Escaping the package avalanche with campus self-service pickup.

How new technology can help your overburdened campus mail center and make student life a little easier.

February 16, 2020

The problem appears inescapable: A never-ending barrage of packages is swamping your campus mail center and overwhelming your resources.

Why? Because students, faculty and administrators are ordering nearly everything they need online. Clothing, furniture, equipment, electronics, gifts and maybe even their next meal is arriving at your mail center—burying you in the process. And who could blame them? By shopping online, students are able to reduce costs on common household items while spending more time on campus and focusing on their studies.  

Statistics put further light on the situation: Students spend an average of $6.9 billion shopping online*. This means your mail center may need to accept, route, scan, alert and deliver thousands of inbound parcels every month. And, with online ordering here to stay, that number isn’t declining any time soon.

The “avalanche effect” isn’t the only issue. Mail centers are expected to handle the increased volume with speed and efficiency, despite no increase in space, staffing or additional resources. There’s also a good chance that your mail center is under pressure to reduce costs.

Aside from throwing up your hands in frustration, what else can your mail center do to mitigate the challenges and improve the situation? The answer is simple: By embracing smart technology.

Don’t just keep up. Get ahead. Keep students and administrators happy while reducing stress for your overworked mail center staff. It’s never been easier to make mailroom backlogs a thing of the past. It’s easy—if you deploy the right technology.

The combination of self-service pickup along with inbound tracking software has proven to help campus mail centers deliver packages with speed and precision. Automated inbound tracking eliminates potential errors and time-wasting manual logins as each arriving package is scanned to capture all package and recipient data for tracking. 

The automated system then generates a notice to the recipient to pick up their package at the assigned location. There’s no need for recipient to rush to the mail center during operating hours since self-service pickup is available 24/7. Students, faculty and staff can retrieve items securely at any hour, any day of the week.

Recipients receive a one-time, secure PIN or barcode that opens the locker. Letters and packages remain inside the locker until retrieved by the intended recipient. After the package is picked up, the locker is free to be used for another package, for another recipient. Every aspect of delivery and pickup is automatically tracked. The leads to a safer and more convenient delivery process.

Self-service pickup won’t just let you keep up with demand. You’ll have the power to re-assign resources and reduce the number of angry students wondering where their packages went or complaining that they cannot get to the mail center during hours of operation.

Meeting the demands of a 24/7 college lifestyle, self-service pickup frees up space in a confined mailroom, provides secure, unattended delivery and improves the package pickup experience. You’ll be able to manage packages of multiple shapes and sizes with ease. Self-service pickup and inbound tracking software are making a difference on campuses nationwide.

With package volume increasing more than 10% annually***, colleges and universities need a simple and cost-effective way to improve the on-campus mail experience.

To learn more about self-service pickup and how it can help your campus escape the package avalanche visit Pitney Bowes and download The New Parcel Management eBook: Higher Ed Edition.



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