Who’s got my parcel?
Some organisations receive hundreds of parcels and other deliveries daily. The packages are often sent to a centralised mailroom with employees expected to manually sort and categorise correspondence to ensure it makes it to the right recipient.
When thinking about organisations that span multiple sites and campuses, such as universities, manually processing items for transit adds another layer of complexity that can elongate internal delivery times further.
Not only is this process slow and inefficient – with recipients possibly waiting a few days for their item – but the likelihood of human error means confidential parcels and items can get lost.
Delayed or lost deliveries are challenges that all firms face, but while you have little control over the courier service used to get the parcel from A to B, any inefficiency within B is self-inflicted and needs to be addressed.
Digitising incoming delivery management benefits all
Using digital solutions that can automatically scan, track and record the exact position of a parcel within a business means final recipients are never left in any doubt that their delivery will arrive.
As soon as parcels are registered in the mailroom, recipients are notified via an automated email message, with updates provided in real-time as packages are passed through each checkpoint. This could include its initial arrival at the mailroom or entering the correct site or department, for example. The ability to sign for products electronically completes the digital chain and means the entire process is completely paperless.
Life for those in the mailroom and those in charge of transit to each checkpoint gets easier too. With the use of handheld scanners and trackers, employees can simply register parcels via barcode technology – with barcodes easily generated and printed for those that don’t already have one. This removes the need for manual, time consuming categorisation, with systems able to allocate where items need to be and how to get them there.
At each checkpoint, barcodes are scanned and information including time, date and serial number is recorded. This information is stored in a central database which can be viewed via a web-based portal. The data enables users to analyse their processes, identifying where bottle-necks still exist and how best to remove them.
Handheld scanners with integrated cameras can also help to settle disputes regarding the state of delivered packages. All too often, packages are damaged in transit and blame is unfairly levelled at the employee who ultimately delivers the item. If photos can be taken at each checkpoint, employees have proof that damage took place earlier in the chain.
Key benefits of a digitised parcel tracking tool
- Auto-categorisation of all incoming items, regardless of size or content, saves money and time
- Items are digitally tracked with time, date and serial numbers greatly reducing the frequency of lost packages
- Track parcels within buildings and across multiple sites, centralising the function
- Hand scanning devices provide ease and flexibility to those in charge of processing
- Electronic signatures ensures completely paperless end-to-end digital tracking
- Detailed process recording enables the identification of bottlenecks and enables organisations to streamline
Explosives in the mail
Last week, a mail-bombing campaign targeted several addresses across the UK. The packages, which were A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags, were sent to transportation hubs in England and Scotland, and were designed to start fires upon opening. Thankfully, only one of the packages ignited...