In a remote working world, everyone is now responsible for business shipping and mailing.
Working remotely has quickly evolved from an employee perk to the new normal. One operational business function being impacted by this transition is shipping and mailing. Every employee is now a potential business shipper and mailer; it no longer falls on one dedicated team in one part of the office. But that also means everyone suddenly has a lot to learn. As responsibilities for shipping and mailing shift to employees who haven’t done it much before, businesses need to get everyone up to speed on the most vital shipping and mailing need-to-knows. Consider this your checklist of essentials for setting up employees for shipping and mailing success as they work from home.The basics for employers
Make sure all available corporate shipping carriers have been communicated to employees. You don’t want to overwhelm them, but at the same time, everyone should be aware of their options so they don’t default to personal preferences.
Ensure employees have all the home shipping essentials at their disposal – namely, shipping supplies, a tape measure, a scale, printer and access to the proper software. If your employees didn’t have that access pre-COVID, make sure to grant it now.
Coach employees on taking the time to evaluate cost differences between carriers, and review and compare rates. You don’t want anyone making assumptions or picking certain carriers just out of convenience.
Despite best intentions, there are several pitfalls that can get in the way of sending something out the door efficiently. Here are more common pitfalls for new office shippers to be aware of.Carrier, postage and label tips for employees
First-Class or Priority? USPS First-Class Mail® and USPS Priority Mail® can be used for the same kinds of mail pieces, with one crucial difference: you must use First-Class for anything weighing under 13 oz and Priority Mail for anything over.
Follow protocol for carrier pickups. Adhere to your company’s usual process for managing carrier pickups, so that you’re leveraging pre-set costs and avoiding unnecessary fees or getting into a cash-on-demand situation. For instance, say you scheduled a pickup with a carrier but don’t know your company’s account number. The carrier will require cash payment from you at pick up. And while you can expense it later to the company credit card, that ends up costing everyone more time, labor and money.
Printing postage. Use stamp sheets that each print up to 25 adhesive stamps on your home printer. Use a dedicated label printer and stamp rolls to print up to 50 individual die-cut stamps at once.
Printing shipping labels. Print carrier-complaint labels on adhesive shipping labels with a thermal shipping label printer, for a more professional look. No thermal label printer? No problem; you can still print shipping labels to your desktop printer and tape them to their boxes. Double and triple check you’re putting in the correct weight for each mail piece to avoid overage fees and surcharges.
Take a deep breath. Before making any major decisions, ask yourself: does this need to be sent the fastest (and most expensive) way possible? Is it as urgent as you think?
As more employees begin to ship and mail on their own, they’ll need a solution to navigate these obstacles, simplify their work and help the company control costs.All the more reason for businesses to invest in a shipping software, which streamlines these complex processes and eliminate a lot of the guesswork or human error that might otherwise drive up shipping costs and errors.Compliance is criticalAbiding by the different sets of shipping and mailing regulations is no easy feat for the specialists working out of the mailroom; it will be especially complicated for most other employees without any kind of guidance.Whether we’re talking about electronic receipts, certified mail or privacy rules around certain kinds of mailings (e.g. letters containing healthcare information) there are many different shipping and mailing regulations to comply with. Failing to do so, even if it’s a simple mistake, can end up leading to major penalties for the business. Here again, the PitneyShip™ Portfolio of shipping solutions can help simplify an otherwise complicated and stressful process.
This ensures that everyone in your organization is abiding by compliance standards without having to memorize each of those rules.As businesses train their employees into at-home shipping pros, Pitney Bowes is here to make the transition easier. With PitneyShipTM and PitneyShipTM Pro, we’re empowering workers who aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of business shipping and mailing to easily and intuitively obtain postage and shipping supplies, navigate optimal carriers and rates for each mail piece, and achieve compliance every step of the way. Our solutions ensure that your remote workforces have the scalability and flexibility they need to send smarter and be successful business shippers.