Deliveries to recipients
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This page covers mail deliveries to the recipients desk. This can be by trolley within an office or by van to another building or site then transferred to a delivery trolley. In this system there are multiple movements from sorting table trolley, or from sorting table to van then from van to the reception office in another building and and from the reception to the delivery trolley within that building. This entails several movements and each movement needs to be recorded quickly and accurately so that the location of each item is known by anyone interrogating the system. To do this efficiently the movement of the container – the mailbag or trolley or van – needs to record movement of all the items in that container so that if a single item is searched for then the system knows immediately where it is. “on the van’, “at reception in B building” “Out for delivery” etc. When eventually the person delivering the mail hands it to the recipient their signature is obtained providing proof of delivery. Then a complete record of the progress of that mail item through the system can be seen by searching for its movement history. If we use barcodes to do this, all they will tell you is the unique identity of a mail item so its pretty much impossible to know the number unless the carrier code is known. So how do you find it when the recipient phones up and asks where it is. This is surprisingy easy: because you have logged the item code and the recipient and incoming carrier you can search by a date range for a specific recipient and narrow it down to a few up parcels. All that you then need to do is see which ones have not yet been signed for and where they currently are.
The mail is first sorted, logged then loaded on the trolley. An additional option is to print a label for the package that can include a barcode of the item if there is no barcode on it already and the name and location of the recipient. This reduces errors when leaving packages at unattended desks. On delivery a proof of delivery is captured on the PDA either with physical signature on the PDA screen or a photo recorded with the PDA camera.
Mailbags and Vans
In multisite situations the mail needs to be sorted into destinations as well as recipients. The pile for a destination would then be put in a mailbag and then in a van. At the other end the mailbag would be delivered and then each item removed and delivered to the addressees. When the mail is first logged in it can be put in to the appropriate mailbag immediately. When that mailbag is then transferred to the van a single scan of a barcode on the outside of the bag records the transfer and a second scan on receipt at the destination.
Managing multiple sites
The sites can all be displayed on one screen and expanded to show the locations within the site. All terminals are able to see the same database (password protected) and mail recipients can also see a restricted view of their mail online. They are unable to change anything but can see what is coming in and where it is.