Are You Drowning in Packages?

How's your mailroom looking these days? A recent confluence of events has me thinking about....packages. First, as I was driving in today, I heard a snippet of a story about how retail stores are using their brick and mortar locations more and more as order distribution centers for customer purchases made online, and that the bulk of seasonal hires at these brick and mortars is in shipping and receiving, not at the cashier.

I also just finished the November cover story for Building Operating Management, featuring Under Armour, where they had to create a staff position just to chase down all the cardboard from all the packages being shipped to the campus. They're actually able to bundle the cardboard and sell it to a recycler, making the position self-funding.

And to top it off, I just read a press release on a new app created purely to help facility staff process incoming packages, given that so many employees are choosing to have personal purchases delivered at work — to prevent them getting stolen off of their front porch or just for convenience, I presume. In companies with a large central mailroom, I suppose this influx is not such a big deal (yes?) but if incoming mail is usually handled by the receptionist/office manager, I can see how an influx of personal packages would be a problem. 

Which is all to say that I've been thinking about packages and mailrooms a lot over the last few days. What does your facility's strategy look like? Do you have dedicated mailroom staff and space? Are employee's shipping a ton of stuff to themselves at your location? Is that a problem? I'm really struck by that behavior...I don't think I've ever had anything personal shipped to my place of work. But as more workplaces seek to create concierge services for their employees, seeking to help them balance work and life, I suppose it only makes sense. 

5 Replies

  • Allowing people to receive and ship personal mail & packages has been a key part of my Facilities Management strategy my entire career. Utlizing the same receiving tools & processes for business & personal doesn't imnpact oeprations-if properly managed. The positive impact to people's lives is what is important. This amenity allows them to not have to worry about dealing with personal mail & packaes and is a part of larger amenities offerrings.
  • Can you say the name of the app that helps facility staff process incoming packages?
  • I have found that more and more employees are using our Mail Center for personal deliveries and we also receive business mail and packages that requires a signature. All these items have barcoding on the mail envelope or package. I recently put together a manual process to track, but it is very time consuming. I have looked at a Pitney Bowes application for In Bound Tracking, but it is quite expensive. I am looking for a very inexpensive way to manage. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love some help.
  • In reply to amiller:

    Um....let me check. I can tell you that I'm considering them for the December issue of Building Operating Management in the Innovative Products: What's New section :)
  • In reply to twirth:

    Hi Twirth. It does seem like a low-stakes way to get into the amenity/concierge continuum. I'm curious about the caveat — "if properly managed." So, what does that look like? Does it require a central staffed mailroom?
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