Mailroom management for a multinational retailer


A leading retailer gets ahead of the competition with a new streamlined courier process from SPS

After highlighting the importance of getting new products on the shelf, this leading retailer also wanted a digital solution and looked to its partner of a decade – SPS. Combining SPS’ uBook, iTrak software and Smart Locker solutions drives innovation and best practice - achieving the company’s goal and delivering savings in the process.

The Need For Speed

Retail is a fast-moving and extremely competitive industry. With new trends and fashions always emerging, it is paramount that retailers capitalise on the new clothing, food or beauty vogues their customers follow. Once new products are produced, it is vital they are on the shelves as soon as possible, helping retain customers that might otherwise flock to more reactive competitors.

Long Processing times

Maintaining a modern and continuously evolving product offering is a challenging process, and this retailer faced delays in moving products throughout its global organisation. Any new products go through a rigorous review and approval process, as well as being photographed to create marketing material. Every new item of food or clothing arrives in packages to the mailroom, often blending in with the many deliveries received that day. To help streamline the process, the retailer had considered prohibiting staff from ordering personal packages.
Acknowledging that the current process slows the speed-to-market on new products, the retailer wanted streamlined business solutions to improve visibility of its packages, as well as courier spend to better manage cost. With a new digital agenda also in place, pushed by the retailer’s new leadership team, they knew a specialist partner was needed.

Driving Digital Change

Implementation of uBook and iTrak

SPS positioned its uBook tool, providing a single, intuitive user interface to enable the customer to compare and contrast different delivery options, sorting them by price and allowing the user to dictate the cost and priority of items being sent. uBook also provides a complete audit trail for couriered deliveries, when coupled with SPS’ iTrak tool, offers the retailer complete visibility over its outbound and incoming deliveries.
As well as enabling the retailer to check the location and progress of packages, uBook’s comparison faculty allows it to cut excess courier costs. uBook also gives the retailer the ability to track the courier spend of each of its individual departments, giving management a clear view of which areas of the business use the courier service, and how to optimise their use.

Installation of Smart Lockers

SPS introduced Smart Lockers to compliment the retailers agile working initiative, allowing a hybrid internal delivery model to satisfy the priority levels of incoming items, and empowering employees to collect packages whenever it suits them.

Reorganising the Mailroom Environment

Going beyond addressing just the courier process, SPS also took the opportunity of a renewal to reorganise the retailer’s mailroom environment. SPS designed an optimised process to sort deliveries to each floor of the retailer’s headquarters, trimming excess costs without the need of redundancies.

Reducing administrative costs

Even in today’s digital age, paper expense reports are still widely used. The heavy resource requirements and manual labor needed to process these documents result in high administrative costs for the accounts payable department. By implementing an automated expense management operation in place of manual processing, administration costs could be reduced, allowing more spend to be allocated to more business-critical activities.
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The Benefits

Getting products on the shelf

Work is now underway with the retailer to implement SPS’ new solutions on site, starting with proof-of-concepts:
  • SPS estimates that with uBook’s dynamic rate-shopping, the retailer will be able to save up £100k per annum.
  • When coupled with SPS’ added mailroom efficiencies, the retailer will see savings doubled to around £200k every year.
  • The added visibility uBook and iTrak brings to its courier process enables a much more efficient turnaround for new products.
  • The introduction of Smart Lockers enables the retailer to continue allowing staff to order personal packages without impeding the delivery of business items.
  • Combined with SPS’ solutions mean deliveries can flow through the company’s internal departments faster than ever before.
With an expedited process for new products, driven by SPS’ digital innovations, the brand can maintain its prime position in the retail space. By acting quickly to meet the latest emerging trends the retailer keeps competitors at bay, utilising its newfound ability to stay one step ahead. By addressing management’s digital agenda, SPS has also helped to future-proof the retailer’s position against disruptive rivals, setting it up to perform for the foreseeable future.

Future Plans

Already, the retailer is looking to expand its engagement with SPS by adding an on-site print capability. By handling printing tasks themselves, the retailer hopes to remove another step from the go-to-market process, helping to further streamline the process of getting products out to customers.
SPS’ vision for the future was one of the retailer’s key factors for choosing to extend its relationship, rather than go out to RFP. Impressed by the combination of on-site efficiency and digital innovation, the retailer’s management saw SPS as a trouble-free method to meet their challenges. But for now, the retailer wants to continue the rollout of the new solution and get its products into the hands of its customers faster than ever before.
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