One of the challenges, which any digital office faces, is making sure that every communication that comes into the office or goes out of the office is identifiable and retrievable at a later date. What we have learned is that the scanning side of our process is the easiest part. Paper comes into the office or goes out of the office and is converted to digital PDF or JPEG format and filed.
What many firms fail to realize is that the increasing volume of email and other digital communication is the easiest to fall through the cracks. For instance, an email comes in with an Adobe document attached. Every firm must develop a routing process, which effectively deals with that email. With the paper that comes into our office, a document cover routing sheet is attached and everything that needs to happen with that document is identified. From calendaring to tasks, the document cover routing sheet is filled out. This process provides a comprehensive check ensuring that virtually nothing falls through the cracks.
Now let us take another look at the email with the PDF document attached. What is the process for that? Currently, we are developing a HTML form which can be inserted into the email which will be identical to our document cover routing sheet. What we have realized through time is that more and more firms are communicating by email as opposed to fax and mail. We are trying to bring all of the certainty that exists with our routing sheet to bear on the digital information which we receive.
Does your firm have a standardized process for handling incoming emails which may include important calendar dates, PDF attachments, which need to go to the file server, tasks, which may need to occur as a result of the information contained in the email or the PDF, routing checklist and the like?