Thursday, September 25, 2014

Simplifying the student experience one package at a time

I remember my own college experience and the excitement of receiving a package in the mail. These were the days before smart phones and the Internet changed the way we send and receive information. In those days, students would check their mail daily as the main form of communication from family and non-college friends. Those days might as well have been 250 years ago, considering how today's college student communicates. This forms the basis of the latest simplification effort coming out of BAS.

Up until this fall quarter, when a UCSC student received a package they got a handwritten notice in their mailboxes....much like I did when I was a college student. Last spring, a pilot program in Porter College tested a new and simplified process for package delivery. This new model utilizes an online interface that notifies students that they have a package ready for delivery. The interface links to the student roster and is updated daily, ensuring accurate delivery information. With nearly 200 packages being delivered daily, this new model results in a quicker turnaround time for package pick up. Nearly all packages are now picked up within 24 hours of notification. This frees up critical space, which is at a premium on campus. Other benefits realized from this model include:

  • operator error has been virtually eliminated
  • the process time between delivery by carrier to student notification has been cut by 50+%
  • the new model is greener by eliminating paper notices in boxes
  • there is now reliable and quick access to historical records, address changes, etc.

Most importantly, there has been an enthusiastic student response to this new and simplified process. Based on the success of the Porter pilot, the new model is now being used for all student package delivery across all colleges.

As I have emphasized repeatedly, we must be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us. This includes time....whether that is student time or staff time.

Bravo to our BAS teammates who implemented this new package delivery model. They truly have advanced the values of stewardship and simplification!

A slug I am,


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