The digitalization of the modern world has placed a great burden on postal services. With more customers opting to use digital communications and more businesses conducting transactions and correspondence through online means, fewer organizations and individuals are using traditional letter delivery services. For an institution as old as the United Kingdom's Royal Mail, change can come slowly, but DA Systems managing director David Upton recently argued in a Post & Parcel article that the nearly 500-year-old organization needed to adapt to the modern era. According to Upton, the number of letters delivered annually in the U.K. fell from 80 million in 2006 to 58 million last year.
However, a new initiative launched by Royal Mail may entice businesses to continue using their services. One of the largest flaws in most mail delivery models is the inability to track the shipment of individual letters. Larger parcels and expedited services can provide these capabilities if requested, but basic letters are essentially untraceable once they have been shipped. Undelivered or lost letters can present a costly expense to organizations that run bulk mail campaigns on a regular basis.
That is why officials from the Royal Mail recently announced plans to invest more than $105 million to add barcode tracking to their bulk mail services, Tamebay reported. The barcode inventory system will allow participating organizations to track shipments of billing and account information, marketing materials and payment notices for the entire duration of the delivery process. According to officials, businesses will be able to better coordinate their consumer engagement efforts, integrating follow-up communications with the delivery of printed materials.
Improving enterprise operations with barcode capabilities
According to Tamebay, the program has 47 participants so far, comprising a daily mail volume of 8 million units. Upton viewed the move to a barcode inventory system as a sign that postal service officials were beginning to recognize the importance of operational efficiency.
"Although in decline, letters will still be an important element of Royal Mail's business, but it needs to be able to offer a better and more efficient service – hence the introduction of new technology," Upton wrote.
In an enterprise setting, barcode inventory systems can significantly aid company efforts to track shipments as well as ensure that storage best practices are being diligently followed. Warehouse managers can also quickly identify inventory shortages that could affect the operability of the supply chain, helping business leaders prevent service disruptions and delays.
For more information on improving efficiency with barcode technology, download the free white paper entitled "Keeping the Physical World and the Virtual World in Sync" from DMS website today.