Editorial Type: Comment Date: 2021-02-01 Views: 67 Tags: Document PDF Version:
Our first issue of a new year often includes a roundtable type feature in which we get to ask a selection of industry experts for their predictions for the year ahead.

This time round we almost thought 'What's the point of asking when we know that everyone's responses will be shaped by the ongoing pandemic?' But ask we did, and I'm glad we persisted: you'll see throughout the feature (starting on page 6) that while yes, the virus and its impact does loom large over much of the conversation, it is in fact a largely positive piece, with various contributors agreeing that the technologies we focus on in DM are likely to have a good influence on how businesses manage the ongoing difficult circumstances.

Elsewhere in this issue you'll notice there is a recurring theme across several of the editorial pieces, whether bylined opinions or case studies: everyone seems to be talking about digital mailrooms! The unprecedented rise in people working from home has thrown a spanner in the works of organisations that were used to moving large volumes of physical correspondence around an office network - a digital approach is an obvious solution.

As Storetec's Amy Wright says "Employers are still facing the difficulty of sending staff to the office to collect office post and the odd bits of paperwork to assist with day-to-day queries. Whilst this may seem like a 5-minute task, the time taken to travel to the office in addition to the hours spent self-sorting and scanning the post, makes this a very inefficient way of working. For departments with post arriving frequently such as Accounts who process sensitive and confidential paperwork, weekly or even daily trips may be required. Furthermore, employers are risking the health of individual employees by asking them to visit the office amid the height of the pandemic."

We also feature a case study from EDM Group that was a close runner-up in the DM Awards at the end of last year, involving a 'rapid installation' digital mailroom set up for Direct Line Group, which has helped the insurer to continue operations throughout the crisis. Direct Line Group's Andy Payne explains: "When the Covid-19 pandemic emerged, we urgently implemented a home working strategy to adhere to government guidelines and to ensure the safety of our people. With thousands of mail items being received into our offices across the country it was imperative we found a way to make physical mail available to staff at home to keep the business moving." EDM was able to get the emergency digital mailroom up and running within a week.

It is innovative approaches like this that will help all of us to get through the current situation.

Dave Tyler