By: Christine Blank
A package shows up at your home, apartment or office. It is that delivery of new clothes from Amazon that you have been waiting for. Or, it is the that new movie that just came out on Blu-Ray from BestBuy.com. It could even be groceries and toilet paper. We live in an age in which we are all dependent on online shopping for at least a portion of our monthly purchases.
But what happens before those packages arrive at your apartment community or business, destined to be distributed to a number of different residents and employees? Long before they arrive at your doorstep, they start their journey at Amazon, Target, Walmart, Etsy, eBay and thousands of other online retailers.
At Amazon fulfillment centers, millions of workers first scan each item that arrives at the fulfillment center. Although the centers are very technologically advanced, it is still humans that do a lot of the work. They place products from manufacturers and booksellers in the first empty space available. The location is tracked by complex software, and – as soon as you hit the click button to buy the item – a “picker” gets a notification on a wireless device. They pick the item from the random shelf and include it in a box of items on a conveyer belt. The sophisticated software even selects the box that is the right size for the product. Each package receives a shipping label, stamped by robotic arms, as they travel down a conveyer belt. The boxes are then routed to the right set of trucks, where hundreds of workers pack boxes onto the trucks.
Once the trucks deliver the packages to the United States Postal Service (USPS), United Parcel Service (UPS), FedEx and a host of other delivery services, another set of job functions begins. At USPS, more than 617,000 employees sort and deliver your packages. The oldest mail service process 155.4 billion pieces of mail (40 percent of the world’s mail volume). And, USPS delivers to nearly 154 million addresses nationwide. UPS also employs more than 435,000 worldwide. All these people work very hard to get packages to your door in a timely manner.
However, after those highly-valued packages arrive at your business or community, they often become very difficult to deal with. That is because there are so many of them – Americans are ordering more products online than at any other time in history – and because your business doesn’t have an effective way of managing those packages. Many businesses are still using mailrooms, where boxes are stacked in a corner, with no rhyme or reason. When the resident or employee comes to pick up their packages, it takes valuable staff time to find the packages and have employees or residents sign for them. That is, if the package is ever picked up; many packages sit there for months.
And some communities and businesses are using package lockers, which are ineffective, budget oppressive, and take up too much space. Furthermore they offer no tangible customer service benefit to team members or to customers. However, there is a way to save money, have les package hassles, and provide a new level of customer service that excites your team and your customers.
The package management and notification tools from the cloud-based system, PackageLog®, enable you to remove the time-consuming and highly-inefficient mail room and locker methods and get back to taking care of your customers. By creating an automatic series of customer email and texts, PackageLog® makes package management an enhanced customer services point. It go a step further allowing for email and text to be sent as a direct message even when there is no packages for your recipient. All of this and an average cost of under one hundred dollars per month.