The University of Leeds was founded in 1904. Its origins go back to 1831 as the Leeds School of Medicine and then became the Yorkshire College of Science in 1874, largely concerning itself with the textile industry. The University features in the world’s top 100 Universities and caters for c. 33,221 students from 151 countries and 7,861 staff working on campus.
Each month, the central mailroom at the university handles over 4000 signed for courier items on behalf of each of the university’s faculties which are spread over 89 acres. The incoming courier mail firstly goes to the post room before being forwarded to the ‘Go Getter’ cycle courier service, which in turn handle / deliver the items to the recipients.
The challenge for the mailroom was to provide total visibility of all items received from Royal Mail and then track those items to final delivery via any transfer points. It was key that any new system had to be simple, intuitive to use and fit in with the existing parcel handling processes used at the University. The system also had to be easy to implement and be accessible by both the University post room team and also ‘Go Getter’ cycle courier service without restricting use or features.
The Mailroom Team identified ‘OmniPost’ mail tracking system from Petersfield based barcode systems experts, ExPD, as the best product to meet the challenge.
OmniPost is a web based system specifically designed to record mail/deliveries (which require a signature) received into the University of Leeds post room, which in turn provides a complete audit trail of when an item was received, who the courier was, package type and the couriers tracking number. Once the item is recorded into OmniPost, an email and or SMS can be automatically sent to the recipient advising them that a parcel is being delivered on the next round, or is it available for collection.
When a recipient comes to the post room to collect an item, the post team simply selects the item and collects a signature using a Signature Pad, the date and time is appended to the record thereby confirming exactly who collected the item and when. For items being delivered by the ‘Go Getter’ cycle couriers or the University’s own post team, a mobile PDA (hand held computer) is used to scan the barcodes on delivery and collect the recipients signature.
Additionally, the post team can also record when items can’t be delivered and why. Items can be moved to storage locations, or tracked into vehicles with full traceability at any time. The PDA includes a high quality camera which allows for items to be photographed in the event of damage.
The OmniPost central database, that is web hosted and can be accessed from any location, provides the University of Leeds a real-time view of the mail status, i.e. how many items have been received but not yet delivered etc. Monthly reports are automatically generated and emailed to the management team which clearly show how many items the post room handle and the service they provide to the University.
The system has now been in use for over six months. Given that the system is web based, installation and deployment was a breeze – it was up and running within a few hours of deployment. ExPD remained on-site for the day to ensure no issues were encountered and continue to provide support at the end of the phone or by means of site visits on the rare occasions it has been required.
Harminder Kalyan, Postroom Supervisor, says, “We selected OmniPost because their devices fulfil our operational requirements and we haven’t been disappointed. ExPD have been very attentive and the few problems we have had they have taken good care of. The product is so simple to use, but importantly, really effective.
I would be happy in recommending OmniPost to any University Mailrooms who might be either looking into replacing their mailroom technology, or investing in a solution as mentioned earlier.”