AusPost helps digitise agency mailrooms amid COVID-19
Australia Post has helped digitise the mailrooms of 40 state government agencies and other large customers to support their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company’s inbound information management operation subsidiary Decipha has onboarded 40 new customers with a scaled-down version of its mail digitisation solution since the COVID-19 lockdown commenced in mid-March.
These include key government departments in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales, as well as a number of financial institutions and insurance companies.
According to Decipha Head of Product and Solutions Damian Naylor, the scaled-down solution it is providing is able to be deployed within days instead of months.
He said key considerations during the design of the temporary service were simplicity and the capability for rapid deployment.
“What our customers need right now is an interim solution that digitises mail and disperses it to their nominated digital delivery points. They don’t need all the bells and whistles. That sort of robust solution can come at a later stage,” he said.
“This basic version is step one — creating a digital version of the contents of an envelope. We’ve also been able to offer basic mail classification where we’re able to sort mail based on high-level business rules.”
But he said there remains a manual element in this digital process that involves sorting general or unstructured mail like contracts, purchase orders and HR-related documents.
“We don’t yet have a detailed enough understanding of our customers’ specific business rules to know who or where a general document should be sent,” Naylor said.
He said digitised mailroom solutions are expected to become more important in the post-lockdown economy given that remote working is expected to remain popular.
“Organisations will have to address this elephant in the room. They’re possibly going to have more staff working remotely and more flexible work arrangements. Many of our customers are already considering this and mail digitisation supports this new model of work,” he said.
Decipha is already engaged with a number of customers who have not yet signed up to digitise their mail but are considering it as part of their futureproof planning.
These customers typically decided they weren’t at a sufficient state of shutdown to warrant digitising mail and were reluctant to sign up for an interim solution that still required manual handling, Naylor said.
“But they’re telling us that they never want to be caught off guard again so they’re talking to us now about a mail digitisation solution that involves automation, high-level business rules, classification and some form of workflow,” he added.
“They want technology that enables information to be distributed throughout the enterprise and is delivered to the right person, team or business function.”
Feedback from these discussions could be used to shape the design of future Decipha services that will reflect this increased demand.
Decipha has been offering process outsourcing services including screening, categorising and sorting incoming information into data streams for the past 20 years.
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