Virtual addresses can be used instead of your own address to receive and distribute mail, as well as for services that ask you to provide an address. Find out what they are and how to get one.
An emergency digital mailroom is a solution that can be used in place of a traditional mailroom to handle all of your business's address and postal needs. All operations related to your mail are outsourced to another company, removing all risks and dangers associated with loss of access to business post and other important documents. Many companies will move to an emergency digital mailroom in response to an event or disaster, but once adopted, they become embedded in the way businesses operate. Here’s everything you need to know about an emergency digital mailroom.
How do emergency digital mailrooms work?
Emergency digital mailrooms help to remove the risks associated with losing access to business post. They work by outsourcing the entire process of receiving, storing and sending mail, meaning you won’t need a physical space or personnel to manage this process. This means that your company can continue to operate through mail communications in the event of an emergency or disaster. In order for a digital mailroom to function properly, you’ll need a virtual business address and access to our online mail management platform, which you can learn more about below.
Virtual business address
You’ll be allocated a unique address to use for all of your business’ needs when you sign up. This address can be used for many things such as your registered office address, directors’ service address, receiving mail and more. You’ll just need to update your delivery address information with contacts and suppliers so that any mail is delivered to this address instead. We also recommend setting up a mail redirection service to redirect any items sent to your previous address.
Online mail management
When any mail is sent to your virtual business address, we’ll receive it at our secure mail sorting facility and process the item. We’ll scan the envelope or parcel and store it until you let us know what to do next. The way you view and take action with your mail items is through our platform, which allows you to read, organise, store, forward, respond to, destroy and more. Our platform is available on desktop or as a mobile or tablet app, meaning you can access your mail items wherever you or your team are.
Example emergency digital mailroom workflow
To help demonstrate how emergency digital mailrooms works, we’ve created the below example. The reasons why you seek an emergency digital mailroom and how you utilise it may vary from our steps, so please take this as a guide only.
- Something out of your control happens that results in your business being unable to access the office where you receive and manage mail.
- You sign up for an emergency digital mailroom and verify your identity. You’ll be allocated a unique virtual address and given access to our remote platform.
- You update all delivery information with your suppliers, clients contacts and stakeholders to your emergency digital mailroom address.
- Set up a redirection service to help mail sent to your previous address reach your new location.
- When business mail arrives at your virtual address, we’ll scan the outside and upload this to your account to view online.
- You can then manage mail on a case-by-case basis, taking actions such as forwarding, storing or requesting us to open and scan the contents.
- You have the option to set up custom integrations and automations, which will automatically alert team members when mail arrives that needs their attention.
- If/when you return to the office, you can pause your emergency digital mailroom service and resume your old ways of working. However, many businesses will continue using this service due to the benefits it offers outside of being an emergency solution.
Why would a business need an emergency digital mailroom?
Businesses adopt emergency digital mailrooms for various reasons. Some will have an emergency mailroom as part of their contingency plan in the event of a disaster. In contrast, others will introduce the solution permanently, regardless of whether an emergency has occurred. Below are some common reasons companies move to an emergency digital mailroom solution:
- Reduce the risks associated with business mail - Whether it’s due to an emergency, staff absences or a natural disaster, losing access to your mailroom poses many operational risks. Outsourcing will help to reduce those risks and give you peace of mind that your business is protected in the event of a disaster.
- Store & respond to important documents - If your business sends and receives important business mail such as legal or financial documents, it’s essential that these are securely stored and handled.
- Save on the costs of running a mailroom - Moving to an emergency digital mailroom means you’ll no longer need a physical space or personnel to manage the mailroom. You also won’t need the equipment required, such as printers, scanners or stationery.
- Improve responsiveness to postal communications - If your business relies on postal communication, moving the process of reading and responding to mail to a remote solution can improve response times.
- Reduce their environmental footprint - Without a physical mailroom, you’ll no longer need to print or hold stationery items such as envelopes, meaning you can operate as a paperless business.
- Greater business flexibility - Moving to a remote solution for mail brings greater flexibility for your business. Employees can access and interact with business mail from wherever they are using a connected device.
How quickly can you setup an emergency digital mailroom?
You can sign up for an emergency digital mailroom online, meaning you can be up in a short space of time. We’ll need to verify your identity before you can get up and running, so please have your documents ready if you need to get up and running quickly. You should also consider the time required to update your contact information and set up a redirection service as you’ll want this in place shortly after receiving your virtual address.
Are emergency digital mailrooms temporary?
Despite the word ‘emergency’, digital mailrooms can be more than a temporary solution used in response to an emergency. There are many benefits to moving towards this solution permanently which we’ve highlighted above, and for many companies, reverting back to a traditional mailroom doesn’t make sense. However, if you plan to use emergency digital mailrooms exclusively as part of your risk planning, please visit our contingency planning page where we discuss this in more detail.