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How to manage your parcel flow more efficiently

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Businesses of all kinds are finding themselves struggling with an increased volume of inbound packages.

From apartment buildings to large office high-rises, managing a growing rate of incoming parcels is quickly becoming a full-time job for facilities managers. Finding a solution to these problems are critical for businesses.

Large organisations and facilities that struggle with the increasing number of parcels also face challenges like limited storage space and security issues which create disruption in day-to-day business.

Many organisations and facilities will need to transform their parcel receiving capability and mail processes with an automated inbound receiving and tracking system to successfully manage this influx.

Your mail problem is about to get bigger

The 2017 Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index shows that Australia’s parcel shipping market grew by 13 per cent in volume in 2016 and by 2021 Australian parcel volumes are expected to swell to more than a billion parcels a year.

According to Australia Post, around 75 per cent of the parcels delivered today are generated by an online order. The number of online orders and parcel deliveries could grow significantly for people and businesses with the expansion of Amazon in Australia.

While many people in Australia aren’t sure what to expect from Amazon in Australia, data from countries like the U.S. show how the ecommerce giant influences shopping and shipping habits.

According to a survey by PiperJaffray Research, 82% of US households that earn more than US$112,000 a year, have Amazon Prime memberships and 60% of U.S. households have prime memberships regardless of income level.

And According to research by Statista, on average, a US Amazon Prime member spends about US$1,300 while a non-Prime shopper will only spend US$700 every year on digital content and goods that need to be physically shipped.

Amazon also has Amazon Business in select countries. While it’s not known if Amazon Business will be established in Australia, the head of Amazon Business in the UK recently said it brought in a billion dollars in revenue by the end of its first year in the US.

If these trends hold in Australia, offices may see a huge spike in inbound employee and office-related parcels.

Restricting deliveries is not an option

According to the 2017 Pitney Bowes Online Shopping Study, 91% of people shop online and about half have packages delivered to places other than their homes. Employees want to ship purchases to their office for ease and to avoid risks like theft or parcel redirection.

More business-related and employee parcels means offices will continue to struggle with overstuffed mailrooms.

While some offices have stopped allowing personal employee parcels at work, other businesses including apartment buildings, large residential developments, hotels and hospitals must manage large numbers of parcels.

Stephen Darracott headshoy Nov17

Use technology to manage parcels and improve mailroom efficiency

There is a solution for your parcel woes – technology. In most facilities, inbound parcels are manually recorded and sorted for delivery.

They may even be delivered desk-to-desk or door-to-door. This process takes considerable time and can lead to lost hours, the risk of lost parcels and the need to store more packages in limited space.

The latest receiving and tracking software automates the parcel receiving process to ensure packages are recorded as they arrive and an email is automatically sent to the recipient, making the storage of personal parcels brief.

This automated system can also provide clear custody records that are easily shared and reliable. It also reduces the time employees need to organise and maintain the mailroom.

Inbound parcel solutions can be SaaS-based, hosted or on-premise solutions. Be sure to research data integrity and data security. You may also want to consider using heavy-duty, hand-held devices when receiving packages, to avoid bottle necks at PC workstations. These mobile devices let you do everything you can do on a PC in receiving and delivering packages, in a wireless, real-time environment.

As the e-commerce revolution reshapes the next chapter of parcel delivery, organisations should prepare their mailing rooms for digital transformations sooner rather than later.

No matter the inbound parcel tracking system that mailrooms adopt, ultimately companies should ensure their system improves internal operations by maximising efficiency and reducing risks.

Stephen Darracott is Country Manager, Mailing and Shipping, Pitney Bowes ANZ

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