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Empowering employees while controlling costs

Your guide to automating, tracking, and managing the day-to-day operations of inventory, mail, and paper in the workplace. Take proactive steps to better serve the needs of your workforce.

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What are office services?

In many ways, digital adoption trends have pushed companies to work more efficiently and get more done. On the other hand, there will always be some elements of traditional office life. Physical mail, paper copies, and consumable inventory are a relevant part of the modern office that can’t be ignored — and in some cases, they are becoming a bigger part of operations.

While the USPS reported a drop in first class mail over the last decade, the number of shipped packages has significantly increased due to online purchases. That means more packages are making their way into organizations and universities, and facility managers are accountable for processing and distributing each of these items.

According to Ricoh, the average mailroom receives 500 to 1,000 packages each day.

Operations managers can use systems and office service strategies to streamline these services for employees. In the changing office environment, it’s important to stay responsive so everyone knows how to pick up their package and get their coffee.

iOFFICE’s office services suite includes three pillars:

Who needs these office services?

Employees should have fast, efficient office services from a team they can trust. Businesses of all sizes and industries need a seamless way to serve employees at the touch of a button. 

Behind the scenes of every great workplace experience there’s someone mobilizing quickly to restock toner and keep the printing running, someone sorting through incoming mail deliveries and getting them to the right recipients, and the list goes on. Business office services make everything appear effortless so employees can focus on work.

The same rule of thumb applies to universities. As more digital technology appears in the classroom, students and faculty expect this same innovation to appear in other facets of their campus life.  Different office services can cater to an on-the-go user base and lend themselves to a modern campus experience.

In the context of the connected workplace — a frictionless experience between people, spaces, and technology — office services offer another layer of accessibility and transparency that help keep businesses productive and employees satisfied.

 

 

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Office services considerations

Behind every successful office service management strategy, there are some key components to consider. Information, delegation, and tracking are all critical to providing great service to employees.

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Mail and Packages

How does your office receive mail? 

Small offices may use a front desk system, but don’t have a streamlined way to receive, organize, and deliver mail to employees. As businesses scale and expand their workforce or real estate footprint, managing mail becomes even harder. Creating a mutual space for a subdivision of mail is one way to promote organization.

When it comes to effective mail management, look no further than your last Amazon delivery for inspiration. Your delivery had a digital tracking number with recipient and sender information. Their delivery team scanned the package once it arrived, which sent you a notification.

Designed to support a mobile workplace, modern mail management systems are following suit. Employees can receive notifications when their package arrives, and they can pick it up at their convenience — just minutes after its arrival. If mobile employees check into a workspace, the mail management information system can update and prompt staff to hand deliver the item to the employee. This information is especially useful in the age of agile seating.

In a 2018 CBRE survey, 52% of executives reported that they planned to implement some type of unassigned seating within the next three years.

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Copy and Print Requests

While you may not think of physical copying and printing jobs as relevant in today’s digital office, many employees count on having the ability to do both. And for the teams that use those functions regularly, it can feel like a constant battle between finding a working printer, decent queue times, and dealing with low toner.

You can mitigate the headaches of printing by connecting your printers to your IT system. Asset management solutions help make manuals easily accessible, keep maintenance schedules up-to-date, and make sure longevity is factored into any large, critical equipment.

Consider the case where a university has 10,000 print devices spread across campus. Of these devices, there are 632 different types with 1,000 unique supply needs. By connecting all of the devices to a centralized network, the university can remotely monitor the status of each device and know when it’s time to perform preventive maintenance, repairs, and software updates. For instance, if toner levels are low in a printer, you’ll receive an email so you take proactive steps.

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Inventory and Tracking Management

Pens, paper, toner, coffee, even hand sanitizer — how do you make sure office supplies are stocked, but not wasted? Ordering ad-hoc can work for some small businesses, but a lack of predictability adds to the overall operating expenses.

Printer cartridges can cost upwards of $60. This may not seem like a lot, but when you’re talking about an enterprise with multiple locations and hundreds of printers, these costs can add up. While some of these devices go unused, others are continuously running out of paper and ink. Accounting for this, you may not need to order 100 new printer cartridges when there are a lot laying around unused throughout the campus. This makes the difference between spending versus saving tens of thousands of dollars each year.

