BPO Bulletin

5 Ways to Drive Innovation in Your Mailroom

by Ken Neal
January 3, 2023

As companies increasingly adopt a hybrid or remote work environment, operations, facilities and administration leaders have an opportunity to rethink the employee experience and devise innovative ways to draw employees back to the office. At the same time, the economic outlook remains uncertain, creating pressure to lower costs, including ways to reduce or rethink office space.

There’s one way to address both challenges: reassess your mailroom to drive innovation.

Modernizing the Mailroom

Mailrooms can now act as an employee amenity and elevate the workplace experience by better serving employees’ mail, shipping and document management needs. At the same time, introducing new technology into the mailroom can help a business increase efficiency, improve compliance and reduce overhead costs.

Consider these five ways to begin to modernize and drive innovation in your mailroom:

1. Transform your mailroom service into an employee amenity

Enhancing your mailroom service is an excellent way to create a unique employee experience and help retain employees in a challenging market. Today’s workers need compelling reasons to come into an office, and expanding your mailroom beyond its traditional offerings can help create that motivation by providing a meaningful employee benefit.

For example, a large technology company worked with Canon to set up shipping stations conveniently located throughout the campus. Employees can now use any Canon shipping station for business and personal shipments. The company considers the program a valuable convenience that enhances the employee experience.

2. Consider a digital mail system

Digitizing your mail can be critical to improving and maintaining the operational efficiency of your hybrid work environment. For example, Canon’s digital mail service — a hybrid mailroom and scanning service — converts physical mail into digital data using customized workflow techniques and mail scanning technology. The data that’s collected is delivered electronically to your employees and incorporated into your digital workflow, enabling your business to move faster and smarter. Canon’s digital mail service reduces the risk of vital information getting lost, misplaced or not ever acted upon, and can enhance regulatory compliance.

Additionally, a digital mail system reduces your need for physical office space, which can help minimize costs. That space can be repurposed for other needs, such as collaboration rooms or conference rooms, while staff can take on higher value activities and duties.

3. Give smart lockers a shot

In a hybrid office environment, you don’t always know where an employee will be on a given day. Mailrooms have limited space and can’t store packages for an unlimited time. A smart locker system solves these challenges while improving the workplace experience by making it easier for employees to find their packages.

For example, Canon recently implemented smart lockers at a leading American multinational company. The company had two to three people dedicated to delivering mail throughout the campus. Based on an assessment, Canon proposed installing intelligent lockers at strategic locations. Now, the company’s mail is put into a locker, then a code is sent to employees who go to a locker to receive their packages. In addition to ensuring that packages remain secure, this approach has led to time and labor savings because delivery personnel no longer need to visit every office area to deliver mail.

4. Branch out with additional mailroom services

When it comes to mailroom outsourcing, thinking outside the box can generate ideas that improve efficiency. Canon recently worked with a large property management company to manage food delivery runs. Instead of multiple food delivery employees clogging elevators, deliveries are now brought to the mailroom team, who delivers the food to residents more efficiently.

Canon also worked with a large bank to institute home courier runs now that the bank’s executives are situated throughout a major metropolitan area and many work a hybrid schedule. Canon partnered with couriers across the region so that, if an employee receives a package on a day they are working from home, the courier can quickly deliver the package to the executive’s residence and keep business moving.

5. Watch for emerging technologies

New technologies are being introduced every day. Be on the lookout for innovations that can help make your mailroom management more efficient by enhancing on-demand and self-service capabilities.

For example, mail basket sensors can be placed on or near mail baskets to alert staff that mail needs to be picked up at a specific location. This improves efficiency by allowing mail staff to target only the mail stops that need attention.

Future-Proof Your Mailroom to Lower Costs and Improve Employee Experience

Given the current post-pandemic office environment and economic climate, it’s a great time to reevaluate your mailroom and invest in ways to make it more efficient, affordable and appealing to your employees. In addition to saving money and boosting business efficiency, it will help improve employee retention by creating a future-ready workplace that attracts top talent.

Canon has decades of experience evaluating mailrooms in a broad range of industries. We can look at the whole picture — people, process, technology and data — to create a solution tailored to your needs. We can help you reassess the state of your mailroom and execute an innovative plan to become more agile, adjust to the new hybrid work environment, improve the employee experience and reduce costs.

For a free, comprehensive assessment of your mailroom, contact us today.

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