Parcels are a major problem for receptionists up and down the land. They clutter up and despoil public areas, valuable staff time is wasted in dealing with them and they often go astray. Just ask the people behind the welcome desks at major serviced offices, hospitals, schools, local authorities, solicitors and large businesses. Many such premises can receive hundreds of parcels a day. And the problem is exacerbated due the nation’s ongoing love affair with online shopping.
Workers are increasingly choosing to have parcels delivered to the workplace because they know there will be someone to receive them. But now help is at hand in dealing with this scourge of the receptionist. Fareham-based digital agency MediaBase Direct (MBD) has come up with a solid solution.
The Mailroom by LEADR app takes all the pressure off reception staff by administering the way parcels are received and distributed. A picture of the parcel is taken and this is quickly emailed to the addressee who is invited to collect it from reception. Thus, the receptionist doesn’t have to make countless time-consuming phone calls asking people to pick up their parcels and the photograph prevents misidentification.
There is also an email trail detailing when the parcel was received, who it was addressed to and when the recipient was advised of its delivery. All this is on an iPad app which businesses can install and use for just £29.99 a month.
Mailroom works in conjunction with, and is a paid add-on to, MBD’s e-Reception Book by LEADR, which is replacing traditional, non-compliant visitor books in receptions.
Oxford Innovation, an expanding group of 24 innovation centres occupied by more than 1,000 businesses across the country, has been trialling Mailroom for four months at a number of premises.
Solent Regional Manager Stephen Brownlie said: “It’s a brilliant solution to a constantly growing problem of both commercial and personal parcels. “Not only does it free up our reception staff to get on with their jobs, but it declutters those vital areas in our buildings where visitors get their first impressions.
“Mailroom also makes parcels easier to identify and helps stop them from going missing or ending up in the wrong place. “I will be recommending this trailblazing MBD solution to the whole of Oxford Innovation and I wouldn’t be surprised if businesses throughout the UK were not using it soon".
“The team at MBD has been absolutely fantastic in adapting the app to give us a bespoke system perfect for our needs. They did the same for us with e-Reception Book, which we have installed permanently in many centres.”
Oxford Innovation, which houses and supports small to medium businesses and start-ups, has three centres in Hampshire – Fareham Innovation Centre, Portsmouth Technopole and Ocean Village Innovation Centre, Southampton.
MBD Head of Product Daniel Jain said: “We felt that there was a need for something to help businesses who were sinking beneath a mountain of brown cardboard boxes.
“The MBD team passes through many different receptions each week and it was obvious that the problem with parcels was growing exponentially.” IMRG, the UK’s online retail association, reports that 1.065 billion parcels were delivered in 2015 and first quarter growth for this year is 16.5%. Daniel added: “So, we came up with the Mailroom app, which is easy to install, simple to operate, customisable, inexpensive – and works well. “There is no more logging packages on paper forms, no more cluttered reception areas and no more losing parcels. “I am so glad that Oxford Innovation has found it such a cost-effective purpose-built solution. It is always heartening to hear of someone embracing our products. We feel it will soon become indispensible.”
Mailroom works on any smartphone or tablet device and takes only minutes to set up. It syncs to the e-Reception Book dashboard hub and allows users to view package statistics at any time.
The app gives unlimited package assignments, unlimited email notifications, real time package analytics, dynamic email bounce-backs, online support and secure data export.