As you can probably imagine, online shopping has seen dramatic increases in recent years. Americans spent $37.8 billion during the 2013 Christmas holiday¹, with Cyber Monday surpassing Black Friday purchases at a grand total of $1.7 billion². And throughout the year, retailers entice consumers to purchase online during “exclusive sales” and “holiday specials.”
Based on 2013 holiday shipping from FedEx alone³, an estimated 154 million parcels were sent to multi-housing residences⁴, and in many cases into leasing offices—resulting in hours of recording, sorting, and delivering for on-site staff.
According to a study by Property Solutions, the average property with 550 units receiving about 25 packages a day is spending around 2.5 hours in handling time from start to finish. That includes recording and sorting the packages, sending out manual notifications, and hand delivering each package after days of the mail sitting in the mail room, if the property is fortunate enough to have a separate mail room.
Taryn Silva, Marketing Manager at Paradigm Management Company, reported that some properties can receive up to 150 packages in any given day, resulting in upwards of 4 hours in labor-time; and those numbers double during holidays. Can you imagine 300 in one day? In special cases, they would even bring in additional staff members just to deliver packages to residents.
Another property had separate binders for each of their 10 buildings to record incoming packages. The mail carrier had to write down all package information, including tracking numbers. And without a bulk emailing system, the site staff sent out individual emails to notify residents to pick up their packages.
Paradigm took a three-fold approach to the shipping challenge: automated notifications, integrated lobby display, and e-tablet signing. Integrated in real-time with their property management software, their package management system is able to associate each package to the correct unit, and the system distributes automatic email notifications to respective residents to alert them of the new shipment.
At the front entrances of their communities, large-display screens show a rotating list of incoming packages, according to unit number, not to mention community events, date and local weather, and social media—all custom-branded for each individual property.
Lastly, site staff had complete oversight through their leasing tablet app, enabling them to access online records from anywhere on the property and allowing residents to digitally sign for packages with their finger. A management process that once took 8 minutes per package was cut to less than 2 minutes.
With these measures in place, Silva reported a 75% reduction in package handling time, not to mention the eliminated expense of hiring additional staff.
As discussed in my last article, save yourself the time, money, and stress, and get up-to-speed with your web-savvy residents by going digital.