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Challenges of University Mail Services Professionals
Challenges of University Mail Services Professionals
July 20, 2018
I recently had the pleasure of exhibiting at the National Association of College and University Mail Services convention in New Orleans. As one of eight shipping systems exhibitors, I had a chance to speak to mail services professionals from universities across the U.S. about their shipping.

I found that many of these mail services professionals have two challenges in common:

  1. Student employees are an invaluable resource, but come with some interesting employment challenges.

    It’s a special type of employer that recognizes that school must come first. Imagine trying to schedule your employees around study groups, final exams, lab time, and only-offered-this-semester classes while also running a successful business. It is a mail services professional’s commitment that makes it possible for students to meet the demands of their work-study program.

  2. Mail Services isn’t recognized as the valuable resource it is for the university.

    The knowledge of carrier compliance and the service they provide to students and faculty is often times only considered an expense. As a session speaker, I addressed this issue in my presentation, “Demonstrating the Value of Mail Services to the University.”

In the session, I discussed how using a hosted or installed multi-carrier shipping solution can lead university mail centers from being viewed as expense to instead being viewed as the true asset they are. By leveraging a shipping solution, a campus mailing center can:

  • Provide data analysis
    By providing historical shipping data for trend analysis, mailing services can analyze their shipping, determine cost-saving opportunities, and begin using more economical carrier services where applicable – from the department level to the exact employee. Example: Using UPS Ground instead of 2-Day select when the delivery date is identical

  • Provide charge-back codes
    Incorporating charge-back codes in the reference number fields of the shipments insures that the correct department is charged, eliminating the need to issue a P.O. and sending the charges directly to the carrier in a data feed.

  • Create a revenue stream
    By incorporating an upcharge to their rates to cover the services they provide, they can create a revenue source from the Mail Services functions they perform.

  • Reduce labor and drive revenue
    Self-service kiosks allow students and faculty to prepare temporary labels which can be attached to their packages. The packages are then weighed by Mail Services to produce the final label. The labor-intensive task of manually completing shipping forms is reduced. Kiosks also keep the shipping business—and revenue -- on campus.

On-campus Mailing Services is an opportunity for student employment and a way for colleges and universities to assist the student body and faculty in shipping. With the addition of a shipping solution, it can be much more. I am thankful for the insight I gained at NACUMS and hope to return next year to learn more about the unique shipping environments expertly managed by the Mail Services professionals on our country’s many prestigious university campuses.
Julie James
Senior Marketing Analyst and Channel Sales Manager ~ ConnectShip | iShip
Julie James joined ConnectShip | iShip in 2008 as the Product Marketing Supervisor where she was responsible for building a professional marketing program and supervising the marketing team. Promoted to Marketing Manager in 2013, she created the marketing strategy and budget and produced the first company technology conference, ICON. After a 2-year rotation as a Business Systems Analyst from 2016 - 2017, Julie rejoined the operations team in 2018 as a Senior Marketing Analyst and Channel Sales Manager where she manages $1M of customer accounts, develops marketing content, and specializes in positioning the visibility and hosted shipping solutions product lines. She graduated with a BBA from Oklahoma State University and has more than 30 years of experience in multiple marketing disciplines. She has served on the board of the American Marketing Association, Tulsa, OK Chapter, and is a 2018 UPS Employee Engagement Coordinator.