You may have done a good job of implementing your outbound processes to deliver all of your packages and mail, but look behind you. Just as you send something out, something else comes in. The minute the delivery carrier pulls away from your dock, you become the internal carrier accountable for delivering packages and mail to intended recipients.
Yours may be one of the many businesses that did not consider the operational efficiencies and benefits of automating your receiving and mailroom inbound deliveries. This is an area of your operation where you can save money and maximize your available and presumably limited resources.
The Core of the Problem
Delivered by a carrier does not mean delivered to the recipient. After your facility receives mail and packages, the delivery process starts all over again. You are undoubtedly familiar with all the related issues: Your small staff may be required to deliver to multiple locations. Some of the items to be delivered are time-sensitive. You begin receiving disruptive calls and e-mails from anxious recipients who tracked their delivery and received a delivery confirmation e-mail from the carrier. No systematic method of proof of delivery or chain of custody. Impatient employees equal out-of-control processes as well as wasted time and money. Smooth, defined internal delivery processes and the right tool yields efficiency, lower costs and, of course, piece of mind. Late or incorrect deliveries can disrupt business operations, hamper business opportunities and impair customer service.
Are You Doing it Wrong?
Many businesses still create manual logs with hand-edited delivery details and rely on poorly planned delivery routes. Even worse, they just wing it. You need an automated inbound delivery solution. Without one, you’re wasting time and money finding recipient locations or sorting through improperly addressed mail and packages or assigning routes or validating delivery or logging statuses. All that unnecessary manual work can derail your best intentions. The level of your recipients’ discontent correlates exactly to the amount of mail that takes too long to deliver and the number of packages that are lost. And the more volume you handle, the more opportunity for trouble.
The Costs are Real
Delivery carriers are insured for packages lost while in their possession. However carrier insurance stops once packages are delivered to your door. Lost packages inside your company become your problem.
All the packages that come into your facility contain something important whether its office supplies, computer, or even parts to a machine that operates a production line for the company. After you think about this you realize dollar value is only one measure to a lost package. Losing packages is a cascading series of potentially expensive events that starts with you. The lack of an automated inbound tracking system will cost you. You can certainly count on higher labor costs and longer processing times attributable to inefficiency.
The Costs of Manual Processes
All packages require sorting, hand-logging, recipient location mapping, labeling and recording if you are required to record the carrier and tracking numbers. That’s a lot of time and labor. Then there’s delivery after all your manual process have been completed. On top of that, you have to record and reconcile the delivery from your initial log. Even if you deliver a package, you can count on one employee to call and say he or she never got it; all you have is your paper log and off you go to prove that the package was delivered. The one call you never want to receive is from a senior leader of your company asking about his or her package and all you can say is, “I don’t know, I thought we delivered it”.
The Solution: An Automated Inbound Delivery Process
An automated package and accountable mail receiving system manages the entire chain of custody from receipt to delivery to the intended recipient. In most applications, wireless or cellular PDAs scan the carrier’s barcode, automatically recognize the delivery carrier’s barcode and populate detailed tracking fields. An automated inbound delivery system simplifies the entire delivery process. As soon as the carrier delivers to your worksite, you take control of the process. You receive, assign, deliver and capture recipient signatures that note exactly when, where and who took possession of the package. The system can also send advance notices of inbound deliveries and provide delivery confirmation e-mails to both the sender and the recipient. The ability to create efficient logical routes enables your delivery agents to deliver quickly and efficiently.
The tracking system ensures the highest level of data integrity by virtually eliminating human error, the major cause of lost data. When delivery details are captured electronically, the data is consistently maintained throughout the delivery process. As the item is moved through the delivery route, at each point, the delivery status is recorded and uploaded to the host tracking application. Using barcodes versus manual logs to process packages significantly improves delivery record storage and retrieval.
The Benefits of an Automated Inbound Delivery System
An automated inbound delivery system delivers several advantages to you and your company:
- Speed – By simplifying and automating delivery routes, it enables delivery agents to accomplish their jobs faster and with fewer errors.
- Real-Time Tracking – You know where in the delivery process each item is and who has it at any given moment.
- Dollar and Time Savings – An automated inbound delivery system reduces time and effort required to deliver internal packages and accountable mail while reducing costs and eliminating the cost effects due to lost packages.
To learn more about Automated Inbound Delivery, contact MCC’s Mailing Solutions Division today!