Parcel lockers – what problems do they fix?

Workplaces 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 all involved, from facilities management teams, post room workers and parcel recipients. 

It’s not just an increase in parcel volumes causing issues either – where it once used to be possible to organise staff time around predictable post-arrival times, now work patterns are disrupted by anytime delivery. In addition, the new reality of hybrid workplaces and flexible offices is making the physical handover of goods, such as parcels, high-value IT equipment or confidential documents more challenging.

9 challenges of parcel management 

All of which means workplaces face a range of parcel management issues, including:

  1. Resourcing – taking delivery of items 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
  2. Person-to-person contact – manually receiving, storing and distributing parcels requires multiple physical touchpoints between couriers, facilities teams, mailroom staff and recipients
  3. Availability – tracking down recipients can be tricky, particularly as many people work off-site, flexibly between home and the office, or hot-desking when they do come in – making it difficult to locate where they will be. Multiple delivery attempts may have to be made and this is wasted staff time
  4. 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
  5. Security – there is stringent regulation around data privacy and protection, so post-room processes need to safeguard against deliveries ending up with the wrong people
  6. 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
  7. Missed opportunities – late deliveries can equate to missed business opportunities. Also, staff time spent sorting out parcel deliveries could be better deployed elsewhere
  8. 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
  9. 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 (Click to read how Sodexo transformed incoming mail management to track and trace important mail items).

How can parcel lockers help?

As offices become more flexible, an efficient way of handling packages and inter-office handovers is needed. Using intelligent parcel lockers can provide an effective solution, as part of a move towards electronic, traceable processes, alleviating frustration and increasing efficiency for staff.

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.

Once set-up, corporate parcel lockers become a strategic distribution hub to seamlessly disperse business-related materials, from expensive IT equipment to essential documents and maintenance items – all whilst reducing person-to-person contact.

Instead of tracking down an individual when they have a delivery, the item is placed in secure delivery lockers 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.

Find out more about Workplace Parcel Lockers.

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