The new parcel management
New challenges call for new solutions: It’s time for a new approach to parcel management.
Today’s world is digital. Ecommerce is commonplace. Mail centers often find themselves overwhelmed with parcels and struggle to keep pace with employee expectations.
Parcel volume trends show no signs of slowing down either, with annual shipping volume expected to increase by nearly 15% through 2024.
Workplace dynamics have changed, too. Businesses have adopted new models such as hoteling and the hybrid mix of in-office and remote work. Parcels are delivered, but often employees are not onsite to receive them and want updates to know their items are safe and secure.
Cost pressures, space limitations and short staffing all add to your challenges. Inbound, outbound, and across the entire mail center experience, you need a better way.
It’s not just about the parcels anymore.
In your world, incoming parcels can range from supplies and equipment to important documents for administration and even personal deliveries for employees.
As companies evolve and the number of inbound packages rises, centralized mail centers struggle to keep up with volumes, storage limitations and new workforce models. Because the need for social distancing further complicates an already challenging situation, some have begun to investigate contactless delivery solutions
Higher expectations have raised the bar.
- Surge in package volume leads to delivery delays, raising concerns from employees.
- Recipients demand fast, error-free updates.
- Ensuring health and safety is a top priority among employers and employees.
Mail centers are experiencing challenges.
- Higher volumes require longer shifts, resulting in overworked staff.
- Time-wasting, manual login limits responsiveness and increases costs.
- Packages not being picked up quickly take up valuable shelf space.
- Lost or misplaced packages create a negative experience.
- More packages require more storage space in already cramped mail centers.
Four ways to increase efficiency, precision and satisfaction.
Automate to save time, money and headaches.
You’ll be able to enhance services and satisfaction among employees. Plus, you can increase security and control.
Here are four ways you can automate your parcel management services to step up to today’s challenges.
The State of Louisiana Office of Technology Services (OTS) processes over 2.5 million pieces of mail each month for 120 state agencies across 1,800 delivery points. As operations continued to expand, they needed a way to keep up.
By installing an initial 56 smart lockers at its headquarters, OTS was able to service even more locations in the same number of hours, documenting a 40% decrease in man hours per day. With robust security, accountability and tracking, SendSuite® Tracking from Pitney Bowes ensured a safe, reliable way to handle sensitive government documents. Smart lockers proved to be the convenient, flexible solution OTS needed.
Streamline inbound delivery with prompt tracking notifications.
“Where’s my package?”
Employees juggle many priorities, and the last thing they want to worry about is where their package is. They may need documents, materials or equipment to complete their work in a timely fashion.
When important packages go astray it can delay urgent projects and negatively impact productivity and profits. When you make the tracking process painless, you reduce their stress, your stress and the time you have to devote to coping with both.
Many businesses have adopted automated inbound parcel tracking systems for efficiency and peace-of-mind. They provide:
- Accurate status information from the time a parcel arrives to the mail center.
- The ability to process inbound parcels fast.
- Instant automated messages about pickup and delivery.
- Knowledge of where every parcel is until it’s delivered.
Add cost-saving convenience of anytime self-service parcel pickup.
“But I’m working remote today.”
Many businesses now opt for self-service package pickup via smart lockers.
Smart Lockers are designed to provide secure, contactless delivery while improving the package pickup experience across the board. Using lockers also frees up space in small, confined mailrooms that can result in damaged or misplaced packages, as well as an unsafe work environment.
Smart Lockers can easily meet the demands of busy employees. Recipients receive prompt incoming package notifications and can pick up packages at their convenience, using a secure PIN, barcode or issued ID. Once the package is picked up by the recipient, the locker is free to be used for another package, for another recipient.
With a smart locker solution, organizations can simplify mail center operations while improving productivity, safeguarding health and enhancing employee satisfaction. Delivery and pickup are automatically tracked. A strict chain-of-custody process is ensured to reduce liability risk.
“Isn’t there a better way to send this?”
Provide best-in-class services with multi-carrier outbound shipping.
Businesses want to economize on shipping. Management needs to allocate expenses and control spending. Employees need an easy way to send and receive. Plus, everyone wants online tracking and reliable delivery.
Single-carrier negotiated contracts that once provided surefire savings no longer suffice. Regional carriers and new USPS® services often offer huge savings and excellent delivery options.
Companies are finding more options and better pricing through multi-carrier shipping. They’re turning to automated solutions to simplify the selection process. What’s more, these flexible cloud-based sending solutions provide easy access to all employees, whether they’re on site, working remotely or even traveling on business.
Establish rules for everyone to live by.
Paper logs and manual processes simply can’t keep pace with the volume and complexity of today’s enterprise shipping needs. Businesses need a foolproof way to streamline shipping and delivery.
Automating processes makes it possible to eliminate costly inconsistencies and inefficiencies.
- Negotiate more favorable rates.
- Identify opportunities to reduce costs.
- Set business rules and enforce compliance.
- Gain upfront visibility.
- Avoid carrier surcharges.
- Easily allocate billing to the appropriate cost centers
“How do I pick?”
When you’re ready to improve service and lower your costs, a few simple considerations will help you choose wisely.
01. Ease of integration
How easily can you integrate prospective parcel management solutions with other systems? For example, you’ll want to manage chargebacks automatically across accounts, departments and business units with current accounting systems.
02. Flexibility and scalability
You may change your business rules. You won’t want to keep changing your solutions. Look for systems that can support your evolving needs.
You’re looking to make life simpler, more efficient and less stressful for you and those you serve. So, look for solutions, inbound and outbound, that work together. The easiest, most cost-effective choice is often to select a single provider that offers integrated capabilities.
Look for extra benefits.
The same technology that helps you track and manage parcels can help you maintain control over equipment and track assets. With more employees working remotely or in a hot-desking environment on site, it also provides an efficient, secure way for them to access the supplies and equipment they need.
Quickly generate reports for managing assets and their associated costs.
Parcel management automation solutions may provide options for efficiencies in surprising places. Look beyond your typical services to see where your business might benefit.
There are many valuable assets that shift around between departments and users, including expensive equipment, laptops, printers and more.
There are parcel management systems that help companies manage these assets too. Simply apply a barcode to any item. These solutions seamlessly integrate tracking with existing inventory systems. Plus, they provide a contactless way to deliver items to the IT department that need to be serviced or returned. The barcode technology provides important tracking updates for sharing or servicing items such as:
- The exact location and status of assets in real time
- When and where assets have been signed out or delivered
- The current users
- The return dates
- The wait lists
- The inputs for inventory, maintenance and upgrade plans