Mail & Ship
Streamlining shipping and receiving can alleviate legal’s cost crunch - here's how
By Stephanie Benedetto, Manager, Product Marketing, Shipping and Tracking Solutions, Pitney Bowes
At first glance, the legal market may not seem like an area that is strapped for cash. Hollywood-ized versions of the legal profession, seen in movies and procedurals on TV, look glamorous and overflowing with more resources than they could possibly need. But, as legal professionals well know, the reality is that law firms struggle to generate revenue and keep costs down just as any other business does. And, like any other business, that constant cost crunch dictates a firm’s day-to-day routine, not the least of which is its internal shipping and or receiving processes.
Across the legal market, shipping and receiving parcels is often a messy affair, due to a combination of mail centres using outdated processing solutions, a lack of package auditing (e.g. delivery receipt signatures), disparate shipping processes across sites for multi-location law firms and so on. How your firm sends, receives and catalogues packages can make all the difference in whether or not an attorney or paralegal receives the evidence and case materials they need, has the ability to track down that material in their shipping archives and can determine, with accuracy, whether their firm received it in the first place.
So, with that in mind, here are a few key considerations for how the legal market can kill two birds with one stone, simplifying their shipping and receiving protocols while also alleviating cost concerns:
Implement Consistent Workflow Processes
Establishing a consistent workflow for dealing with both inbound and outbound packages and accountable mail is important for two reasons. One, it establishes a baseline of accuracy and transparency in how your office processes packages or accountable mail. Two, it ensures that when new hires are brought on board, they have a simple pre-existing process to pick up, instead of needing to create their own protocols on the fly. A lack of consistency in shipping and receiving workflows makes it much easier to mishandle or lose packages, and drives up costs needed to correct these problems. If you lay down some rules first, you can keep costs under control while simultaneously making it easier for employees to manage shipping, receiving and accountable mail processing.
Centralise Shipping Data
That consistency has to apply all across the board, not just in one-off occurrences at individual mail centers. Multi-location firms, for instance, that have multiple sites responsible for sending, receiving and processing packages need to ensure they’re all adhering to the same protocols in the same manner. If one site processes, or labels, inbound packages differently from another, that can make package retrieval or look-up an unnecessarily difficult and expensive ordeal.
All the more reason to centralise a firm’s shipping data into a single database. Rather than running multiple shipping operations (one for each site) in parallel, and hoping that they’re somewhat compatible with each other, you can take uncertainty out of the equation by making sure every site catalogues its shipping inventory data into the same overarching, centralised database. This ensures that wherever a given item was received or sent from, every site has the same access to the same package data, allowing for total transparency throughout the entire firm. And, the more accuracy and transparency you build into your shipping operations, the less likely you’re forced to waste time and money on trying to discover wayward or missing packages.
With Pitney Bowes SendSuite Tracking Online solutions, the legal sector can take a giant leap into the 21st century with a modernized solution designed to streamline internal shipping processes, centralize data from disparate mail centers, implement consistent workflows and help drive costs down with transparent, consistent mail and package reporting.
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