5 Reasons Why Email Automation or Digital Mailroom Is A Priority For Highly Regulated Industries

May 6, 2024

7 minute read

Email is like the MVP of business communication. It's how we share information, collaborate with our colleagues, and make things happen. But here's the thing: as we rely more and more on email, we need to ensure we're managing and preserving it right for key purposes, like efficiency, compliance, scalability and data-driven insight.

Email management is notorious for its complexity and the time it takes to do it right. It involves opening countless emails, converting them to PDFs along with all attachments that arrive in various formats and transferring the final output file to another system or department for further processing. This process is extremely labor-intensive, and it also leaves room for human error, which makes consistent compliance and standardization difficult to ensure.

Here are 5 reasons why automating your email processing or digital mailroom is essential for gaining operational excellence and, most importantly, avoiding non-compliance fines. Because, who wants to shell out big bucks for something that can be solved with smart automation, and at a fraction of the cost?


5 Reasons Why Digital Mailroom Is A Priority For Highly Regulated Industries

Reason 1: Non-compliance with email retention can result in hefty fines, legal disputes, damage to reputation, and even criminal charges.

Email is often a legal requirement for many industries. SOX, HIPAA, CFR, FTC, SEC and FINRA regulations mandate the retention and archival of electronic records, including email communications.

Numerous high-profile cases have demonstrated the severe financial impact of non-compliance fines.

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Reason 2: Manual interventions and process gaps in email processing are costing your business in employee productivity and higher costs.

If your organization is still processing email correspondence manually, this requires dedicated personnel to handle the process of ingestion, conversion, and publishing, which adds to the overall labor costs and pulls your resources away from higher-value tasks. Additionally, manual processes are prone to errors, leading to potential rework and additional expenses.


Reason 3: Intelligent email automation improves search and retrieval capabilities.

One of the significant challenges of manual email processing is the difficulty in locating and retrieving specific emails when needed. However, with email automation, organizations can benefit from 100% searchable text layer over all text and images in the body of the email and in all its attachments, regardless of the original format they came in. This enables employees to easily search for and locate the information that they need, and ensures compliance.


Reason 4: Digital mailroom helps enhance data security and comply with data controls mandates.

Data security is a critical concern for organizations, especially when it comes to sensitive information contained in emails. Manual email processing can inadvertently pose security risks, such as unauthorized access, data breaches, or accidental deletion.

Digital Mailroom solutions allow organizations to implement access controls and permissions to fortify their defense mechanism against such threats. Emails and related attachments can be automatically extracted to specific locations related to a case or record number based on email metadata, ensuring that only authorized personnel can view or retrieve archived emails.


Reason 5: Intelligent email processing enables organizations to scale processes and future-proof technology for growth, changing compliance requirements and evolving tech.

As organizations grow and evolve, generating more emails over time, digital mailroom can scale up to accommodate the growing processing needs without increasing cost or overhead. For you this means that email processing remains efficient and effective, even as the email volume increases, ensuring compliance and avoiding potential penalties.

Automated email solutions can seamlessly integrate with existing email platforms and systems, making it easier to implement and manage. This integration allows organizations to leverage their existing infrastructure and workflows, minimizing disruption and maximizing efficiency.

Here are a few examples of how leading organizations do it:


Use Case Overview

Pharma & Life Sciences

Digital Mailroom captures all incoming email correspondence, such as from regulatory agencies, and converts the body of the email and all attachments into searchable PDF that can be easily archived or fed into AI tools for data extraction, insights or automation.


Digital Mailroom captures all incoming claims submissions, converts the body of the email that includes the case number in the subject along with all the attachments into fully digital PDF case files and saves them in a dedicated case folder for further processing.


As you start to integrate (or expand) AI and ML technologies across your organization, it is key to ensure that the data in your document repositories is accessible by these systems. This means you cannot afford to keep maintaining unstructured data in a form of unsearchable documents creating obstacles for your AI initiatives. Automating incoming email processes ensures all emails and attachments are converted into formats readable and ingestible by AI and ML technology.

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Here Is How A Leading Insurance Company Saved Big With A Digital Mailroom

A leading general insurance company is committed to providing its customers with a superior claims experience and continuously seeks ways to improve efficiency in claims processing.


One of their biggest challenges was the high volume of claims and claim-related email correspondence received on a daily basis, with over 100 million pages per year and growing at 25% YOY. Each claim email and its attachments had to be individually opened, converted to a PDF, merged together and saved into a dedicated folder for further processing.


To address these challenges, insurer implemented Adlib, a document automation platform that seamlessly integrated with the company's inbox, folder network, and OpenText repository. Adlib automates the processing of incoming claim emails by detaching all attachments, converting the email body and attachments into a searchable PDF, and extracting metadata such as case numbers from the subject. The final file is then saved in a dedicated folder for adjusters to further action. Additionally, Adlib enables adjusters to automatically assemble letters, forms or other communications into a shareable PDF format.


The company has saved $6 million in overhead and legacy system costs by streamlining manual claims email and document processing. What's more, the response time to customers has improved from days to hours, resulting in a more accurate, smoother, and efficient workflow. With Adlib, this insurer has been able to better serve its customers, meet their needs, and enhance the overall claims experience.


Here Is How Life Sciences Organizations Can Streamline Regulatory Correspondence With A Digital Mailroom

The life sciences industry has strict requirements for processing and retaining regulatory email correspondence for audit and compliance purposes.


Regulatory Affairs knowledge workers spent excessive time processing and converting regulatory emails and attachments to PDF format, which takes them away from other critical work and leaves room for potential errors. Also, ensuring that all regulatory correspondence is archived according to data retention requirements is a daily challenge which is difficult to validate. The lack of an automated, proven way to ensure 100% searchability of archived correspondence makes it difficult to retrieve information quickly and easily, hindering productivity and compliance efforts, especially during audits.


Adlib is a comprehensive solution to address these challenges. Adlib seamlessly connects to the company's inbox and core systems such as DMS (like Documentum, SharePoint, CARA, etc), RIM (like MasterControl, Veeva, etc) and other, ensuring that it automatically receives incoming emails from regulators, processes them according to business rules and transfers archive-ready, compliant PDFs to their final destination. Adlib intelligently detaches all attachments and converts the email body and attachments into one searchable PDF (with tables of contents, hyperlinked bookmarks, and markup, as needed), greatly enhancing the efficiency of email management.

More importantly, Adlib extracts key metadata from the email subject, further streamlining the process of organizing and retrieving information. The final PDF files are then saved in a dedicated folder, where they can be easily accessed and actioned further by authorized personnel.


Life sciences organizations can achieve higher efficiency, allowing knowledge workers to refocus their efforts on higher-value tasks and advance their careers. Adlib archives all regulatory correspondence according to data retention requirements, ensuring compliance and streamlining audits.


No More Compromises For Legacy Email Processes – Digital Mailroom Is A Must In 2024

Intelligent email automation, or digital mailroom, is a strategic investment (and a necessity) that brings numerous benefits to organizations of all sizes and industries. As the volume of emails continues to grow, digital mailroom becomes increasingly essential for organizations to stay competitive, efficient, and customer-focused.

Book a personalized workshop with our automation experts to identify process gaps and automation opportunities in your email correspondence workflows.





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