Over the past twenty years or so, inbound mail in business environments has changed dramatically. For example, Royal Mail, the UK equivalent of the United States Postal Service, used to provide two separate deliveries every day, and couriers would be a less common sight around offices, usually ferrying important documents on motorbike. Indeed, before the advent of ecommerce, it was much rarer for non-paper materials to be sent and received in the mail at all.  

Skip forward to today, and hand-written letters received by businesses are almost unheard of – increasingly replaced with email and other electronic communication. The majority of paper materials in the mail will be made up of direct-marketing documents, invoices and bills, and there will likely be a high volume of packages and parcels, most of which containing personal items. There is also likely to be a higher number of courier deliveries throughout the day, fulfilling same- or next-day personal delivery orders.   
So, while the Internet has had an impact on the reduction in volume of certain types of mail, it has at the same time enabled the growth in another. Fundamentally, there has been a major shift in the size, shape and volume of mail items, in addition to the times at which they are received throughout the working day. All of this can have a disruptive impact on administrative staff, and how mail rooms and mail processes operate within the business. 
Because more of us are receiving parcels at work, and because these packages are often delivered by couriers at practically any time, mail departments can find themselves unable to keep up with the task of internal distribution. What’s more, constant drop-offs of mail throughout the day can cause unwanted disruption, interrupting employees and distracting them from their tasks while they accept mail.  
As a result of these changes, a different approach to managing inbound mail in business environments is needed and has led to the development of parcel lockers. 

What is a Parcel Locker?  

Instead of having to continuously sort and distribute mail across multiple internal locations, parcel lockers, sometimes referred to as ‘package lockers’ or ‘smart lockers’, enable the centralization of mail distribution, vastly reducing the amount of internal handling that would otherwise be required. The addition of auto-generated notifications also helps further mitigate disruption, as recipients are notified when they have a delivery, and can then decide to pick up what has been delivered to a parcel locker at the least disruptive time. Reinforced construction and unique passcode security also removes the risk of packages being lost or stolen. Parcel lockers effectively allow staff to enjoy the convenience of ‘click and collect’ ordering, without the need to visit a store location.  
The way in which we communicate with one another, and how we purchase luxury and everyday items, has changed massively in a relatively short period of time. This has arguably had a much bigger impact on businesses than it has at private addresses, so therefore bigger changes are needed in order to help manage the impact. With parcel lockers in place, businesses can reduce the chances that further rises in volumes of post will place increasing demands on administrative staff and processes.  

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