We all grew up watching futuristic sci-fi movies like Back to the Future and Star Wars, movies that featured out-of-this-world technology like holograms, robots, hover boards and drones. And at one time or another, we’ve all fantasized about these technologies existing in our own world someday.
Today, they do.
We are smack-dab in the middle of one of the most remarkable technological revolutions in human history and in few places is this evolution more evident than in the workplace. The question now is, how will the workplace of the future affect our most integral processes?
Mail and package delivery isn’t where most people’s minds jump when they think about the future of workplace tech. But America’s mail and package delivery system is a shining example of how technological evolutions can have an incredible impact on critical systems.
Let’s take a look at how the workplace of the future is affecting mail and package delivery, and helping to create a more streamlined and accurate system.
Less Human Involvement
When we consider the purpose of technology, one of its root reasons for existence is to simplify life. By simplify, we mean doing things faster and more accurately than humans could, thereby eliminating the need for manual efforts. Automation relieves us of certain responsibilities so we can be more efficient, tips the competitive scale and helps business leaders find time to focus on innovation.
Take mailroom management software for example. It prevents staff from having to manually perform tasks like data entry, item indexing, routing, storing, tracking and sending receipts. But more importantly, this automation means faster, more consistent processing, greater accuracy, less human error and impeccable record keeping.
Look a little further into the future, and we aren’t far from coming face to face with a robot or drone delivery. Amazon has been toying with the idea of drone delivery since 2013. There’s no official release date yet, but Amazon Prime Air promises to deliver packages within 30 minutes of online purchase.
Additionally, Google Ventures has created robots that are aware of the presence of humans, and can safely navigate environments to perform simple tasks, like making deliveries or picking up items and transporting them to another location.
In many prototypes, there is no pilot needed because drones and robots maneuver thanks to GPS and sophisticated sensors. For packaging and delivery, this could mean a major shift in staffing and job responsibilities.
Real-Time Access to Mass Amounts of Data
With barcode scanning and other tracking tools, automatic data capture, delivery manifests and real time access to delivery, signature and history information, every action in the mail and package delivery process is being captured and shared in real-time.
The speed by which information travels is almost instantaneous, and this means incredibly seamless back-end monitoring, highly accurate delivery forecasting and little left to question. Especially when it comes to delivery discrepancies. Precise records illustrate the exact trajectory a parcel has taken, which means it can be quickly and easily identified if it happens to move away from its intended path. The workplace technology of today and tomorrow is enhancing visibility and making complete transparency a reality.
Greater Tracking & Mobility
The workplace of the future isn’t filled with employees tied to dedicated desks. We’re seeing more open office floor plans, flex scheduling, hot desks and collaborative spaces. This means people are much more difficult to track down, and mail workers need a way to become more agile. Technological advancements are answering this lifestyle adaptation — hence the growing popularity of tools and wearables like mobile payment systems and Fitbit. Mobile technology is finding it’s way into every aspect of work and life, including package delivery.
Enter mailroom management software’s new venture into mobile applications. Mail delivery applications provide delivery personnel:
- A full visual diagram of floors and buildings
- Exact desk location for each employee
- Access and tracking information from anywhere — even offline
These apps allow leaderboards to boost productivity and track the number of steps taken and number of packages delivered.
Historically, a successful delivery cycle meant capturing an accurate record of the delivery date and time, as well as tracking and verifying recipient information — and this is still true. But technology is upping the standards. Sooner than later, human error will be eliminated as automation and complete transparency take over. As a result, mailroom staff will gain an increasingly deep level of insight into every step of the delivery cycle.
Want to learn more about what the workplace will look like in as little as a decade? Big changes are expected. Check out our infographic: The Workplace of the Future to learn more!