Shipping & Mailing

University of Liverpool automates tracking of inbound student mail for full accountability.

By implementing SendSuite™ Arrival® from Pitney Bowes, the University has brought post operations into the digital age.

Client profile

University internationally recognised for research

More than 4,500 students housed in 7 halls of residence

An international student population of 22 percent

Business Goals

Improve the student experience

Increase employee productivity

Create a record for accountability

Benefits

Students notified immediately when parcels arrive

Fast, efficient turnover of parcels

Accountability all the way through final delivery

Technology Used

Arrival® XE

Arrival® XE - track and manage your inbound mail

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Overview

"The real benefit of this system is the accountability all the way through final delivery. We have a record to reference if there’s a query." Niki Horobin,
Hall Operations Manager,
University of Liverpool

For more than a century, delivering a postal package into a student’s hands was the responsibility of the porter, who would manage the post and keys for a hall of residence using pen and paper. When the University of Liverpool created new student reception centres to meet modern demands, they called on Pitney Bowes for help managing large volumes of inbound student mail. "A paper system doesn’t work. You need something more professional to make it efficient," says Niki Horobin, Hall Operations Manager.

Business Need

Each hall of residence receives three or four large bags of correspondence from the Royal Mail daily as well as parcels from international couriers. The staff then sorts the post and notifies the students that they have packages for pickup.

"About three or four years ago, the system was very prehistoric — a whiteboard and a paper book. You’d write in the book who the parcel was for, and you’d write on the whiteboard when it came. The problem with that was human error, and it was a huge one", says Horobin. With no efficient system for distribution, students’ parcels would sit on the shelves, taking up valuable space.

Solution

SendSuite Arrival had already been implemented to streamline mail delivery at a neighbouring institution, The University of Manchester. The University of Liverpool decided to emulate Manchester’s model first with a trial in two halls of residence, and then across the campus.

SendSuite Arrival Inbound Package Tracking Software automates package handling for the University and ensures full accountability for parcels until they are picked up by students. Barcode readers, electronic signature capture, and tracking and reporting functions have brought post operations into the digital age to meet the expectations of today’s students.

Benefits

"Looking back, I can’t believe we used a paper book and a whiteboard to keep track. Now I think the first impression that the student gets is one of efficiency." Niki Horobin,
Hall Operations Manager,
University of Liverpool

"If a courier company emails a student to say that a parcel has arrived before it has actually arrived, and the student comes looking for it, I have the information there in black and white. There’s no question of human error. And 10 times out of 10, the parcel turns up in a few minutes or a few hours". With the inefficient old paper system, it was easy to point the finger at University staff. SendSuite Arrival enables the staff to answer questions with authority.

Gains have been made in efficiency and employee productivity too. "The paper system was very labor intensive. On a daily basis, it could take up to four or five hours to process the incoming mail. It became a long, drawn-out process", says Horobin. "SendSuite helps our parcel management run so much more effectively. We’re at a stage now where some parcels don’t even make it to the shelf. The parcels are scanned in, and emails go out to the students automatically. If the students are walking around the halls, they come and get the parcels right away. The flow is so quick", says Horobin.