A Look into the Future: Digital Mail

The technology that will revolutionize how workspace providers handle and forward client mail.

One of the reasons why flexible workspaces (particularly virtual offices) are so popular is because they give access to a prestigious address sans the high costs. A physical address has always been a necessity for all types of businesses and companies, for legal as well as for ‘business’ reasons.

As a workspace provider, chances are you handle your members’ mail on a weekly, if not a daily, basis. Technology has gone far, but it still hasn’t reached the point where it makes regular mail obsolete, and this isn’t likely to happen anytime in the next several years.

Fact is, mail continues to be a main source of communication, particularly for legal and billing matters. But just because mail isn’t disappearing anytime soon doesn’t mean technology doesn’t get a say in the situation. Matt Going, co-founder of Anytime Mailbox, is seeking to change the way flexible workspace operators and companies at large, handle mail.

“I used to be a part of virtual office company and had 2 addresses. I didn’t receive a lot of mail, but I would get some from time to time. The way it worked with my virtual office was that every Friday, the location would forward me the mail and I would receive it sometime next week.”

“A pretty broken system in my opinion.”

“It’s a pretty inefficient system. If you do the math, it would take about a week to a week and a half to process a client’s mail and for them to be able to open and read it.”

The solution, according to Mr. Going, is digital mail. Digital mail refers to the process of digitizing (or making available in digital form) regular mail for clients to access whenever they want, from wherever they are.

“I came up with the idea to create a cloud-based, private labeled, and user friendly platform to process and forward mail. At the moment, mail handling  is a very manual process: a receptionist copies it, scans it, and then emails it.”

According to Mr. Going, there are various drawbacks to this system, among them inefficiency and lack of security.

Though email is commonly used, it’s not fully secure; posing as a risk for others to read confidential information. It’s also a time-consuming task that makes it hard to keep track of all scan and email requests, making it an operational and accounting nightmare for center managers.

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Mr. Going believes the time has come to take a more forward thinking approach to mail and mail handling and forwarding.

“Operators will need to roll out a service like this (digital mail) or they’ll lose their customers.”

Mr. Going isn’t wrong. Nowadays people want immediate access and action, and some centers have already begun to use digital mail services.

The benefits aren’t too hard to see:

  • Cloud-based software is secure
  • People can upload mail by simply snapping a picture
  • “Sending mail to the customer is as simple as tagging your friends on social media”
  • No limits on storage
  • It helps keep track of requests and actions taken (toss, shred, open, scan)
  • It’s efficient for operators and clients
  • Creates a new revenue stream for operators

Professionals that hire address and mail handling services tend to be on-the-go and remote workers. Being able to read and reply to their mail as fast as they can do with email is a perk that they’re likely to enjoy and prefer.

Flexible workspaces are helping revolutionize work styles everywhere, and in order to stay ahead of the game, it’s necessary for operators to anticipate clients’ needs. This is the next generation of mail, and the time has come to roll it out.

Anytime Mailbox isn’t the only company seeking to change the way we receive mail. Daniel Kaneshiro, founder of Mailgapp LLC, has also created a mobile app to digitize mail. An address and your mail in the tip of your fingers…but more on this in the coming weeks.

For now, start getting used to the idea of digital mail and get ready to roll the service out to your clients–it won’t be long before you’ll have to.

*Image via Anytime Mailbox