For decades, email has been central to professional communications. When contracts must be signed, approvals documented, FOIs requested, and proposals suggested, email remains central to communicating essential information both internally and externally.
This remains true whether the organization works in retail, manufacturing, professional services or the public sector. Email management stretches across almost every industry. So too, however, do its associated challenges.
For actionable advice on how to overcome these challenges, you can download our exclusive eBook - ‘The Challenge of Email Management and What you Need to Solve it’
From document retention policies to accessing information for compliance audits, there are many ways that contemporary email management processes fail to adapt to the challenges of modern business. In local government, professional services, and manufacturing sectors, these challenges are among the most pronounced.
Public sector associations face unique challenges when it comes to managing email. They process a high volume of personal data and are often governed by stringent regulatory and compliance standards. Such organizations must meet the same stringent compliance standards as their private sector counterparts, but often with far more restrictive budgets and resources to help them do it. In a world where people are becoming increasingly aware and concerned about how their data is used, it’s even more important for local government organizations to prove their data compliance credentials.
To remain compliant, organizations must ensure that all the data they process is properly archived and readily accessible. They must also maintain comprehensive records of who the data belongs to, when it was processed, and by which means. Unlike data stored in SharePoint or a customer relationship management (CRM) system, information that resides in emails cannot be processed in data audits. That data becomes siloed and therefore poses a real threat to non-compliance.
As well as this, much of the data that local governments process is subject to public record requests. Depending on the regulations in the individual state, members of the public can request to view certain pieces of information or data, and the organization is obligated to respond within a certain time period. Data in email inboxes will either be difficult or impossible to track down in the event of such requests.
Workers in professional service-based roles process a uniquely high number of email communications on a regular basis. Some estimates even suggest that information workers could spend 10% of their working life checking and writing. On average, this equates to some 4,000 emails each a year. Effectively and productively managing this constant stream of information is a real challenge for professional service workers.
Effective collaboration requires documents and information to be seamlessly passed between workers within an organization. To do this, email information should be easily accessible, with the appropriate metadata added, to ensure a seamless process of searching and accessing email data. Contemporary email management processes don’t make it easy for users to easily do this. It’s vital therefore that professional service businesses take advantage of solutions that make it easier to add metadata to emails and store them in centralized locations.
For manufacturing companies, emails are often far more important documents of record than they first seem. In some situations, poor email management could end up costing the business significant amounts of money. If machine warranties are stored as files or attachments in email inboxes, they could be difficult or even impossible to find when they’re needed. In the event of a machine suddenly breaking down, this could mean the company having to buy an entirely new machine from scratch, rather than getting it replaced for free.
Both construction and manufacturing industries depend on the smooth running of supply chains. It’s important that goods can move quickly from supplier to site to prevent any hold-ups occurring. But selecting appropriate suppliers requires a complex audit process that assesses their ability to reliably provide the requisite products. Contracts and accreditation documents must be passed between legal, finance and many other departments—and each must be appropriately documented for any future edits.
It’s vital that this important documentation can be easily saved and stored in the relevant places, to ensure everyone always has easy access when needed.
Email management processes pose some of the most challenges for businesses working in these industries. But in reality, they affect all businesses in one way or another. It’s natural for workers to simply assume that these challenges are a normal part of daily working life. They don’t stop to consider the harmful effects that poor email management could be having on their organization. It’s important that your company explores what options are available to solve these common email management challenges.
We consider these challenges in our recent eBook: The challenge of email management and what you need to solve it. We outline the difficulties in further detail and consider how business leaders in modern organizations can work to alleviate the problems they pose.
If you want to find out more about the solutions to common email management challenges, download our eBook today.