While an overabundance of inventory is an issue, the same can be said for always running out of office supplies. If you’re unsure of how often people are using your assets, you’re apt to not order frequently enough or not order a sufficient amount to meet demands. When shelves aren’t well-stocked — whether it’s a shortage of printer paper or coffee — employees are left frustrated and facility managers can’t work as efficiently.

When you make one-off purchases instead of investing in bulk or analyzing your use to predict ordering, it can create hiccups that lead to teams being unable to print or mail going undelivered to clients. Avoid this headache with an inventory management system that gives you a reliable cadence for reordering items based on usage, and the data to see where costs are increasing.

What are the benefits of office services?

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Lower Operational Costs

Consider the robust staff a manual mailroom requires. Choreographing every step of mail processing and distribution requires a lot of man-hours and resources. This number only continues to rise around the holidays, when more packages show up at your workplace.

Advanced office services replace a lot of these manual steps with automation. Barcode scanners make it easier to sort and track mail pieces, while mobile notifications to recipients prevent mailroom pile-ups that make it more difficult to navigate the space. Together, these types of office services help on-site personnel be more productive with fewer manual hands required, saving a considerable amount of employee costs. Plus, the automated processes minimize the potential for human error, which translates into further efficiencies.

Operational costs can also be thought of in terms of equipment downtime. If an HVAC system breaks down and a business doesn’t have the right parts in stock to fix it, it’s a problem. If the same scenario plays out for a critical piece of equipment, every hour of downtime comes with a hefty price tag. Considering the average cost of equipment downtime is $260,000 per hour — and the average equipment outage lasts four hours — equipment downtime can cost companies $1,040,000 each time.

An inventory management system helps ensure replacement parts are in stock so when unplanned maintenance occurs, you'll have inventory on-hand to get equipment back up and running faster. Seeing as this is also a reflection of preventive maintenance, using a facility maintenance software simplifies the scheduling of planned maintenance and makes it easy to respond to service requests so you can further reduce equipment downtime and wasted costs.

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Improved Service

A sales executive at your company is just about to close a big, lucrative deal. Just before heading out for vacation, he wants to deliver some time-sensitive files to the potential client — but for some reason, the documents aren’t delivered on time. Maybe the address wasn’t written down properly, or the package is simply lost in the mailroom. Without tracking, the reason for the mishap is unclear, but what is clear is the employee and the customer are left frustrated.

Mailroom management software breaks down communication barriers in sending and receiving mail. Every person involved in the transaction can track the whereabouts of mail and see when it arrives at its destination. Such visibility eliminates the headaches of mail delivery so you avoid any unpleasant, unexpected delays.

Now consider students on the move in a university setting. While en-route to class, a student stops in a lab to print documents or make photocopies — only to find the printer is not working. With little time to spare, they head to class without these items, making it difficult to follow along.

Integrating copy and print management software with your IT system ensures students have the assets they need on campus to support a seamless experience. 

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Greater Profitability

Eco-friendly businesses are more attractive to prospective employees. In fact, 80% of young adults noted wanting to work for a company that cares about its impacts. 

Alternatively, 55% of global online consumers said they would pay more for products and services from companies committed to a positive social and environmental impact.

The morale here is that sustainability matters to employees and customers alike — and the right types of office services can support these efforts.

With real-time data on printers, you can ensure the default is to set to double-sided printing across all devices, which helps to reduce waste. From this data, you might also assess it’s time to replace old printers with digital multifunction printers (MFPs), which require less energy to operate. As you decrease your footprint, you’ll save utilities costs month-over-month.

Another way to think about this is from an inventory standpoint. If guesswork prompts you to purchase a surplus of stock parts, you’ll wind up not only wasting real estate to store them, but it’s also possible you won’t need them if systems are replaced first. Using data as a foundation for inventory forecasting enables you to reduce waste and maximize space and part utilization.

 

 

 

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