With more and more business-critical data arriving locked away in email attachments, businesses can’t afford not to automate the extraction process.

By Greg Bartels posted 12-01-2011 15:50



If you’ve been in business more than a few years, you remember the “old days.”

Back then, important documents – invoices and applications, for example – came on paper, via the U.S. mail or courier. You opened an envelope, manually entered the information into an internal system and filed the source document. It was simple, predictable … and incredibly inefficient and wasteful.

These days, a huge percentage of data critical to business arrives via email. That’s good – when it comes to saving paper. But with so much of that information locked away in attachments, it doesn’t do a whole lot for efficiency. If you’re manually extracting data from attachments, you might as well be working off a piece of paper. You need to download the attachment, open it, find the pertinent information, enter it and save the source – which, by the way, can arrive as one of dozens of different file types, each with its own quirks and pitfalls.

Shouldn’t your organization be looking for an automated email attachment processing system to save them time and money and help them avoid errors?

At IPS, this functionality is built into our Digital Mailroom system. It automatically reviews documents attached to emails as soon as they arrive, then places them into the same workflow as ones that come via our upload portal, U.S. mail, courier, overnight mail, SFTP or fax. From there, the IPS Intelligent Capture service extracts and validates important information before outputting it in whatever file type your existing system uses. And setup for the client is as simple as creating a new email address.  

It’s the 21st Century, after all. Does it really make sense to receive business-critical information digitally, then hand-key it into internal systems the way you could have done 25 years ago? State-of- the-art solutions now eliminate the need to open emails, download attachments, search for key information or type anything at all.

But paper, of course, isn’t going away – even as the use of email attachments to transmit information expands. That means the disparate methods by which important documents arrive are here to stay. With that in mind, it’s time for organizations to automate all incoming mail processing into one digital mailroom that’s robust enough to handle automated mail handling, no matter what the format.

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