Prior to the arrival of COVID-19, the parcel delivery business was already booming. A robust multi-residential market populated by millennials and their distinct preference for online shopping meant that e-commerce and the subsequent deluge of parcels was increasing at a rapid pace. According to Pitney Bowes, parcel deliveries increased by 20% between 2017 and 2018 alone. Then along came a global pandemic that required us to shelter in place and avoid contact with one another and the last-mile delivery landscape – already undergoing a sharp incline – experienced an off-the-charts explosion, the likes of which could never have been anticipated. The result? An unrelenting tidal wave of parcel deliveries landing in condo and apartment lobbies from coast to coast, leaving property management personnel scrambling to keep up. In addition, the importance of physical distancing resulted in an overhaul to industry-wide policies and protocols.

To help property managers and associations navigate these challenges, we created a webinar specifically relating to parcel management. Entitled “Parcel Management in a COVID-19 Environment”, Peter Pietrzkiewicz, CEO and Founder of Concierge Plus, and Patrick Armstrong, Founder of Snaile all weighed in on how property managers and associations can manage the unrelenting tidal wave of parcel deliveries, especially during the pandemic.

More than 150 residential property managers and board members attended our webinar, and here are some key takeaways from the webinar to provide help and insight during this unprecedented time:

Community associations are not future proofing

Many places are expecting the next wave of COVID-19, and its not likely that this pandemic is going away anytime soon.

Companies are reacting to this and are hiring extra personnel, especially as COVID-19 and the holiday season are the shipping activities.

As examples, FedEx is hiring 70,000 people for the holiday season and Amazon is hiring 100,000 people.

The question is whether associations are future proofing by leveraging technology?

What are community associations facing?

  • They need to deal with social distancing as residents want to feel safe.
  • Social distancing has led to a spike in online ordering. Online ordering is at all time high and getting deliveries sent directly to residents without having to go to a retail store and physically interact with a store or merchant is higher than ever.
  • Many associations don’t have the space for packages. Some condos may have the luxury of having a small room for package storage but for many condos this is not the case. No one thought about the volume of deliveries hat we’re seeing today, and what we will see in the future.
  • Many associations are still dealing with manual and paper-based forms as their go-to-method. Sticky notes are still posted in the hallway or doors informing residents that their packages have arrived.

Efficiency has never been more critical

These COVID-19-sparked challenges have led community managers and staff to recognize the old ways of managing their communities simply won’t work during the health emergency and afterward. That’s because other community managers are adopting measures designed to more efficiently perform their operational tasks, and at a time when extra efficiency has never been more critical. These managers feel an even greater sense of urgency than before to automate manual processes and provide a better – and more distinctive – resident experience.

What does the solution look like?

Only a resident Experience Management platform that includes a full suite of delivery tools within it can solve these challenges. A platform that can integrate with 3rd party service providers like Snaile is needed for community associations throughout North America.

Concierge Plus has decided to be the hub of data and use resident information and partner with best-in-class providers like Snaile to leverage what they do best and create an excellent product for residential property managers and staff.

Benefits of using our resident experience management platform:

  • Our solution is fast for staff and residents so that when a delivery guy drops by, residents can deal with packages in an easy and painless way.
  • The solution includes automated notifications and follow up, informing residents that packages have arrived. This is especially important during holiday seasons when associations have mountains of packages waiting to be picked up by residents. We offer text messages, email notifications and an automated phone call ensuring that residents don’t miss being notified.
  • As our solution is digital, associations can have permanent, easy-to-retrieve records. Having a binder that gets lost or records that get lost due to a new property management change over is simply not acceptable. It should be possible to find proof of delivery, signatures etc. as quick as possible. As an example, staff should be able to tell residents when a parcel was delivered, who signed off once receiving it, who delivered it and other relevant information.
  • Most associations have the need of additional storage space for their parcels. A smart locker system is ideal for this and our solution can integrate with Snaile allowing property managers to manage packages for residents coming in and out of their community digitally.

Going Contactless

In an effort to minimize unnecessary person-to-person contact, many carrier companies have waived signature requirements and property managers have prohibited carrier foot traffic throughout their buildings. A smart parcel locker allows carriers to deposit multiple parcels within minutes, without going past the designated delivery area. After each deposit, the recipient is notified of the delivery by text or email, and provided with a unique one-time PIN, and/or scannable QR code, the moment the compartment door closes. Residents can then collect parcels at their convenience by scanning their QR code for a contactless pickup or entering their access code. The compartment containing their parcel opens instantaneously and the collection is complete. And the bank-grade touch-screen terminal, along with the flat steel surface of the lockers themselves, allow the units to be cleaned and disinfected between uses with ease.

Smart LockersWhy Snaile?

By using the only officially approved parcel lockers by all major Canadian carriers, concierge and security staff no longer have to spend countless hours managing incoming deliveries and tracking down recipients – a task which surveys indicate can amount to 10 minutes per parcel. Instead, those human resource hours can be directed to other, more important endeavours. In addition, the automated parcel lockers provide a safe storage solution, preventing theft, damage and fire code violations that often result from unsecured parcels being left in lobbies, hallways and other common areas. In addition to the technological solutions provided by the lockers themselves, Snaile smart parcel lockers – driven by cloud-based software ­ integrate easily with various other software platforms, such as Concierge Plus, to provide an efficient, streamlined and totally synergistic user experience.

Key Benefits of a Snaile Smart Parcel Locker

  • Contactless collection
  • Reduced foot-traffic in the building
  • Secure storage of parcels, preventing theft and damage
  • The elimination of boxes and unsecured parcels throughout common areas
  • The prevention of costly fire code violations and safety hazards
  • Significant reduction in human resource hours required to manage incoming parcels
  • Serves as an important amenity in unstaffed buildings allowing for the safe and timely delivery of parcels
  • The modular and customizable units can be designed to accommodate countless spaces, both indoors and outdoors
  • The synergistic cloud-based software integrates seamlessly with other property management platforms

Maintain a safe and connected community during COVID-19

While COVID-19 may have changed the way we do business, that doesn’t mean that you still can’t provide a high level of service for residents.

Want to learn more about how to manage the unrelenting tidal wave of parcel deliveries?

Watch the full webinar here!

Parcel Management Webinar