Managing Package Deliveries During the Holiday Season
The necessity of managing package deliveries
Over the course of the past decade, managing package deliveries has become a necessary part of condo corporation management due to the increasing popularity of online shopping for everything from clothes to groceries and holiday gifts. Buying virtual is accessible, convenient, and fast, and has only become more so in the last few years as retailers big and small move 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 corporation, they depend on the front desk associates and property manager to keep their package safe until it can be picked up at the front desk with minimal effort.
In Deloitte’s 2022 holiday retail outlook where more than 1,000 Canadians were surveyed, it has been determined that the majority of respondents’ holiday budget will be spent on Amazon. Shopping in brick-and-mortar stores is up over last year, with 51% opting to shop in store so they can interact with products, take advantage of better pricing and promotions, as well as avoid shipping costs. Despite the increase in in-store shopping, online shopping remains popular which means your condo corporation will still be faced with dealing with a high volume of packages. This might cause more pressure for the concierge as they need to manage all the packages for quick and easy pick-up while continuing to conduct other day-to-day tasks.
1. Storage needs have changed.
It is important to recognize that a small locker room in a condo is no longer sufficient for the number of package deliveries brought in every day. "The space set aside is not often large enough," says Andrew McLachlan, regional director at FirstService Residential. "The area needed to accommodate them needs to be close to the front desk, as concierge will not want to abandon their station to obtain packages for residents continuously."
2. Constant interactions with residents may lead to burnout.
Along with being on the front lines already, front desk associates’ interactions with residents greatly increase at this time of year 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 increased volume, with piles of them coming to the concierge desk every day. 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.
Additionally, we are 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.
Concierges can log these details as soon as they come in and throughout the pick-up process. Helpful 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 corporation and emailed to the residents for notice. As an 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 the front desk associates as they will know which residents will be coming down at which times, allowing them to know what packages to bring out when 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 concierge 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 corporation.