Learn About Why It’s Risky to Maintain Status Quo and How to Improve It
While the world is certainly shifting toward digital communications for customers, there are still millions of printed communications mailed daily. If your business is in a regulated industry, you may still mail many important customer communications including invoices, statements, notices, and promotions. Whether you support mailings in-house or through a vendor, customer communication tracking from print to mailing is critical. If you only track your communications manually or partially track them using insufficient tools or aging legacy systems, exposure to undue risk and workflow disruptions are inevitable. You also may be missing opportunities. There are better solutions that remove these worries from your plate, including working with a third party to employ a technology platform for easier and more accurate tracking.
Risks and Pitfalls of Manual Tracking
If you are only partially tracking your customer communications or depend on manual tracking, you are subject to considerable risk and bloated costs. Unless your system is integrated with your manufacturing system, the tracking method may be flawed and leave you with gaps of information that could lead to big errors. Systems that rely on manual entry of information are time intensive and prone to errors. Can you ever feel confident in the overall accuracy of this data with this approach?
Compliance and Security Concerns
Many of the communications you send may also need to abide by different compliance regulations. In healthcare, communications need to adhere to HIPAA regulations. If a breach or incident occurs related to mailed correspondence, you will have to demonstrate your control over the chain of custody process. This would include how the material was printed, mailed, and received. Failure to do so this could result in substantial fines, which can be as much as $1.5 million. Manual tracking offers little validation.
There is also the need to keep the tracking system secure. It may not necessary have personal identifiers like account numbers, but it will most likely have names and addresses. If this data isn’t properly secured, it creates another weakness that could be exploited by hackers, leaving you exposed to non-compliance fines as well as possible lawsuits and a smear on your brand’s reputation.
Additional Costs and Lost Opportunities
One of the hidden costs of in-house mailing is your staff that must track these communications. You may not consider their salary as a direct cost for your customer communications printing operations, but it is at least an indirect cost.
Manual tracking does not allow you to analyze the data. With just rudimentary spreadsheets, unless you have a data scientist on staff, you are doubtful to discover key information about your operations. With more sophisticated, connected workstreams, you will be able to see trends in mailings, which could then turn into insights about how to reduce costs or shave some time off of the process.
Legacy Systems Impede Workflow
Even if your business has advanced beyond manual tracking with legacy systems, there is still the cloud of risk. Legacy systems have lots of disadvantages. They are old and often don’t integrate well with other systems, meaning you could have multiple tracking platforms. If so, your workflow is probably not very efficient. There is also the concern of how all this data can be fed into one “source of truth” system. This may work for now, but long-term, you are sure to encounter more challenges. Luckily, technology now delivers a better solution.
A Complete Tracking Solution for Customer Communications
How would you like to know the status of each communication during its production and mailing? If you think it’s only something that can happen in the future, robust technology platforms deliver this today.
Not only can you monitor the status of each individual piece, you can also access all records, past and present. For archived documents, check approvals and confirmations. It’s the ideal paper trail, in digital form. This monitoring occurs in real-time as well, which is a great advantage when you need to know where a time-sensitive document is. The power of a secure web-based system offers reporting, too, which can be customized based on your needs.
Monitor expenses for your mailings as well for postage, stationary, and other expenses. You can even set reorder thresholds for your inventory.
For a complete tracking system, consider trackPCI. trakPCI offers access to a smarter, more effective workflow for your mission-critical communications. With your trakPCI dashboard, you can see the status of each document from production to pick up by USPS. Experience trakPCI today by viewing our video.