The past has proven busier for the UNH mailroom, with more letters than what could be possibly counted flooding through the doors. Arriving in truckloads, the monstrous amount of mail outnumbered that of packages tenfold.
But as times change, so will the technology we depend on.
Emanating from the internet’s upbringing was email. Providers such as Yahoo! and Hotmail made it possible to communicate faster and more easily than with actual paper mail. While the world adopted this new format, letters by mail became much less common. Subsequently, with the increase in popularity of online shopping, the frequency of packages became hard to manage.
Ken Barrows, assistant director of the Memorial Union Building (MUB), has seen the changes himself.
“In the ‘90s huge amounts of mail [was] delivered in trucks and a few packages were delivered on a small dolly truck,” Barrows said. “Twenty years later we are now delivering huge amounts of packages—over 100,000 a year—and small amounts of mail.”
In recent years the MUB has struggled to find enough space for the ever-increasing amounts of packages. Renovations to the mailroom were done this summer, the first being an adjustment to the package delivery process. UNH recycled the MUB mailboxes and used the space to create a bigger package processing facility. Additionally, the Woodside and Gables mailrooms were put on the same software platform as the MUB Postal Center.
In terms of efficiency, these advances are cutting edge. The empty space previously occupying a majority of the mailroom is now being strategically used with more modern intentions.
Barrows was impressed with the renovation. “We are now processing and delivering packages in nearly half the time it took before and we are using less space to do it,” he said.
The idea is to incentivize students to utilize and appreciate the faster service.
“They never emailed you when you had mail before; it’s awesome that I don’t have to constantly check and can just rely on my email to find out when my things have shown up,” sophomore Ryan Corcoran said.
Corcoran became visibly flustered while discussing last year’s mailroom operations. The old ticket system was notorious for its disorganization and confusing requirements.
Thanks to the recent changes, approval has skyrocketed and increased overall service usage.
The MUB expects to spend much less of their money on payroll, as the new design makes the entire process more efficient. This allows for a great deal of breathing room, as there are always opportunities to improve. Barrows said he believes that students will be impressed with the improvements to the system.
“There were many UNH full-time and student employees across campus who were involved in the redesign, construction and new software implementation and we hope students appreciate their hard work,” Barrows said.