20 May The importance of good email management
Its 9 am Monday morning. How many emails have you and your team received today? How many have you sent? How many times have you checked your inbox?
In organisations across most industries, mail has become the most widely used form of communication. Daily, key business decisions are discussed and key information which is crucial to businesses is shared by email. The inbox is an important business asset and should be managed appropriately.
It is estimated that over 306 Billion emails are sent worldwide, every single day. Even after removing spam, each worker receives 120 emails a day on average, every single one of which could contain critical information relating to your business. Furthermore, managing email effectively has a significant impact on the bottom line and has a direct impact on compliance, legal, customer service, audit and operational efficiency.
What do we mean when we refer to email management in organisations? Today, we will cover what email management is, why it is important for organisations to consider, common challenges and how to create an effective email management strategy for your organisation.
What is email management?
As the most used form of communication throughout organisations it should not be not be a surprise that up to 90% of an organisations data can be held in email. Email management is a specific field of communications management for handling high volumes of inbound electronic mail received by organizations. For this reason, email must be included as part of the organisational standards addressing information and records.
Email management is more than just inbox sorting. To ensure business policies and standards are upheld, emails must be consistently classified, stored and if needed destroyed similarly to how the organisation treats documents and records. Email management includes the systematic control of the quality and quantity of electronic messages that are sent internally and externally by an organization.
Email metadata associated with the emails should also be captured to allow the information to be managed and accessed by employees with proper permissions.
Why is email management important?
- Client Service – with critical data being spread across numerous individual mailboxes, how quickly can you establish the full and most up-to-date position? This challenge is made even greater when members of staff leave.
- Productivity – have you ever sat down and thought about how much time is wasted trying to search and find emails? Outlook has no filtering capability, only search. Simple searching creates a long list of emails and it can be incredibly hard to pinpoint exactly which email you are looking for. This is especially the case with attachments. Also, can you be 100% certain that you have found everything? Maybe you end up asking colleagues or having to search other mailboxes, using up even more valuable time. Maybe staff are ‘sinking under a deluge of emails’.
- Risk – having data scattered across multiple mailboxes not only makes it much harder to search and find information but also increases the chances of using out-of-date or incorrect information.
- Staff Morale – with staff being copied in to all emails relating to a particular client or job, whether the email is relevant to them or not, they run the risk of email overload. Typically, they either waste even more time by having to read every single
What are the Benefits of email management?
For companies, managing email effectively can have a significant impact on the bottom line and a direct impact on compliance, legal, customer service, audit and operational efficiency. These main benefits are discussed in more detail below:
- Increased Productivity
An enormous amount of time is wasted searching and retrieving emails and documents. Having a well organised central email and document storage system that is up-to-date in real-time and allows staff to cut through the deluge of emails and documents in seconds can make a huge economic impact to operational efficiency and company bottom line.
A good Email Management solution reduces staff filing and searching time by up to 2 hours a day, automatically files up to 80% of emails, provides a central business repository of email information that is updated in real-time, easily handles daily email volumes and is not impacted by staff leaving or moving between projects or teams.
- Improved Customer Service
Silos of inaccessible emails held in each user’s mailbox make it almost impossible to establish the full picture, particularly if there is a high number of staff movement e.g. leavers or project transfers. Having one central set of real-time, up-to-date information supporting all business activities can significantly improve client communications and responsiveness by giving a single view of all customer-related emails and documents.
A good Email Management solution provides a single central repository of information that is up-to-date in real-time, is easily searched and access by staff allowing customer queries to be answered in real-time.
- Reduced Risk
Risk can take a number of different forms depending on what services the business is supplying, examples for reduced business risk are:
- Decreased Cost of Litigation
Having a system which records every inbound and outbound email is not enough for an organisation. If an email from three years ago is required by a legal request, having a smart searchable storage system can save multiples of employee’s hours and stress.
With the introduction of the General Data Protection Rules (GDPR), email data has been moved very firmly into personal data classification and the potential associated fines from the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) as seen at British Airways.
