Digital Track-and-Trace Applications Handle On-Site “Last Mile” Delivery
Typically, when we refer to the “last mile” of a courier service, what we mean is the step that comes after a letter or parcel leaves a local distribution centre and goes out for delivery to its final destination. This is often the most expensive and most important part of the process, and is especially important to any courier that promises same-day delivery. But when the courier’s journey ends at the central mailroom of a large corporation, a hospital, or a university campus, the true last mile has only just begun—and it can be chaotic.
The goal of a central mailroom is to receive and sort incoming deliveries, and to make sure that each one reaches its intended recipient—similar to a courier’s distribution centre, only centralized to a single building or campus. The problem, when you start getting into companies with hundreds of employees across dozens of departments, or a university with tens of thousands of faculty and students, is that the sheer volume of incoming mail is enormous, and incredibly difficult to track and trace effectively. Most mailrooms aim for same-day delivery upon receipt, but how can they when they can barely make sense of the chaos?
The Digital Frontier
Specialized track-and-trace applications have been in regular usage for the most efficient couriers for a few years, allowing accurate delivery updates on all parcels and giving recipients the power to follow a delivery’s progress from its point of origin right to their front door. But the efficacy of these applications is not exclusive to delivery companies—they can be used in the mailroom to increase efficiency, reduce the margin of error, and create transparency and accountability. This is achieved by digitally processing each incoming delivery, creating a digital trail at every step from arrival in the mailroom to final destination.
Scalability: The Campus Conundrum
University campuses receive an astronomical amount of mail. From research papers and new library resources to letters and care packages from parents to students living on-campus, the volume is not to be taken lightly. To make matters more complicated, the volume is nothing short of inconsistent: thousands of students every year will receive more mail towards the beginning of the year, as well as around holidays, than during the rest of the year. To ensure consistent same-day delivery, the campus mailroom needs to be able to handle these volume spikes effectively—therefore, a digital track-and-trace solution for the mailroom needs to be scalable, to accommodate any volume of mail effortlessly.