Parcel lockers – what problems do they fix?
With the continuing rise in ecommerce, enterprises are handling a growing volume of parcel deliveries and processing them presents a number of challenges. By sticking with established, largely manual, processes, pressures are only likely to increase, along with frustration for both post room workers and parcel recipients.
It’s not just an increase in parcel volumes causing issues either - where it used to be possible to organise staff time around predictable post arrival times, now work patterns are disrupted by anytime delivery.
8 challenges of incoming parcel management
All of which means enterprises face a range of incoming parcel management issues, including:
- Resourcing – taking delivery of parcels and seeing them through safe delivery to recipients takes time. What’s more, seasonal peaks, such as Christmas, can generate even more deliveries at a time when the post room may have fewer staff due to annual leave
- Availability – tracking down recipients can be tricky, particularly as many people work off-site. Multiple delivery attempts may have to be made and this is wasted staff time
- Storage – when parcels and recipients can’t be quickly united, deliveries build up in the post room. This, at a time when the trend is towards reducing office space to save costs
- Security – data privacy and protection are serious issues, so post room processes need to safeguard against deliveries ending up with the wrong people
- Inefficiency – businesses are striving to do more with less and are investing in technology to improve efficiency and cut costs. Increasing staffing to handle rising parcel volumes doesn’t sit well with this trend
- Missed opportunities – late deliveries can equate to missed business opportunities. Also, staff time spent sorting out parcel deliveries could be better deployed elsewhere
- Cost of failure – the contents of lost parcels may have to be replaced, at a cost. Not only that, but staff time lost to unsuccessful delivery attempts and a labour-intensive, inefficient, manual process is a cost to the business
- Traceability – all these issues can leave post room staff feeling vulnerable, when digitising aspects of the process could protect them through traceable digital records, instead of relying on error-prone, paper-based processes.
How can parcel lockers help?
Parcel lockers provide a way to manage incoming parcels more efficiently while at the same time improving security measures, all within the context of an increasingly mobile workforce.
Instead of tracking down an individual when they have a delivery, the parcel is placed in a secure parcel locker and the recipient is notified by an email containing a code and barcode that opens the designated locker when the information is entered via the touchscreen.
It’s a system that provides traceability, frees up staff to do other things and is convenient for employees who can choose the time that suits them to collect their parcels.
Mail threats: a rare but serious problem
Suspicious items arriving in post rooms present a serious risk and any threats must be acted on immediately. Such items could pose an explosive or biological threat to employees. Fortunately, such occurrences are rare but if they happen, action must be swift and decisive to protect mail handlers and all...