The Problems with Scanning Directly to Email

What do you do with physical mail when suddenly everyone is working at home? At the start of the pandemic, firms used the tools they had available and started scanning mail directly to email.  

The assumption at the time was that the problem would go away. But for many, many firms, hybrid operations are here to stay. Even pre-pandemic, you didn’t really know where a given attorney was going to be on a given day.  

As it turns out, the digital mailroom is just a better solution. The digitization of incoming mail sets the tone in supporting digital transformation in your firm.  

When scanning directly to email: 

  • You don’t know what happened to the item (if anything!)
  • There are no audit trails, no oversight, no reporting 
  • Large attachments make the email mailbox battle more challenging 
  • Group distribution is difficult to setup, manage and use 
  • No delegate access to mail items 

Now, however, it’s time to move past stop-gap measures into a real digital mailroom. It turns out when you move from pushing the mail cart down the hall and go digital, you suddenly have much more powerful workflows at your disposal: 

  • Efficient profiling into the DMS for matter-related items 
  • Delegate access based on the type of mail 
  • Shared queues for docketing, accounts payable, etc. 
  • Security based on the type of item 

I’ve heard the argument of why not just scan to your DMS, since a lot of mail is matter-related. Turns out, this is an even a more challenging route than scanning to email. 

The typical DMS approach is to scan mail into a personal workspace. It does solve one problem of not clogging up your mailboxes, but otherwise, it shares the same issues as scanning to email, and adds some even more challenging obstacles to good workflow, including around notifications, security, refiling and delivery speed.  

Ironically, it doesn’t even help getting documents properly profiled against the right client/matter because mail items tend to languish in personal workspaces. Learn more at The Problems with Scanning Directly to DMS. 

We have a much better idea: MailQ, the digital mailroom built on the nQzw Queues workflow engine:  

  • Immediate notification to recipients in Outlook (but thanks to our integration, no mailbox-clogging attachments) 
  • Flexible workflows that match the firm’s workflow 
  • Security, audit trails and reporting so you know what’s happening 
  • Industry-leading experience in DMS integration 


Bill Bice

CEO | nQ Zebraworks
Recognized as a legal tech industry visionary, receiving Thomson’s innovator of the year award. Founder of ProLaw Software (acquired by Thomson Reuters), West km (used by 70% of the top 1000 law firms worldwide) and Exemplify (acquired by Bloomberg Law).

To learn more about nQ Zebraworks, or for more insight and assistance,
get in touch with us today!

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