Efficiency should be the goal of everyone working inside your mailroom. But you can’t win the game you’re playing if you don’t have the right equipment! If you do a lot, or even a moderate amount, of business by mail, be sure you have the right packaging and shipping supplies and the best equipment to ensure your customers and clients get what they ordered. Ensuring your mailroom is outfitted with the right gear will help raise profits, cut down on sending times, and create a better work environment for all. Here is a list of the most essential equipment and supplies every mailroom should have.
Before you package them and send them out, your goods need to have a place to store until they’re ready to roll. Every mailroom, without exception, needs wall-to-wall organizers and bins. Pick organizers that have enough room to hold your goods and materials and keep them in place. Small and loose items need bins, while mailers, envelopes, and other slimmer packaging need slots. Establish sections for incoming and outgoing items and consider if two-sided organizers will enable greater efficiency. Measuring out the mailroom, of course, will help you pick up equipment that fits. Look for smooth, edge-free furniture that will prevent accidents and protect your employees as they swiftly perform their duties.
Water-Activated Tape Dispenser
Taping up packages all day can be a boring and arduous task, especially if employees are doing the job with handheld dispensers. Plastic packing tape is slightly cheaper and faster, but the seal isn’t as good, and using handheld dispensers can cause repetitive stress injuries. A water-activated tape dispenser works faster and creates a stronger seal, protecting the package and the content therein. Invest in a water-activated tape dispenser when ordering your next batch of packaging and shipping supplies, and you’ll soon make up the initial cost in efficiency and protected goods. And with that in mind...
Stock Up on Tape
As you consider essential equipment and supplies every mailroom should have, don’t forget to purchase a healthy supply of tape. As mentioned, water-activated tape is best, but whether you choose that or plastic packing tape, be sure to have enough. A standing order of tape will ensure you never run out and buying in bulk can keep down costs. It doesn’t hurt to buy several types of tape as well in case you want to do something different with your packaging in the future. Also, the branding possibilities offered by tape are staggering. But tape isn’t any good without...
If you sell one type of product of a certain size and shape, you can get away with purchasing a single type of box whenever you order packaging and shipping supplies. But your inventory is no doubt extensive and varied, requiring packages that can protect, shield, and contain the goods all the way to your customers’ mailbox. Take stock of the assortment of sizes you need (and the strength of the cardboard) and ask your supplier for a consultation so you both determine how many and what kind of packages you’ll require. And again, don’t neglect the advertising possibilities on your packages. Custom-printed boxes speak well and loudly about your company on their way to your client’s door.
Postal Scales and Measurement Devices
No matter which delivery company you deal with, be it UPS, DHL, Fed Ex, or the USPS itself, size and weight will always be a factor in calculating how much you’ll be charged for delivery. Familiarize yourself with the requirements and standards of your delivery service and ensure that every package you pack meets them. Weigh and measure each outgoing piece with postal scales and measuring devices and you’ll swiftly find smarter ways to send things, thereby cutting costs. It may be by only a few pennies, but it all adds up!
Sometimes, things that come to the mailroom should never leave. Equip your office area with document shredders, for your own use and others, so that confidential and proprietary documents can never be intercepted or found in the trash and misused by corporate spies, hackers, identity thieves, and other shady individuals. Ensure that documents aren’t just crosscut for extra privacy but that the waste generated by your shredders is carried away by disposal experts who will ensure the paper’s absolute and final destruction. Setting up a room or side area which can be enclosed for added privacy while shredding is a great idea as well.
Folding and Inserting Mailing Machine
If you do a lot of physical mass mailings on top of your emails, a folding and inserting machine is a worthy investment. It saves the time, drudgery, and potential for error that goes into stuffing envelopes with multiple letters, fliers, invoices, and more. Some folding and inserting mailing machines can set up thousands of letters for mailing within an hour. And the envelopes’ contents will be neatly and professionally folded and placed with a crispness that takes even longer to do by hand.
So much work in the mailroom is done by hand, and those hands need to be protected. Employees should be provided with gloves appropriate to the work they do. General-purpose work gloves reduce callouses, relieve strain, and make it safer to pick up things. Employees operating letter openers, scissors, box cutters, paper trimmers, and other sharp devices should wear cut-resistant gloves. Latex and nitrile gloves are also handy to avoid contamination to and by employees as they package, handle, and distribute mail. Keep their hands covered and your insurance premiums and sick days down!
Hand Trucks and Mail Carts
Not everything that comes through or goes out of the mailroom is heavy, but all that bending, picking up, carrying, and transporting adds up. Make sure your employees can move packages swiftly without risking injury or damage to the materials. If you have the means and space, a conveyor belt or roller conveyor can speed up intake and output as packages are ready for shipping or are just arriving. Mechanize for even greater efficiency!