Digitising mail handling delivers unexpected benefits

Customer Success Stories

After adopting its Digital Mailroom solution, Iron Mountain was able to speed up mail handling processes and improve vendor, customer, and internal relationships.

17 January 20248 mins
Stack of documents

Digitising mail handling delivers unexpected benefits

When Iron Mountain adopted its Digital Mailroom solution, it sped up mail handling processes and improved vendor, customer, and internal relationships.

Recently, the team at Iron Mountain experienced a “walk a mile in a customer’s shoes” moment. The pandemic uncovered a new challenge in handling mail with remote employees. That paved the way to improve Iron Mountain’s mail routing processes, providing positive outcomes and a powerful perspective, helping its customers around the world.

Like many organisations, the pandemic created remote and hybrid work environments. As a result, Iron Mountain had physical mail being delivered to entire teams who no longer sat in Iron Mountain offices. Sorting, and then forwarding the mail to employees’ homes and then waiting for those employees to send necessary items back was a two-to-three-week process, sometimes incurring vendor late fees, delayed check cashing, and inefficiencies between internal teams.

To address this new challenge, Iron Mountain’s Strategic Initiatives team decided to implement their own Digital Mailroom. The new program was selected to be part of the “IM Proven” initiative, where teams are encouraged to adopt Iron Mountain technologies and evaluate them as customers.

“We’re looking at areas where we have problems similar to those our customers are experiencing. We asked ourselves, ’Why aren’t we using our own solution to solve this problem?’” said Mandelyn Kilroy, Program Manager of Strategic Initiatives at Iron Mountain. “At the start, we did not fully realise all of the improvements we were going to get out of this solution and this new approach. It’s been extraordinary.”

Automating mail with speed and security

After deploying its Digital Mailroom solution, Iron Mountain now delivers all mail to a single corporate office. Each day, the mail is opened and computer vision technology scans each piece of mail for pre-determined keywords. Automated processes route mail that meets specific keyword parameters to the intended recipient’s inboxes within minutes of scanning. Exception processing allows the mailroom team to review documents that fall outside the pre-determined workflows, and decide who can view and share each document.

Iron Mountain implemented Digital Mailroom for their corporate office and within a year, had rolled it out to three more offices. During that process, the team began to think more strategically about mail. “The solution has allowed us to analyse and optimise our processes,” said Kilroy. “With Digital Mailroom, we tag different types of mail and dig deeper into trends. How many returned customer invoices are we getting? How many bankruptcies? We’ve gained a new way to look at our business — and can better help customers with similar challenges.”

Digital Mailroom has also improved the secure handling of mail. Employees no longer have boxes of documents with sensitive financial or personal information at their homes.

Twenty different pre-determined routing rules send digitised mail to secure folders, so that only team members with the correct permissions have access to different types of documents. Since launching the program, Digital Mailroom has routed mail with 100% accuracy.

Physical documents are kept for 30 days before they are shredded and then recycled. The mail handling team worked closely with the records management team to determine which documents needed to be kept longer — those are flagged by the system and set aside for longer-term storage

Improving relationships one envelope at a time

One of the unexpected benefits of Digital Mailroom is the positive impact on Iron Mountain’s relationships with vendors and customers. Like many large organisations, Iron Mountain had accepted certain mail-related challenges that emerged during the pandemic. For example, customer invoices were returned with no forwarding address, employee check deposits were delayed, and vendor late fees were incurred when invoices weren’t paid on time. Iron Mountain’s new mail-processing solution proactively mitigates many of these challenges.

Before Digital Mailroom was implemented, envelopes containing check payments from vendors might sit on an employee’s desk for up to two weeks until that person came into the office. Now, automation flags the checks as they’re scanned. “Right after a check is scanned, our imaging team sends it directly to our lockbox to be deposited,” said Kilroy. “We’ve decreased the time to deposit checks by an average of seven days.” This year, the team has processed an average of 350 checks monthly, totaling to $5M in deposits.

Kilroy has also worked closely with teams around Iron Mountain to improve their mailing process. Before Digital Mailroom, it was accepted that after a quarterly mailing, dozens of returned letters were to be expected. Now, the digital solution enables the team to identify and flag which customer or vendor letters are being returned repeatedly. The account team can then proactively reach out to that contact and get an updated address on file. “It’s allowed us to have those more proactive conversations, an unexpected benefit,” explained Kilroy. “Our original purpose was to bridge mail challenges for remote work. But we’ve realised that we’re able to look more holistically at our mail, which is a game-changer.”

Delivering efficiency and improved team communication

With Digital Mailroom, every piece of mail is automatically digitised upon arrival and sent to employees. Removing the scanning bottleneck has saved Iron Mountain teams hours — especially those in Legal and Finance who scanned hundreds of pages of contracts and bankruptcy documents regularly. It has also improved communication across the company since multiple teams can instantly access the information they need, rather than waiting for someone to manually scan and send a document.

In addition to all of the improvements her team has been able to facilitate for internal Iron Mountain stakeholders using Digital Mailroom, Kilroy is particularly proud of the impact they’ve had on customers. “It allows us to take off those sales glasses,” she said. “We’re trying to help you solve your problem. Using our own solution puts us in the customer’s seat, allows us to see it from the customer’s point of view and that has greatly elevated our ability to be helpful and hands-on expertise.”

Ready to ditch your legacy mailhandling process? Learn more about Iron Mountain Digital Mailroom Solution.