A new mail system being implemented on campus this fall will bring increased efficiency and an enhanced user experience, including a 24/7 package retrieval system.
The new approach brings multiple mail lockers sprinkled throughout the residential section of campus, giving students the flexibility of self-service and the option of package retrieval 24 hours a day. All students will also have the option of retrieving mailed cards and letters without renting boxes.
“I think our new approach is going to improve our efficiency tremendously,” said Linda Johnson, director of Campus Mail Service. “With the new technology, we will be able to provide the customer service standard our campus community expects.”
Previously, students could retrieve packages from the Ferguson Mail Center only during standard operating hours. Under the new approach, lockers of varying sizes will be installed at campus residential “neighborhoods,” including Presidential Village I and II, Paty, Riverside, Ferguson Student Center, Tutwiler Residential Hall and Bryce Lawn Apartments.
When students receive a package, they will receive email notifications with locker numbers and other relevant information. The lockers are secured and will be accessed either via a student’s ACT Card or through a numerical pad. The locker locations are within secure areas already accessible by authorized students around the clock, so pick-ups will be more convenient.
Students will also be notified whenever they receive cards, letters and other regular mail. These non-package items can be retrieved via a “virtual mailbox” system at the Ferguson Mail Center. Students will no longer have to rent a box to receive mail. These expanded services, made available through a contract with NeoPost, will be available to students during 2019-20 at no additional cost to students.
Faculty and Staff Mail Efficiencies Planned
Additionally, new mail sorting equipment will automate processes, enabling the UA mail service to sort tens of thousands of mail pieces in a couple of hours, Johnson said.
Faculty and staff will also see improved efficiencies in campus mail deliveries via a new approach that includes a tracking system to monitor outgoing and incoming items. An innovative software system will provide campus departments with more desktop processes to select options they prefer when mailing packages.
The new processes are expected to be in place before September’s end. The decision to contract with NeoPost came after a careful and thoughtful review of campus mail services that was announced in January and sought to identify ways of improving its efficiencies and services.
Training sessions on the new system will be made available for employees. More details will be announced about those sessions in coming weeks.
Johnson said students, faculty and staff, including campus mail service employees, will benefit from the new approaches.
“This change will be positive for campus and positive for the mail staff,” Johnson said. “We are excited about this. This new process will allow us to move campus mail to the next level.”
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.