Woah, ho, ho! Who named you Santa Claus?

From perishable fruit baskets to marketing swag bags, the Holiday avalanche of incoming packages means long hours and lots of stress for mail center employees. Five-hundred packages arriving within one week (or one day) is enough to make anyone vote “Bah Humbug!” to the whole thing. But just when you wish the Grinch would steal every package on the UPS truck, we’ve come up with some coping methods to get you through the next few weeks.

Think of us as your Sherpa on the Everest of package mountain. Even if there is an avalanche, we’ll get you out of it alive.

  1.        Triage – Not just for battlefields anymore.

Sometime between the UPS guy’s fourth and fifth trip with the dolly, you realize you need to prioritize. Or not. Sure, you could enter in each package by hand and carefully put the perishable items first on the delivery list (or hope that their recipients pick them up before they ferment), but we have a better suggestion. If you have package tracking software, like EZTrackIt, you can quickly scan in all 500 packages and send out auto-notifications to recipients at the same time. You can even include a note to tell them whether their package is perishable, time-sensitive, or damaged in transit. You don’t want to be the person making the decision whether the box of Harry & David pears is more important than the simple manila envelope – the one may brown, while the other could be the legal document the CEO needed yesterday.

  1.        Fix the Foreseeable Bottlenecks

If you’ve been through at least one holiday season already, you know where the problems arise. Is it at the front desk, when one person is responsible for recording and storing all the packages, then sending out the appropriate notifications or organizing deliveries? Or is it when a dozen employees come down to pick up their packages during lunch-hour, creating a riot-like atmosphere as the mail room staff attempts to quickly log-out and deliver each package to the appropriate person? This kind of chaos is exactly where an easy scan-in, scan-out system can save the day. Of course, you could also try that “take a number” system they have at the post office and see how that works out.

  1.        Don’t Let Damage Hurt Your Reputation

Nothing is worse than handing over a damaged gift to a recipient, only to have them accuse you of playing kick-ball with it in the back room (and that’s if they have a sense of humor). Here’s a tip: If a package arrives damaged, take a photo of it that proves it was torn and dented before it reached your desk.

  1.        Improve Accountability with Careful Records

Here’s one you’ve probably heard before: UPS swears a package was delivered to your desk, and they have the records to prove it. The problem is: That package never showed. If you don’t have your own reliable records (and hand-written log books don’t cut the mustard), who is the recipient going to believe? Accountability means that you know where every package is at every moment, which is easy to do with the right software.

  1.        Clear the Desk Faster with Automation

You know that packages sitting behind the front desk are liabilities waiting to happen, and like a game of high-stakes Hot-Potato, it’s the goal of every mail center employee to get rid of them. Fast. Get those packages to their rightful owners A.S.A.P. by sending automated texts and emails to them when each package is scanned into the system. Of course, some recipients may need reminders, which means the mail center staff also need reminders to send those reminders. One more time, package tracking software (yes, like EZTrackIt – forgive the shameless plug) can keep track of every item that is still pending delivery.

Working in the mail room during Holiday Rush is no picnic, but a good package tracking system can really save your bacon. To find out more, schedule a free Demo – we can have your mail room running at full-speed just in time!

Source: HubSpot

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