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Case Study: De Montfort University

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Case Study: De Montfort University

De Montfort delivers a speedier and greener service thanks to new SendSuiteā„¢ solution

De Montfort University is located in the bustling centre of Leicester with a student population of over 27,000 and around 2,700 members of staff, offering more than 500 courses from Art and Design to Cyber Security.

The university is committed to minimising the environmental impact of its activities at both local and international levels. De Montfort has set out its commitments in an Environmental Policy and has already made considerable progress through changes to its travel planning, recycling and energy saving activities.

The next step in this process was to reduce paper waste by investing in Pitney Bowes SendSuiteTM technology. As Facilities Manager Nigel Ward states, "The old system was predominantly paper-based but the new technology has allowed us to do everything on the computer."

SendSuiteTM facilitates the accurate distribution of incoming mail across organisations. The software tracks mail items in real time, so that post room staff can easily respond to queries and report the progress of deliveries.

Items are scanned into the system upon arrival at the university's post room; giving proof of the date and time they were received. Outstanding deliveries are then transferred onto handheld barcode scanners that are used to complete deliveries across the campus. The software then automatically generates the delivery route, allowing the user to record successful, attempted and refused deliveries along the way. Data is transferred to the SendSuiteTM tracking system so that it is available when status enquiries are made.

In addition, the software can:

  • Produce reports relating to route activity, productivity, mail received and delivered, in order to analyse performance
  • Take pictures of any unaddressed mail items to be sent to the addressee for verification before the item is delivered
  • Provide a secure process for handling and identifying the destination of unaddressed mail known as ‘Mystery Mail'

The improvements have helped De Montfort in its aim to reduce environmental impact and cut carbon emissions across campus. As Nigel explains, "Everything used to be done by hand and on paper, now it is all automated. Not only is it quicker but it is better for the environment because we save paper and everything can be tracked digitally."

The university uses two electric vans to transport the post to more than 20 buildings across the campus. The trajectory of these parcels can then be tracked by staff in the post room, who can also generate graphs and reports that highlight peak delivery times.

"The ability to access such crucial information allows us to effectively meet our KPIs," explains Nigel.

Over the past eight years the university has purchased a number of Pitney Bowes solutions, including Arrival, a tracking system for signed and recorded mail. Last year, De Montfort decided to expand the scope of its existing solutions by purchasing the SendSuiteTM software alongside Connect+ to deal with the increasing quantity of parcels received.

"We used to spend large parts of our days observing the comings and goings of the vans but now we need only consult the software to know that we are working to our KPIs." The post room at the university handles as many as 36,000 packages per annum, and the new software has also improved the efficiency of processes. Before, staff would physically leave the building in order to observe the arrival of mail vans. Now there is no need to leave the office as all the information is readily available on their computers.

Nigel states, "I can view all the parcels recorded from my desk. If someone asks about a piece of mail within 2 seconds I can see who signed for it and at what time."

"It has sped up the process of finding items that people have enquired about by around 90% compared to the old paperbased system. We now have zero lost items on both recorded delivery packages and parcels that arrive at the university."

Staff have also commented on the improvements. "My staff love the equipment. The average age of the office is 55-65 and even those that typically shy away from technology have embraced the new system," says Nigel.

"The best thing about the equipment is how user-friendly it is. The help button has everything you need to know. It's fantastic. I've had no complaints since we brought in the new system."

De Montfort also had positive experiences with Pitney Bowes aftercare. Pitney Bowes worked alongside the university's Information Technology and Media Service (ITMS) department during the installation for as smooth a transition as possible.

Nigel summarises, "Over the past eight years we've built a great relationship with Pitney Bowes. The equipment is robust and reliable. They are always available when we need any support and they go out of their way to help.

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