Why you can't afford to ignore delivery management

1. The needs of contemporary life are shifting—and so are the needs of your workplace

Even the most mundane-seeming tasks can take a surprisingly large amount of time during someone's work day. A commissioned study by Wakefield Research discovered what aspects of the workplace experience were most important, what was working, and where improvements were needed. This exclusive online workplace experience study surveyed 1,000 U.S. office workers across industries, locations, ages, genders, and roles.

The results are crystal clear—and so are the negative implications of insufficient workplace technology to your business’ bottom line.

What’s more, while employees are a primary concern, our survey findings reveal that 75% of respondents say they have judged an organization’s lobby area based on their impression. What goes into forming this negative impression, and how does the presence of delivery management technology impact this?

Your lobby is the first point of contact for visitors, and has a huge impact on customers, interview candidates, and current employees alike. More than 2 in 5 people (44%) say a greeting at the door is the biggest influence on their first impression of an office when arriving for an interview. But if your office manager is busy trying to track down and deliver packages to employees, having to stack them behind the front desk—or even worse, in the lobby area itself, directly near visitors—it can be more than an eye-sore. A cluttered lobby area conveys lack of organization, attention to the visitor experience, and by extension, that your company doesn’t prioritize the very first opportunity to make a lasting, positive impression.

Your workplace culture is changing

Despite the need to emphasize an office’s lobby to ensure a good first impression, most offices haven’t invested in delivery management software that would go a long way to providing the top-notch experience visitors and employees look for.

Graph showing percentage of packages stolen

The net: your workplace culture is changing. The lines between personal and professional life are increasingly blurred. Younger generations—many of whom comprise or will soon account for the majority of your workforce—are flocking to cities and opting
 for an urban lifestyle, and the amenities that accompany it.

However, urban dwelling does have downsides. For
one thing, packages delivered to your home aren't always secure. The convenience of online shopping
 has created a perfect storm for today’s workplace operations. Companies have to accommodate a s
teadily increasing appetite for employees to have packages delivered to work. This is especially true for more urban areas for two primary reasons.

  1. Longer working hours, the increase of dual-income
 households, and commuting times are all factors that impact being available for a package delivery at home. Your employees need to have personal packages delivered at work.
  2. As important as logistical inconvenience, security is a huge concern for those living and working
 in cities. Packages get stolen when left on a city doorstep. According to a study produced by research firm Edelman Intelligence, 74% of packages are stolen during the day when homeowners are at work.

In the age of Amazon, no one wants packages delivered to their home. They get packages delivered to work.

Senior Manager, Real Estate & Facilities at Samsara

The lack of adequate technology in the workplace is not merely an inconvenience. Not having sufficient workplace technology seriously impacts the employee experience, is a significant drain on time, and impedes employee productivity. 34% of those surveyed said their workplace reflected a Mad Men office setting. Undeniably sleek, highly-coveted mid-century design aside, this answer specifically referenced outdated tech and that these workplaces are “in need of a complete makeover.” In other words, while your workplace may look good, does your workplace technology measure up to your aesthetic investments?

Among the technology pain points surfaced in the workplace experience data, 46% of survey respondents cited physical hardware, in the form of a malfunctioning printer, as the top challenge faced in their daily working life. Software was right behind, with 44% of those surveyed noting spotty Wi-Fi as a main detractor from their ability to successfully perform their jobs.

The data is compelling, and begs the question: What areas of your workplace experience need attention, and what resources are available to address them? By minimizing negative encounters with technology, and

replacing or updating your workplace technology stack, your employee experience will improve dramatically. When employees have the resources they need, they can get their work done better, perform their best—and be happier at work. Removing technological blockers from your employees’ day is an important way to do this.

This ebook covers how workplace technology can help with optimizing processes throughout your workplace. Relegating delivery management to the back burner of your organization’s workplace experience is a mistake you can’t afford to make. You’ll find out why delivery management software can help you stay ahead of delivery management, so it won’t become a hurdle for your employees to constantly overcome or a barrier to making a great first impression on visitors. A messy lobby, full of packages piled high, is hardly the impression you want to make.

