outbound mail is produced in the office, disparate departmental print devices can often result in little central control, leaving businesses with spiralling costs and even, inconsistently used brand guidelines.

Hybrid Mail is the solution and can transform how businesses process ad hoc mail. It provides automated systems and processes for standardised mail creation and secure submission to centralised print facilities where mail can be enveloped and aggregated, saving cost in both the production and distribution of outbound mail.

As businesses evaluate how to adapt to new working practices to enable more governance and control over critical processes, we believe that Hybrid Mail is set for a big year. But remote working isn’t the only reason why. Here are the three key trends we see building demand for Hybrid Mail this year: 

Hybrid Mail can support remote and hybrid working

All businesses are coming to terms with the “new normal”, but in reality, the necessity for home or remote working in 2020 accelerated an existing trend. Flexible working arrangements were already becoming more commonplace. Now, businesses are looking to formalise how outbound mail in the remote, hybrid and flexible workplace is controlled from a cost, efficiency and brand perspective.

Hybrid Mail delivers all these benefits by providing remote-working employees with a secure portal to create, approve, and submit compliant mail communications that are then fulfilled at a central print and mail facility – possibly qualifying for volume postal discounts.

It can also empower employees to make quick updates to document features such as signatures, names and letterheads, without the delay of them needing to log a support ticket with IT. By saving time on manual tasks, employees can focus on their core duties and generating value for the business.

Standardising and automating outbound communications

Businesses exploring how to streamline their ad hoc mail streams through Hybrid Mail are also reassessing the content and documentation they produce and investigating more innovative ways of communicating.

By reassessing the way content reads and feels, businesses are finding opportunities to streamline information into less paperwork, enhance corporate branding and, if appropriate, switch to a digital form of communication like SMS or email. The benefits of Hybrid Mail are the same, regardless of the communication method offering an unmatched level of governance. 

Providing employees with a sophisticated document creation, approval and submission workflow, Hybrid Mail also allows central control and automation to be applied as the business best sees fit. This ensures multi-channel communications can be created efficiently and that customer preferences for communication are considered.

Furthermore, ongoing customer service can be improved through quick and easy access to an electronic archive of communications sent to each client, making query response quicker and more accurate, and the production of duplicate documents a simple process.

Hybrid Mail can maximise print room efficiency 

There are many arguments to be made in favour of enterprise businesses establishing a single print room, whether this is in-house or outsourced to an external service provider that consolidates volumes with its other customers. A push towards Hybrid Mail can also help deliver efficiency improvements to print rooms.

For example, outbound mail documents can be consolidated into a single, brand-compliant, print-ready file, removing potential issues with missing fonts and inconsistent formatting.

Many organisations underestimate the complexities and potential pitfalls behind what seems to be a simple File-Print process, and an external service provider might very well charge additional costs to manage these issues on the production floor. Processing these documents through a Hybrid Mail workflow with defined approval protocols results in better quality communications and greater efficiency in print and fulfilment operations.

Those organisations already with in-house print and mail facilities will also benefit from Hybrid Mail. A switch to this solution might either increase or decrease mail volumes going through the print room facility, but either way, creating efficiency.

The process of implementing Hybrid Mail might also see a reconsideration of additional print work that is currently outsourced – marketing print, for example – and which might now be considered worth bringing into the corporate print room to help maximise the company’s investment there.

Remove hidden costs and deliver greater agility with Hybrid Mail

Flexible working is a reality, and the heavy lifting that has been required to bring any stopgap governance to outbound document creation and distribution needs to be replaced with more agile, permanent solutions.

Hybrid Mail is a smart solution that removes hidden costs, delivering greater agility and efficiency for businesses grappling with increased needs for digital transformation, along with accelerating trends towards remote and hybrid working by employees. It is also a proven and pain-free way of achieving high levels of process automation, with benefits likely to be felt throughout the organisation.     

If you’d like to discover more about Hybrid Mail, read our case studies. We recently helped Camden Council and East and North East Hertfordshire NHS Trust streamline their outbound communications.


Chris Wheeler
chris.wheeler@ricoh.co.uk

Head of Workflow & CIP Solutions at Ricoh UK

Read all articles by Chris Wheeler