St Mary's Twickenham University

We wanted to be more transparent, accountable and efficient. Everything that comes in is now scanned, everything that goes out is scanned.”

George J.

Security & Operations Manager

Location

UK, London

Industry

University

Recipients

600

Sites

1

Favourite Features

Analytics

Challenges

Free up time for the team to focus on value added work and creating a better experience for students

Decluttering the mailroom or reception

Digitise a manual and paper-based parcel management process

Results

Parcel management is conducted through a mobile app: snap a parcel photo and create a digital record of the delivery, pickup and more

Improved communication sped up collection times and decluttered the reception

Camera based scanning cuts down on manually logging parcels and freed the team's time

St Mary’s University, on the edge of London, has a beautiful, spacious campus, and George, the Security & Operations Manager, is responsible for ensuring it runs smoothly and efficiently. He oversees teams who take care of security, front desk operations, parking and post room operations. Given the bredth and scope of George’s role he often looks for automation and efficiency to streamline operations; that’s how George found Parcel Tracker.

Before Parcel Tracker

The post room at the St Mary’s campus received high volumes of letter mail and parcels for their faculty and over 600 students living on campus. The letter mail was placed in pigeon holes, while the parcels were manually logged and their recipients notified individually by email. Managing parcels was a time-consuming process that required two full-time staff members in the post room.

How parcels were managed before Parcel Tracker:

  1. Packages were delivered to the post room by couriers.
  2. The post room staff would log the deliveries manually into a paper ledger. They would assign a unique number to each parcel, then record the delivery date, time, student name and carrier.
  3. The post room staff would email each student one by one, letting them know that their parcels were ready for collection.
  4. When a student came down to collect their parcels, the responding parcel log would be located in the paper ledger. The student would sign for their parcel and wait for it to be handed over.
  5. The staff would then search the mailroom and hand over the parcels to the students.

This lengthy and paper-based process created some challenges for the post room.

  1. Inefficient and clutter: Parcel management was a manual and time-consuming process; it took a long time to notify students and faculty to come to collect their parcels. Additionally, reminder notifications weren’t sent automatically if recipients failed to collect their parcels within a specified time frame. Over time, parcels would build up and clutter the post room.
  2. Misplaced parcels: While the post room team was very diligent and consistent occasionally parcels would be misplaced and it would take time to track the parcels as it would be difficult to identify which member of staff logged them in or if the parcel had been handed to a student.
  3. Time: The paper-based parcel logging process was very time-consuming and caused the staff in the post room to be overworked.

St Mary’s University identified all these challenges and wanted to move towards improving and digitising standard operating processes. Parcel Tracker stood out due to its simplicity and alignment with the institution's ESG goals, in part to lower its carbon footprint. With Parcel Tracker they knew thatall the parcels logged through the software, the last mile of their delivery would be carbon offset.

Initially, Parcel Tracker was only used to log deliveries for students living on campus however, once they released how efficient Parcel Tracker was, faculty and departmental parcels started to be managed through the system too.

Digitising Post with Parcel Tracker

Parcel Tracker is quick to deploy and doesn’t require any specialised hardware. Once George had a CSV/Excel of the contact details of the students living on campus, the Parcel Tracker team helped him upload it into Parcel Tracker. All the post room staff now needed was an Android or iOS device (phone or tablet).

“It’s been refreshing, the Parcel Tracker team has been extremely responsive to any issues we’ve had and provided any training we’ve needed” - George

With the introduction of Parcel Tracker, the previously manual and paper-based process was automated and digitised.

How parcels are managed with Parcel Tracker:

  1. A parcel is delivered to the post room by a courier.
  2. The post room staff scan the parcel label with the Parcel Tracker app; with a snap of the camera, the student is detected, the parcel’s logged with a photo and timestamp. Once the batch of packages are recorded notifications are automatically sent to all the students to collect their parcels via email.
  3. The students come to collect the parcel with a QR code emailed to them. The post room staff scan the email and information on the outstanding parcels; their parcel photos and student info is displayed. The student is handed the parcel and the proof of collection is automatically recorded.

No signatures are required for the handoff; the QR code serves to verify the identity of the student for collection. Parcels are also extremely quick to log and notifications are sent to remind the students to collect their deliveries every few days. This has decluttered the post room, stopped items from getting lost and most importantly allows the post room staff to save lots of time.

Deploying Parcel Tracker

Parcel Tracker can be deployed as a standalone system or in conjunction with integrations into other systems such as Room Service by Kinetics, Active Directories and more. The first step in a standalone deployment is to upload the student and faculty contact information onto Parcel Tracker’s secure UK based servers. This initial setup takes minutes and can be done by either the client or Parcel Tracker.

Parcel Tracker supported George with the upload of student emails and advised on the type of devices to purcahse for Parcel Tracker. The Parcel Tracker team also conducted remote training for the post room staff via zoom which was quick and efficient and were on hand to resolve any issues. The post room staff learnt quickly and had the peace of mind of knowing the Parcel Tracker team were on hand and checked in weekly to ensure the system was working well and promptly resolved any issues.

Benefits of Parcel Tracker

With the time saved George was able to reorganise the team and their duties. The post room team now additionally supports the reception at the main reception of the university, helping with queries and providing the best possible experience for students, staff and visitors.

Statistics and Analytics Overview of Mailroom Parcel Volumes

George particularly values the system as it gives him a birds-eye view of the operations, post room business and the number of held parcels. The analytics data on the Parcel Tracker platform enables George to make better staffing and resourcing allocation decisions without having to be present in the mailroom physically. This has saved the university time and money and enabled the teams to deliver a more efficient service.

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