2. The state of the workplace mailroom: is your workplace delivery management enough?

69% of those who took the Wakefield Research workplace experience survey say they have had a personal package delivered to them at work. There are a multitude of compelling reasons why. Among the top reasons named by our survey-takers: convenience based on not being present at home during delivery windows (63%), concern for security (50%), and privacy reasons (37%).

According to a Shopify report, online shopping is expected to nearly double from $2.3 trillion to $4.5 trillion by 2021. As online shopping increases, personal deliveries to your workplace are sure to follow suit, as people are not able to be home to receive packages.

How can companies keep up with their workforce’s personal deliveries? Let’s start with the front desk. No matter the role you have or the size of your company, workplace technology should always make your day easier and better. This is especially true for office managers, who wear many hats and field tens if not hundreds of questions a day about everything from the Wi-Fi password to wayfinding.

The steady growth of e-commerce, ability to order quickly from our mobile devices from anywhere, and super-fast shipping, means more and more employees get their packages delivered to their places of work.

Illustration of packages in an office

From a practical and logistical standpoint, all of these workplace deliveries can create quite the burden for office managers and front desk teams typically tasked with delivery management. Without delivery management software to automate the process, workplace managers are also tasked with answering questions from teammates wondering if a package has arrived yet.

Manual delivery management is time-consuming, and includes:

  1. Package intake from a third party shipping vendor
  2. Storage and space maintenance
  3. Making sure packages get to the people that ordered them
  4. Reminding employees to pick up their deliveries

So just how long does it take for employees to pick up their packages, and is this truly an issue in your workplace? You might assume that people are eager to pick up their packages as soon as they arrive, but the current delivery data might surprise you. 19.4% of recipients need at least one reminder notification after the initial notification before picking up their package. This means that packages are left to sit around, taking up valuable space in the office, and creating an eye-sore for visitors and employees alike.

And there’s the turnaround time from transcription (scanning the label) to notifying the recipient of a delivery.

Think about the average time it takes to copy a tracking number by hand, manually write or type that tracking number into a logbook, and then notify the relevant person of their delivery. This can take several minutes, a considerable amount of time even if your workplace receives minimal deliveries. The person logging your workplace deliveries obviously has other things to do in their day. They probably don't plan for delivery management to take up that much of their time, so manual delivery management cuts into time they could spend on other, more important work.

Data for package delivery time

Let’s say it takes a minimum of ten minutes total to manage one delivery, from the moment a package leaves the carrier’s hands to the moment it is handed to the intended recipient. If your workplace receives at least 10 packages a week, that adds up to nearly an hour and a half spent managing deliveries per week—a whopping 72.8 hours, or nearly two work-weeks, per year.

Compare this to digital delivery management. If you’re using delivery management software, the median time it takes from the moment a package is scanned to when a notification is issued to the recipient is just 31 seconds—a mere fraction of the time it takes to manually manage deliveries. This saves valuable labor not to mention the time it typically takes to physically locate someone.

3. Reduce friction between processes and people

Another unfortunate byproduct of ad-hoc delivery management is the potential for interpersonal conflict. People can get upset with an office
 manager or person tasked with delivery management in the event that a package has been sitting there in a mailroom for days without notification.

Employees can also get antsy and
 pester the office manager with impatient questions about whether or not deliveries have come for the day. The delivery may have come in when the office manager was away from the desk, and another colleague might have signed the package. This also opens up the possibility for package mix-ups, where an employee accidentally takes someone else's package.

Without a streamlined delivery management system, these kinds of situations can arise. What can delivery management software do to help with streamlining and optimizing your mailroom?

Delivery management software presents an agile way to plan ahead for expected challenges of the work day (and frees you up for all of the unexpected ones).

Delivery management software provides many benefits.

