Getting gifts in the mail makes the holiday season an exciting time of the year. But for anyone working in a mailroom, it can be a stressful period.
In the 2016 holiday season, the USPS predicted that around 16 billion letters, cards and packages would be sent. During this time, they also estimated that 750 million packages would be sent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve — a 12 percent increase from 2015.
This flood of mail can be a lot for large organizations to handle. Here are some ways to put a stop to holiday mailroom mayhem.
Keep the Mail Center Organized
When your mail center is in disarray, it’s easy for items to be misplaced. The chances of this happening are even greater during peak periods of the year.
By creating a well-organized space for package processing, organizations can set themselves up for success. A spacious table or two can provide employees with ample space to sort out mail and prevent pileups. These items can then be sorted into mail totes and bins that fit the size of the space.
For even greater mailroom management efficiency, consider color-coding mail sorters based on individual departments. This creates a more efficient route for separating mail and ensuring it arrives to employees in a timely manner.
Effectively Manage Mailroom Employees
Before the holiday rush begins, managers should sit down with mailroom employees to prepare them for the busy period and how to navigate through it. Give them an opportunity to ask questions and voice any concerns they may have. This lends itself to more efficient mail center operations once the holiday season begins.
To ensure smooth operations, managers may also want to consider making temporary changes to the schedule. One option is to increase the number of times mail is sorted daily to prevent an overflow of items. Another option is to add an additional employee to the daily schedule to cover this increased workload.
Use Mailroom Management Software
When packages show up late or are never delivered, the integrity of an organization’s internal mail cycle can suffer. This makes it important for mailrooms to have an accurate record of where each piece of mail moves and when it’s delivered.
Mailroom management software enables organizations to do just that. Mailroom employees can automate various tasks to streamline processes and reduce the potential for human error. For instance, when using a manual system, it’s easy to write down the wrong address or communicate the wrong delivery information to recipients. With an online tracking system, there is a digital history of where packages move, providing accountability from send-off to delivery.
Mobile-friendly tools offer further flexibility for employees. With barcode scanners, mailroom employees can more efficiently sort and track mail pieces as they arrive. They can then send out mobile notifications to let recipients know that their package has arrived and is ready for pick up — an approach that ensures a timely delivery and prevents pileups in the mailroom.
Don’t get caught off-guard by a flood of mail this holiday season. Start planning now by eliminating paper-based processes. Request a demo of our mailroom management software today.