If your organization handles all of its mailroom management in house, it has undoubtedly come up against a large number of challenges. Changing volume needs, a variety of carrier rates and compliance requirements are just a few of the variables that can put a tremendous amount of pressure on an organization’s mailroom management processes.
If your mailroom management includes manually sorting, tracking and shipping packages, you could be opening up your organization to a lot of frustration and potentially costly mistakes. Using an integrated mailroom technology system can help your organization decrease the expenses associated with mailroom management, while at the same time increase your mailroom’s productivity, value and quality.
Start with a mailroom management assessment
The first step in improving your mailroom management is to conduct a thorough assessment of your operation. This will allow you to identify areas that are robbing your productivity, as well as determine what your current, realistic capabilities are in terms of the capacity your mailroom can handle. You’ll also be able to identify the costs associated with your mailroom management in terms of labor, technology and material.
You may find that some of the mistakes associated with shipping using a lot of manual processes can add up quickly in terms of costs. For example, delayed or returned mail could easily be chalked up as the price of “doing business,” but the costs in labor and resources of fixing those mistakes have a major effect on your company’s bottom line, and it’s not a positive one.
Even the simplest of tasks can add a lot of expenses to your mailroom management process. For example, manually researching each shipping carrier and their rates to find the appropriate combination for each package you ship is a labor-intensive and potentially expensive endeavor.
Related article: Mail Management: Does Your Business Need a Mailroom?
How mailroom technology can help
Once you’ve conducted the research and determined where your greatest areas of opportunity lie, it’s time to see if investing in mailroom technology would make sense for your organization. There’s a very good chance you’ll find that this type of investment makes sense.
In fact, implementing mailroom technology could very well give your company a competitive advantage. Not only will your shipping be more accurate than a competitor who isn’t using an automated system, your mailroom management will likely cost less, too.
First off, mailroom technology can help reduce shipping mistakes. A multicarrier mailroom management system does this in a number of ways, but one of the most notable is its use of a centralized database for all of its shipping carriers.
Traditional mailroom management practices meant that each carrier used (FedEx, UPS, USPS) would be tracked and maintained separately. This is a time-consuming method when it comes to finding the most cost-effective shipper, as each provider and their respective rates must be gone through one by one.
With a centralized database and multicarrier system, all shipping carrier information is stored in one place, and the most cost-effective solution will be selected automatically by the system. Products like Pitney Bowes SendPro will automatically keep up with changes in shipping rates, so it’s truly a one-stop-shop when it comes to selecting the combination that makes the most sense for you and your customers.
But what about eliminating those costly shipping errors?
Consider this example:
Your mailroom management team has decided to use FedEx as the carrier for sending a package to a customer. At the last minute, the customer asks for the package to be sent to a different address. Your team happily makes the change on FedEx.com and the package is shipped and arrives without a hitch. Now imagine that a month or two goes by and that same customer needs another package shipped to them.
This time, it makes more sense to send the package via UPS. The problem is that while the customer’s address was updated on FedEx.com, it was never updated on UPS.com, so there’s a good chance this new package is going to go to the wrong address. Most shipping carriers are going to charge anywhere from $8 to $15 for address corrections, so it doesn’t take much math to see how expensive this scenario can become.
An automated mailroom management system with a centralized customer address database can eliminate this type of mistake by ensuring the correct address is used, regardless of the shipping carrier you choose.
Related topic: Reduce Shipping Mistakes With a Central Address Database
Streamline your operation
Proper planning is one of the best ways to reduce costs for any department, but it’s especially true when it comes to mailroom management.
A good automated mailroom management system will provide actionable reports that can be used to further analyze your shipping department’s costs and budget. These consolidated reports will result in a much smoother functioning mailroom management process.
Not only will budgeting be far easier, but a mailroom management system will also integrate with many other software packages, like accounting solutions. This makes it easy to streamline invoicing, and ultimately reduces the likelihood of expensive accounting errors, all while reducing labor costs associated with crunching numbers across multiple systems.
Smart equipment eliminates overpaying
Mailroom technology isn’t limited to just software; also consider adding mail processing equipment that can enhance your mailroom’s effectiveness. For example, the SendPro solution from Pitney Bowes offers mailroom equipment and machines designed to further assist in the reduction of shipping costs. The system comes with an integrated scale that allows your mailroom crew to accurately weigh and measure packages and envelopes.
Using a system like this will help eliminate one of the most costly expenses associated with shipping–overpaying for postage. In addition to the scale, the SendPro solution also comes with the option of using an integrated printer to create professional and accurate shipping labels.
Not only can the right mailroom technology help save your company on its shipping operation, but it can actually give you a competitive advantage over businesses that aren’t implementing an automated mailroom management system. Check out this Shipping Solutions Comparison Checklist for more information on choosing the right product for your mailroom needs.