  1. Improves package pickup time and mailroom efficiency
  2. Maximizes limited space in the office
  3. Helps to avoid the dreaded “return to sender”
  4. Keeps lobbies and other default areas for companies without dedicated delivery storage less cluttered
  5. Allows employees to clearly communicate delivery information with transparency
  6. Eases the responsibility of the office manager to manage who is in the building making deliveries, who is signing for them, and making sure they get to where they need to go
  7. For companies with strong security requirements, the functionality to require employees to sign for or
take a picture of themselves when they pick up a package ensures the right package goes home with the right person

Optimizing the workplace experience

Still not convinced? Delivery management doesn’t end at signing for a FedEx package. Even if your perception is that you don’t have that many packages delivered, this is still an area of workplace operations that you can’t afford to neglect. Why? Here’s what the manual-process lifecycle of a delivery looks like in the workplace.

  1. A delivery arrives. Someone from your office has to arrange for the delivery representative to leave the package somewhere. Depending on whether you are in a multi-tenant building, the package then needs to be signed for, left at a desk, in the hallway, by a door, or with a security guard, to name just a few scenarios. The delivery person also must potentially check-in before the delivery itself can be dropped off.
  2. Someone must receive the package. This could involve taking an elevator or going downstairs to collect the package(s). Depending on staffing, this could leave the front desk unattended.
  3. The package is placed in a mailroom, behind a desk, or (in some less-than-ideal cases where space is at a premium) on the front desk itself.
  4. An office manager or other employee needs to record that the package has been received for due diligence, compliance reasons, and for general best practice to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.
  5. The office manager or employee notifies the recipient of the package arrival manually via email, text message, phone call, or other internal communication method.
  6. If the delivery recipient is in the office, the office manager or that employee is tasked with physically going to pick up or deliver packages.
  7. If the delivery recipient isn’t present, the package is perhaps left on the desk of the employee, leaving it at risk of being taken by someone else.
  8. If same-day delivery retrieval is not possible due to an absence or other reason, the package is left sitting in a mailroom, or behind the front desk.
  9. If the package remains unclaimed for days, the office manager or employee must take the time to remind, and re-remind, the delivery recipient to pick up their package.

These steps demonstrate that even if your workplace receives just a few packages, the manual process of logging and managing deliveries is nevertheless a disruption that you continually have to navigate. Multiply this process by even a factor of 10 and you have a significant, time-intensive delivery management headache that leaves much to be desired.

Know where your high-priority deliveries are at
 all times

In addition to the challenge of manually managing the influx of your employee’s personal deliveries, there are instances when better tracking of a high-priority delivery is essential. For example, an IT manager could be waiting on a high-value order of equipment, such as computers or other hardware. This is yet another mission-critical reason to have a secure delivery management system in place.

What if your employee who manages these kinds of office operations isn’t at work? Say someone is out sick, goes on vacation, or leaves the company. All it takes is one page from your delivery logbook that goes missing to create a problem—one that also carries the risk of being out of compliance and leaving you on the hook should the delivery go unaccounted for.

4. Delivery management software is integral to the
present—and future—of workplace experience

With the proliferation of cloud-based software platforms that cater to so many of our business needs, employees expect ease-of-use as much as functionality in the tools they rely on each day to perform their best.

Executives want to ensure a consistent great impression, while IT and the Head of Workplace want to invest in a solution that provides them with everything they need to keep employees happy and operations humming smoothly. For green-focused companies, delivery management software provides the added bonus of actively reducing the carbon footprint of having packages delivered to individual homes.

Workplace technology is an area companies have to invest in to improve and optimize workplace experience. On average, those surveyed in our workplace experience study cited spending 24 minutes a day troubleshooting workplace technology inconveniences. Even worse, the majority of office workers (37%) say they spend 30 minutes per day or more dealing with technology-related issues. That’s two hours per week or 100 hours a year—two and a half weeks a year. This means that the average office worker spends the equivalent of a standard annual vacation allotment dealing with inadequate workplace technology—and this is unacceptable.