8 Ways To Keep Up With Holiday Shipping

time to read article4 minutes

article date Nov 09, 2020

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…unless you’re somehow affiliated with a mailroom. Then, the barrage of holiday packages and cards can make you feel like you’re constantly under fire with nowhere to take cover.

According to James Thomson, a partner at Buy Box Experts, “Ecommerce sales typically increase by 30 to 40% during Q4. When you add COVID to that, some retailers will see up to a 200% increase in sales depending on the industry.”

Shipping during holidays and mailroom management is one of the most difficult tasks. Gifts are coming in, and there is an influx of deliveries. In this situation, how can you help your mailroom staff? Let’s have a look!

Tips to Keep Up With Holiday Shipping

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take now to ease the burdens on your mailroom staff with holiday shipping.

1. Circle Up

As soon as holiday shipping start, meet with your mailroom employees and encourage them to set accurate expectations. If they’re new to the industry, they may not thoroughly understand the extra pressures that the holidays bring. This heads-up will help employees know what’s ahead so that they can adjust their life accordingly (i.e., letting their families know that they may be gone more, getting their shopping done early, so they’re not trying to make personal preparations for the holiday on the busiest workdays, etc.)

This is also a great way to get input from employees on what’s working well in the mailroom and what’s not. If there are fault lines in your processes now, they’ll just be exacerbated when things get busier.

2. Assess Your Manpower For Holiday Delivery

Consider your staff’s availability and decide if it is sufficient for the mail surge for holiday delivery. What hours of the day are you busiest? Do you need more employees to augment these shifts? If so, consider hiring temp workers to get you through the rest of Q4. Do you need to extend your hours to service residents who work late? Or to accommodate last-minute holiday deliveries? Are your employees willing to come earlier or stay later if needed?

Talk to your staff about their vacation times. If they plan on a weeklong vacation to see Grandma in December, you may need to bring in a temp to fill their spot. As an alternative, some companies pay employees extra during the holiday weeks, which incentivizes them to hold their vacation plans until things slow down in January.

3. Rethink Your Space

A disorganized mailroom hurts morale and can lead to inefficiency and inaccuracies. Is there a way to streamline the flow of your mailroom? Do you need more tables for sorting? A bigger area for storing packages? A bulk mail space? An area for “action mail” that needs to be dealt with right away?

4. Have Proper Disposal Equipment

Mailrooms have no shortage of waste, so make sure that you are equipped to handle it properly. Recycling bins and shredders should be easily accessible and close to an exit to be emptied easily.

5. Consider Mobile Sorting Areas

Sorting modules are often anchored in place, but that limits your flexibility. Some companies are investing in free-standing sorting stations that can be wheeled around the mailroom. You can purchase modules that come with pull-out shelves and surfaces to fit your needs.

6. Integrate Mail Management Software

Shipping during holidays can be a painful task, but automating your mail processes can revolutionize your mailroom. Are you tired of your error-prone scanner? A mailroom app such as PackageX Mailroom. It allows you to read labels (both handwritten and typed) with great accuracy, and if the label is partially missing or obscured, artificial intelligence features will even suggest close matches. And best of all, the package scanner app can work on most devices—be it a phone, laptop, etc. This cloud-based solution eliminates the need for finicky hardware, such as the old-fashioned hand scanner.

Another great feature of mailroom software is the built-in communication tools. No more calling or emailing each resident to let them know they have a package ready for pickup. The scanning feature will trigger an email to the appropriate resident, letting them know that their package is ready and offering the simple resident options (forward, hold, deliver, discard, photograph documents and email, etc.)

7. Provide Proof Of Pickup

Your staff swears that a resident picked up a package already; the resident denies it. What do you do? You can eliminate the “he said, she said” with proof of pickup. Especially during holiday delivery? You may already be tackling this idea with a sign-out log. Still, suppose you opt for mailroom management software. In that case, an integrated feature should allow you to capture and save proof of pickup with a digital signature collection, ID card photo, photo of the person picking up the package, or photo of the package at the drop-off site.

8. Track Parcels

If you use mail management app, then it would help you keep a track of deliveries. Tracking does not only give you visibility of the product but will also prevent from getting packages stolen. It will help you manage influx of deliveries.

Whether you deal with mail for college dorms, corporate spaces, apartments, or other facilities, you’ll want to be ready for the weeks ahead. A little legwork in advance will pay dividends in keeping your mailroom staff happy.

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