Keep Storage Flexible
Packages come in every shape and size, and the number of packages that you will be storing in your mailroom will change drastically from day to day. If you are designing a solution from scratch, it is best to use a modular shelving system that you can easily adjust to accommodate different size packages. Everything, from oversized boxes to small mailer envelopes, needs a place where it can be stashed quickly and retrieved just as fast. The last thing you want is to have a precariously stacked pile to dig through when the pickup person arrives.
Even in an existing mailroom, storage for oversized packages shouldn’t be an afterthought. If you need to store packages on the floor, corralling them in large, labeled plastic tubs or subdividing a section of the room into labeled “storage zones” can create an orderly home for your largest packages.
A mailroom with ample flexible storage will be easy to maintain and keep neat and organized. Take advantage of all the space your mailroom has to offer (especially if it’s small), including vertical space; just make sure to put the heavier items on the bottom and lighter packages on top.
Use a Variable Label System
Those old-style mail cubbies with a unit for each resident are a relic of a time before modern mailroom technology and should be avoided if possible. Reserving an equal amount of space for each resident, regardless of use, is extremely inefficient. Even shelves that are organized alphabetically by the resident’s name should be avoided as it ties up space that may not be needed and doesn’t provide the flexibility necessary to handle a highly variable inflow of deliveries.
Software like PackageX Scan and Track assigns a space to each delivery unit rather than each resident, and it can be used for all types of packages, including regular letter mail. The best part is that the space is only assigned for as long as necessary and is freed up for use as soon as a package is checked out. For this type of system, the mailroom should be organized using an adaptable structure that assigns a general identity to every shelf or storage area.
In a small mailroom, this can be a simple number system, while in a large mailroom it may make sense to also include subdivisions in the system. (For example, a room can be broken into four zones for left shelves, right shelves, floor tubs, and drawers and each zone can be assigned a letter which is then connected to a number that represents the specific shelf, bin, or drawer.)
Separate by Function
Every function that your mailroom handles should have a dedicated area. For example, if your mailroom handles outgoing mail, it should have a dedicated processing and storage area that is completely separate from your inbound packages. This area should include any packing supplies or tools, such as a scale or a postage meter, as well as clearly labeled storage areas for packages and mail.
Inbound packages should live in an entirely separate area that includes a dedicated unloading area that doesn’t interfere with the storage spaces and flexible storage units organized with a variable label system.
The front desk, window, or any outward-facing area of the mailroom should be kept spare and only include what is necessary to check a package in or out. Avoid using the desk or window as storage space — even temporarily.
Incorporate Efficient Processing Models
To save space and increase processing efficiency, use a two-step (A-B) process that allows you to scan packages at the point of unloading or the destination point, and avoid a three-step (A-B-C) process that forces you to move the packages to a dedicated space for processing. In addition to all the time you will save, not having a dedicated space for processing will free up more space for flexible storage.
PackageX Scan and Track is a comprehensive inbound management software that you can use to easily implement two step processing using a simple app and the camera on your mobile phone.
Your mailroom is an integral part of your business’s operations and it shouldn’t be an afterthought in design or become a dumping ground for office junk. If you are not yet using inbound management software to fully streamline your mailroom operations learn more about PackageX here or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.