A good Email Management solution will provide a well organised central record of email information that fully supports quick and easy legal discovery and investigations.
- Decreased Exposure to Security Threats
Viruses delivered by email can expose important company assets, from intellectual property to customer information. The financial losses from even a single such breach can be significant: Forbes has estimated there will be a cost of $6 trillion in damages which is more than the total of all the natural disasters in a year. While most businesses might not have a significant size of liability, losing customer data or company secrets is never desired.
A good Email Management solution allows ease of recovery from viruses delivered by email.
- Speedy Recovery in Disaster Situation
Ensuring all organisations data is stored on back up servers is an essential part of disaster recovery and having a rigorous email archiving system will help the organisation efficiently get back up and running after a disaster has occurred. i.e. The difference between a calm controlled recovery and a frantic one is knowing where the data is located and where it should be restored to.
The ideal email management solution for an organisation ensures a record of where email data is located, provides easy recovery from a disaster situation and supports business continuity plans.
- Decreased Cost of Audit and Compliance
Recent corporate scandals have triggered a new wave of legislation aimed at increasing the transparency of business practices. While that has been helpful for the public’s conscience and to regulatory bodies, for most businesses it has been a nightmare. Increased demands for document retention have led to soaring storage costs from cobbled-together solutions. A good email management system can decrease the cost of audit and compliance by simplifying and streamlining that entire process.
- Improved Staff Morale
With each member of staff now receiving more than 120 emails per day, it can be difficult to find information. Many users are unnecessarily copied into emails which unnecessarily increases stress levels. Providing a single mail window will counteract this without having to change any working practices.
A good Email management solution makes it easier for staff to do their job which is a direct consequence of many of the benefits described above.
A good Email Management solution provides a completely transparent online record of business, customer and supplier information processed via email, ensures corporate compliance of data protection rules and GDPR.
Challenges of email management
How do you Integrate with your existing business/operational systems (e.g. Sales, Project Management, Accounting, Document Management, etc.) How do you supports your business processes end-to-end, connecting people and information across all your applications?
How do you create a complete database of emails and documents including all historical data without duplicate copies? How do you deal with the challenge to separate spam, personal communication and routine notifications from content with long‐term business value?
How do you ensure emails are filed by the users once the system has ‘gone live’?
Best practises for email management
Automate, Automate, Automate!!!
Products that have been specifically designed for advanced Mail management such as Knowledgemill Mail Manager can automate the complex process of filing and simplifies searching for emails, attachments and documents across your entire organisation by securely storing all data into one central database. Knowledgemill ensures that you will never lose an email or document again, which will save you valuable time with instant access to all important and relevant data at the click of a button anywhere and at any time.
Ongoing training and support of staff to capture and retain official emails can be challenging process. However, with Knowledgemill Mail Manager never rely on the discipline of your users filing behaviour again with Knowledgemill’s mandatory filing option.
Knowledgemill is an open architecture solution that already integrates with many system ‘Out of the box’ and is easy to configure with systems that have their own APIs.
Reduce storage and expense
Find a system that will ingest all your historic emails and documents into one central database for use throughout your business. Ensure all Emails are de-duplicated and compressed either manually by staff or automatically.
Central database with smart search facility
Ensure one true Central database, which allows users to access emails and documents from their Outlook or mobile window with a powerful search and filtering capability and contains a Single search across all content including emails, attachments and documents.
There are many challenges in providing a full email management solution to a company or business. There are the competing needs of the different stakeholders from Legal, IT and the business; It is usually critical to any business to maintain a complete record of email communications while balancing the increased costs and risks associated with keeping all information and then there is the challenge of making it as easy as possible for business users to file, search and find information
As part of an organisations information governance and content management efforts, accounting for email is key. Selecting the right email management system, automation and exit strategy will achieve this.
Knowledgemill Mail Manager automates the complex process of filing and simplifies searching for emails, attachments and documents across your entire organisation by securely storing all data into one central database. Relax in the knowledge that you will never lose an email or document again, saving valuable time with instant access to all important and relevant data at the click of a button anywhere and at any time.