Managing Package Deliveries During the Holiday Season
The necessity of managing packages
Over the past decade, managing package deliveries has become a necessary part of condo association management due to the increasing popularity of online shopping for clothes, furniture, toiletries, and much more. Buying virtual is accessible, convenient, and fast, and has only become more so in the last few years due to retailers moving online. After placing an order online, residents keep a watchful eye and track their packages along the way. Still, since they live in a condo association, they depend on the concierge and property manager to keep their package safe and ready to be picked up at the front desk with minimal effort.
The National Retail Federation predicts that while households are expected to shift back to in-store shopping, online and other non-store sales will increase between 10 and 12%. That means packages will be coming in at an astonishing rate, with piles of them coming to the concierge desk. This produces a high amount of pressure on the front desk associates because they need to manage different packages for quick and easy pick-up while continuing to conduct all other tasks responsibly.
1. Storage needs have changed.
It is important to recognize that a small locker room in a condo that would have worked in 2010 is no longer sufficient for the number of package deliveries brought in every day. "The space set aside is not often large enough," says Todd Rawson, regional director at FirstService Residential. "The area needed to accommodate them needs to be close to the front desk, as residents and concierge will not want to abandon their station to obtain packages continuously."
2. Constant interactions with residents may lead to burnout.
Along with being on the front lines already, front desk associates will need to consistently interact with residents when they are asked to obtain a package, or in some cases, multiple packages. This can be an overwhelming process, especially when managing crowd control and pick-up times, much to the resident's frustration. This causes much stress for the concierge and ultimately leads to burnout, where they may not work as efficiently as before.
Here’s a look at how FirstService Residential is taking the necessary steps to ensure the management of deliveries runs smoothly.
1. Making room for the package deliveries.
As mentioned, package deliveries are coming in at an astonishing rate, with piles of them coming to the concierge desk. Our solution is to dedicate locker rooms for these packages or, if available, a large storage room to provide ample space for concierges to move around.
Further, what we are doing is having the concierge write out essential details as a delivery comes in to make pick-up more efficient as they will not have to scramble through numerous packages to find the right one.
Front desk associates can log these details as soon as they come in and throughout the pick-up process. These details include the date, the carrier, the recipient's name, the package placement, the time picked up, and a signature from the concierge signaling the package has been picked up.
2. Streamline the pick-up process.
To ensure that residents know what time pick-ups are allowed during the day, establish hours where this will be made possible. Our property managers can determine these times and have them posted throughout the condo association or emailed to the residents for notice. For example, property managers can notify residents that hours of pick-up are between the hours of 8 AM and 9 PM.
Further, we have provided time slots for residents to come to pick their delivery from the front desk. Emailing or texting residents with their specific time slot for pick-up makes the process more streamlined.
This process benefits concierges as they will know which residents will be coming down at which times, checking their list beforehand to know what packages to bring out for a quicker exchange.
Observe the golden rule
Ensuring residents understand the delivery pick up process can help the front desk from being overrun with package requests. This will help keep the wait times low for residents, which in turn keeps conflicts between residents and front desk associates from occurring.
It's a busy time of year for everyone and patience can start to run thin. Now more than ever it’s important to remember the golden rule and be courteous with those that you interact with, including those that manage and work in your condo association.